Short stay: Table Bay Hotel, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

The 5-star Table Bay Hotel, a Sun International property set on the breakwater wall of Cape Town’s historic Victoria & Alfred waterfront, is a contemporary architectural treasure with 329 rooms that either overlook the bay to Robben Island, where Nelson Madela was for a long time famously imprisoned, or – as in the case of our room – across the harbour and the city to Table Mountain.

The welcome

We were met at the airport by representatives of the hotel and chauffeured to the V&A Waterfront in one of their air-conditioned minibuses. A recent addition to their veihcles has been in-car WiFi – a really useful offering, particularly when since we’d just been without access to emails for the best part of half a day.

The room

Our room was beautifully presented, had a wonderfully comfortable bed and a seating area with a sofa with a pull-out bed. Small, personalised goody bags for each of our children had even been placed at the foot of our bed. There was also a desk area, ample storage for clothing and luggage, and a balcony with a small table and chairs.

The view from the balcony was shrouded in mist when we arrived but that later cleared to reveal the unmistakable outline of Table Mountain, with the V&A Waterfront in the foreground.

The bathroom

Our bathroom was a good size with marble-topped vanity unity, separate walk-in shower and Molton Brown toiletries.

The facilities

The hotel boasts many facilities such as an outdoor heated pool (closed for Winter at the time of our visit), gym and The Camelot Spa.

One of the unique features of the hotel is its direct access to the waterfront. Whilst the hotel does have three restaurants and two bars of its own, you also have access to many others in easy walking distance, our personal favourite being the glass-fronted Harbour House restaurant with some excellent fresh fish options.

The buffet breakfast at the hotel was excellent, with a wide range of choice that include everything from orange juice to oysters.

Other nice touches

Our experience of the hotel was full of many thoughtful extras, from the bottle of Champagne on arrival to lovely little extras for our children and fresh flowers in our room.

One recommended add-on that’s available from The Table Bay Hotel (and from other Sun International SunLux properties) are special family excursions. Through a collaboration with SANCOB (The South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) you can go on an exclusive Penguin Experience and learn about the sea bird rehabilitation programme in South Africa. The adventure includes a visit to the penguin colony at Boulders Beach to not only see these beautiful birds in their natural environment, but also swim alongside them, before returning to the hotel to allow children to take part in related arts and crafts activities.

We didn’t do this specific experience because we were already scheduled to go on a tour that took in Boulders Beach, but would have jumped at the opportunity otherwise!


Luxury king rooms at the Table Bay Hotel start from around £350 per night. A superior luxury family room with a mountain view starts from around £540 per night.

The final verdict

Table Bay was opened with much fanfare in May 1997 by former late President Mandela and has been a landmark hotel on the V&A Waterfront ever since, with a friendly staff and attention to detail both very much at the fore.

Disclosure: The above formed part of a luxury trip to South Africa sponsored by Hayes & Jarvis, specialists in personalised, luxury holiday itineraries for discerning travellers to over 55 destinations worldwide.

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