I did not know what a wholly unknown hotel, among even my most well-traveled acquaintances, would hold in store when I decided to book myself in for a weekend.
It would have to be something special that forces me to forgo my fuzzy home comforts, for unknown travel prospects.
With my lastest find online, I was glad for the excuse to not have to spend another day eating food I had cooked, and falling into the same habits of morose wanderlust from the comfort of my pajamas and cozy bed. I hoped to be anxiety-free from the perils of the pandemic, and immediately at peace amid quality hospitality and facilities.
Well, to start: the gauge of decency with Cape hotels tends to begin with visibly clean bedding – even on shabby, misshapen beds – and ascends to exorbitant chic luxury.
Hôtel du Parc was a wild card of unknown decency beyond its pictures online. Neither falling into well-known hospitality collections, nor listed and marketed prominently among the regularly traversed travel streams, I confirmed my reservation at the boutique hotel, with only the draw of absolutely stunning images of the hotel’s interiors and goings-on to reassure me.
There’s something entrancing about Hôtel du Parc‘s pigmented black facade greeting visitors, as well as the whole visual being burnished with gold and pops of fruity color (almost in the spirit of an eclectic Palm Springs hideout) everywhere from the exterior furnishings, to the interior design starting at the bar, and snaking into every room in this innercity hotel.
On Style: This hotel passes muster!
One could speak on the decor of this boutique lodging, for a good long while, as Hôtel du Parc brings forth a longed-for artisanship to the design of the area’s hospitality offerings – only truly manifest last, in the nearby Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.
The hotel seems wholly unique, yet with an atmosphere informed by its surrounds, and even nearby hospitality competition. It’s got the cheek of a destination like Cape Town, as well as an intonation that speaks of its regard for history (as seen within the hotel architecture – much preserved).
Hôtel du Parc is indulgent, glitzy, and has enough blemish so you don’t feel too formal.
On Dining: I Recommend the Drinks!
There is something distinctly reminiscent of the Jazz Age about the hotel’s restaurant and their bar’s look and energy. Guests can imbibe good gin and wine in picturesque surrounds, as well as enjoy tapas and even fine dining-style dishes.
The hotel has breakfast enough to start the day, but you’d best make reservations in the fun food centre that is the CBD, for brunch. I recommend The Wolfhouse, which has some of the most scrumptious nachos, pizzas, and burgers I’ve ever had in the city so far!
The setting of Hôtel du Parc, along with its modern European menu, and the likes of à la carte or American breakfast and French dining, as well as a wine list with varieties from quality wine-renowned regions, makes this hotel’s restaurant an altogether decent pit stop though, for those hoping to experience an elevated restaurant experience in contrast to the nearby more lively every day drop-in haunts for locals.
The Pink Panther, however, is one of the hotel cocktails that I’m kind of riveted by, and an excuse for you to Uber to this hotel restaurant.
This Hôtel du Parc cocktail might just be one I’ll end up trying to recreate at home one day; Comprised primarily of beloved local spirit Inverroche Gin, it is also mixed in with Cranberry juice, watermelon syrup, lime juice, and egg white.
It’s incredibly well-made, tart but softly finished, and memorable for quenching and refreshing!
On Sleep, Vibe & Activities:
They have a Particular Lullaby for You…
While for some it’s a cacophony of noise, if you should book the deluxe suite with its own balcony, expect the lullaby of the hotel’s ground floor nightlife to accompany you to sleep – if you can manage it.
Additionally, between the rollercoaster of their blessed generator starting and restarting throughout the morning, a guest who is dependant on WiFi, for example, is pushed to stop their attachment to their nearest device, and spend some time taking in the historical bones of the building and the sweeping gloss of its contemporary boutique hotel upgrades.
It’s not a bad way to spend a few minutes or hours, I will admit.
It seems strange though, that a place in such an ideal location wouldn’t have a roster of printed reputable recommendations for guests to check out at their convenience.
I woke up with a hankering to do some morning yoga, and then grab a fresh juice…and didn’t know where to go nearby, so I just settled back into bed with some complimentary filter coffee and the hotels’ entertainment offers, which include: old tomes, and a television open to Showmax, Youtube, Al Jazeera, and a few other app-based channels to switch to.
By midday, I got up lazily and had a shower, and dolled myself up.
The complimentary shower amenities meant I got to wash my hair and body with some pretty good products that don’t quite aggravate skin sensitivity.
After dolling myself up with carefully-curated travel essentials I’d set aside on the hotel’s convenient clothing rail (which makes for storage that doesn’t take up too much significant space) I decided to do as I do at every hospitality spot I venture to after the work is done: have a one-woman photoshoot, drink, eat, and then nap – inarguably a great afternoon plan, executed perfectly in some chic digs.
On Hygiene: They’re Meeting the Basic Requirements
There was hand sanitizer from the hotel’s entryway outside, to within guests’ rooms. Compact complimentary hand sanitizer spray gifted to guests as part of their amenities, means the onus is also on the guest to do their part in staying safe.
Considering the furnishings, a lack of cleaning would be visible, and so reassurance can also be had that everything from the artwork frames to the floors, lamp switches, and tabletops, are all diligently cleaned. The Hôtel du Parc team is also outfitted in necessary protective gear, and encourages social distancing – including with clear signage in the hotel.
Additionally, by day, hallways weren’t crowded where the hotel rooms are, and I blessedly did not hear much foot traffic in this area during my entire stay too.
Where hygiene is concerned at Hôtel du Parc, I don’t believe there are any worries…though I did not brave the hotel nightlife to vet the hygiene and safety at night, when jazz and hot food sounded like it brought scores of eager visitors to book a table and enjoy a stellar Saturday night unencumbered. I watched on from my balcony for a while though.
Sometimes there’s more enjoyment in people-watching and snacking.
The hotel leans into its past and its present; I’ll give them that. The interiors are wholly unique from a local hospitality front, and the magnetic facade is matched to their dining and event culture – pumping through the hotel suite floorboards until 9 pm (for now).
One thing I’d recommend the hotel offers – in light of the building’s acoustic design of old and its banging nighttime vibe – is earplugs in a sealed container for guests. It’s needed!
Additionally, a recommendation for guests: if you plan to visit this boutique hotel, bring your own slippers, and hope you aren’t finicky about the thickness and thread count of your towels. “Plush” relates only to the bed’s duvet at this hotel, as well as the throw pillows sitting in the gorgeous room’s chairs.
Anyway, I can’t quite place Hôtel du Parc‘s identity as yet.
Hôtel du Parc seems to want to enchant every single adult target market, into buying into a web of inner-city cosmopolitan hospitality – whether you’re laying your head, or having brunch, or jazz night drinks.
Its all picturesque, but not so much with memorable heart.
I guess I had the expectation of low-key comfort, but I got style without comfortable substance. And its a shame, because I’d love to recommend the hotel on look alone…but travel is made for more than aesthetics.