The Taj, Cape Town, part of the Indian Taj Group of hotels, is a superb hotel in every respect but one. It is housed in a magnificent historic building in the heart of the city, directly opposite the Anglican cathedral and within 3 minutes' walk of the South African Parliament and the beautiful Company's Gardens; one restaurant opens onto the pedestrianised St George's Mall. The Taj provides a free shuttle service, by Range Rover or Jaguar XJ no less (The Tata Group, which owns Taj Hotels, also owns Jaguar-Land Rover), to and from the Waterfront.
Service, as one would expect from any Taj hotel, is impeccable, from the moment one arrives until departure. (In fact even before arrival, as the reservations staff were particularly helpful.) Housed in the immensely grand former Reserve Bank of South Africa, the Taj presents an impressive and imposing face to the street, but inside it is all rather discreet and welcoming. Now and again one caught sight of one or two urbane-looking, conservatively-suited Indian managers, on posting from Taj Group management in India.
The principal restaurant (which alas I did not try) is The Bombay Brasserie, "sister" to the famous restaurant of the same name, also run by the Taj Group, in London, where I have dined several times. More informal is The Mint, which is where a very good buffet breakfast is served, along with lighter lunches and dinners.
My room, one of the hotel's "Heritage" rooms, was very large indeed, with an equally grand bathroom featuring a wall of glass between it and the sleeping area; a blind can be lowered to provide privacy. The bed was great.
It may be the best hotel in Cape Town, but it is let down by a small but increasingly important detail for 21st Century travellers: internet charges. The first 30 minutes in ay 24-hour period are free, but thereafter internet access is subject to very high charges amounting to around $30 a day for unlimited access. In today's world this sort of irritating charge is unacceptable, especially as there are thousands of 5-star hotels which offer free unlimited internet access as part of the room charge. Incidentally, I thought my room price was very reasonable, especially given the very high prices charged by other top hotels in Cape Town, particularly if one wants to be on or near the Waterfront complex.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Taj Cape Town welcomes guests to the vibrant heart of the one of the world's most scenic and desirable cities, Cape Town. The hotel is a combination of rich history and elegant contemporary architectures. Originally home of the South African Reserve Bank and Temple Chambers and later the Board of Executors (BOE), it successfully combines the heritage of the old with the luxury of the new - a 100 years in history! This luxury hotel is perfectly located in the centre of historic Cape Town at the entrance of the famous pedestrian precinct, St George's Mall. It's prime location ensures a blend of fascinating history, exotic culture, soulful art, lively entertainment and delectable cuisine. - Within walking distance to most tourist attractions, monuments, museums, shopping, restaurants, markets and nightlife. Adding to this grand yet welcoming atmosphere are the two dining experiences, the Indian fine dine specialty restaurant, Bombay Brasserie and Mint, a relaxed all-day dining restaurant. Both are warm and welcoming and serve outstanding cuisine. Alongside this you'll find wonderful Champagne and tapas bar known as The Twankey Bar which is exceedingly popular with both locals and guests alike. Rooms are located in both the heritage buildings and the contemporary tower wing, but all continue to seamlessly merge history and modernity. Luxury Rooms have spectacular city or breathtaking mountain views overlooking the famous Table Mountain and the Taj Club Rooms and suites offer all the benefits of the executive Club Lounge including butler service, evening canapes, cocktails and private breakfast. One and Two Bedroom Suites are also available, perfect for the discerning traveller or for families. The award winning Jiva Grande Spa is one of its kind in Africa with unique and authentic wellness treatments and experiences. Also on offer is complimentary use of all wet areas, heated pool, and a high tech gymnasium. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Taj Cape Town Hotel Cape Town Central
- Taj Cape Town South Africa