What am I searching for on this stay? I have no clue!
When you arrive at a hotel, truthfully, you don’t want to think.
A hotel is a place where you escape the buzzing of your mind. You’ve chosen this place, as one that best curates all your wishes, thoughts, and favoured habits, into a pampered and everlasting moment. You want to be in those moments and then carry them home too.
This time, my staycation moments are being made at the Victoria & Alfred Hotel.
This is a traditionalist 4-star hospitality establishment in the Mother City – And that ranking is not something to sniff at, nor is the heady expectations that come with it.
In the quest for a reprieve from home, whether for work, or play, Victoria & Alfred Hotel seems to be steadily drawing in an influx of local travellers, keen for a bit of enjoyable easy luxury, on familiar turf.
By design, Victoria & Alfred Hotel is close enough to the vogueish Waterfront, for convenience sake, while also retaining its smart persona. It stands singular among its neighbours and is laudable globally.
“This iconic establishment was named after Queen Victoria and her son, Prince Alfred who played an intrinsic role in the establishment of the Breakwater Basin, now the V&A Waterfront.”Victoria & Alfred Hotel
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront (soon to be celebrating its 30th anniversary come December, as the hotel is too) bears all the customary features of a mixed-use city complex, including: trendy clothing stores, stationery essentials, food courts and entertainment stations. Not one to limit its market, V&A Waterfront elevates its draw to those willing to splurge, with the international fashion houses at home in its commercial retail spaces, the sale of high-performance sports cars, and even having a selection of glitzy residential abodes.
From personal experience (having lived in the city for nearly a decade) I can attest to the fact that the scurrying about of mostly locals in the mall today, is nothing compared to the scores of camera-toting international visitors that used to shop this glittering complex. Now, there has been a decline in large groups of visitors – leaving all the more room for you to fully enjoy yourself in though!
If you are not one for people-watching and window-shopping, this choice in staycation locations has more selling points. Stroll along the pier to the sometimes accessible docksides, tour the markets at your leisure, view the 7th World Wonder quite nearby, and then finally move over to the hotel for check-in, where you’ll see that this Newmark Collection stalwart (built in 1904), feels tasteful and intimate, without stifling you – a good start to a more refined waterfront experience!
In Its Disinfected Finery
As tourism mandates guide establishments towards maintaining purifying pandemic protocols, which safeguard the wellbeing of guest and staff alike, I ask:
what kind of hygiene rules & regulations does a 4-star hotel maintain?
Well, at V&A Hotel, the following basics are met:
- All personnel don the personal protective equipment required by those in the service industry.
- There is a daily health screening, which includes temperature checks as you enter and exit the premises.
- There is a frequency in the sanitization of most common surfaces – with the only worry being the frequency of recleaning for the check-in counter which many often lean against, as well as chairs that remain forgotten touchpoints in so many establishments.
- Hand sanitizer, which is a non-negotiable routine sprayed onto visitors hands as they enter the hotel.
- Social Distancing protocols are to be observed, as indicated by very clear signage in the foyer and other high traffic public areas.
- There is contact-limited servicing at the breakfast buffet corner, further secured by large screens creating a deli-esque design.
- There are wide aisles for those wishing to navigate around the restaurant safely too.
- The rooms and suites have single-use amenities provided.
Its quaint to stay here – both familiar and new.
With pops of colour amid an array of classic textile choices and traditional hotel design, the V&A hotel won’t shock your system with too much contemporary flair.
Textures make themselves known upon the earthy wood panels, metallic accents, the leather headboards and plush couches, as well as in the cosy white robes, and geometrically patterned carpet. The guests’ bathrooms are polished and bright, while the bedrooms have the austere air of a classic brick-and-mortar establishment. You might walk a little straighter in the gorgeous public areas lit with the loveliest ambient light, but you’ll feel comfortable enough to rest easy in privacy.
And if nothing else was worth noting from a visit here, their in-room dining is unequivocally beyond reproach.
I thoroughly enjoyed every morsel of their elegantly plated offerings, during the day, and at night. With fresh local ingredients, a dab hand at cooking, and stunning kitchen wares, I was content to spend the entire stay snuggled upon crisp white linens, with my news shows and flavoursome food.
However, have you ever heard of Native Espresso Bar?
Victoria & Alfred Hotel also has a bright nook, nestled to the side, and right in an ideal spot for anyone wanting a sensational coffee fix, an on-the-go baguette for breakfast, or some other delights for lunch. Sitting in the relative calm of the cafe space, left me with a cool vigour to meet the day. I recommend the breakfast basics, for a filling choice to break your fast.
If you want all the promise of luxury that a visit to the Waterfront area in Cape Town offers – for a steal of a deal – start here. Between the value-for-money offer you can get on a stay for 2 and even more, there’s the thrill of dining pier-side, at one of Cape Town’s most renowned establishments with all its bistro flair.
I like in-room dining, but there’s an experience to enjoying well-plated food with a view – open to families, singles, groups and for celebrations too. Ginja offers up health food, a few hearty dishes, and light meals.
Out for a Special?
The Prawn & Wine Special at Ginja Restaurant, includes:
16 chilli garlic queen prawns, table salad, fries, toasted ciabatta, as well as a 750ml bottle of fine Iona Sauvignon Blanc – and if no one has advised you on what to do while in this wine country: remember to try local wines!
*It should be noted that there is no sealed cutlery items at the resident restaurant.
What’s the Takeaway, for a Stay?
One of this hotels most significant selling points, has nothing to do with decor and dining – it’s their team.
One of the markers of a fine establishment is discretion and efficient service – delivering on needs and wants in equal measure, and without judgement. Without hyperbole, this team is a fine-tuned organism. You sleep better, at their attention. Everyone from the bellhop, to the hostess, maintains helpfulness, attentive standards of service (and the hygiene protocols) with a dollop of genuine friendliness beyond their face masks.
I do believe that the Victoria & Alfred Hotel is committed to providing its visitors with a safe environment, which aligns with expert protocol that is geared towards defeating the Covid-19 pandemic. And as they evolve with the regulations and times, my hope is that V&A Hotel takes the notes I offered up as a guest, on further cleanliness – as well as monitoring their solutions – in order to become the hygiene benchmark for other hotels at their exceedingly high level.
So, the next time you feel like you need an escape, and want a little safe and luxe comfort, run towards this Stylish Safe Stay.
I think the Victoria & Alfred Hotel does quite well in pleasantly trying to package memories and moments for each of its guests.
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