Stylish Safe Stay: Taj Cape Town

There’s a place in the city that can transport you around the world in a second. With scent, sound, and unmatched opulence, the luxurious urban oasis embodies the spirit of the more decadent and historical India, while holding the charm of the Cape in the highest regard.

This is a place of discretion, of true sophistication…and this is also a place of, surprisingly, really good laughs.

At home in one of the cosmopolitan city’s most bustling corners, The Taj Hotel, with its stern greyscale rustication (similar to the stone-faced St George’s Cathedral, opposite), restored fluted marble columns, and original chandeliers stand invitingly resolute in a vibrant neighbourhood steeped in history.

The metropolis honestly has a fair few escapes to check in to, at various price points, but The Taj, by no means, fits in as just another hotel on a list.

Being memorable and unique is built into The Taj Hotel hospitality portfolio – legendary in the industry for its bold, heritage-led auspicious hotels. Their 176 luxury roomed Cape Town outpost sits across two heritage buildings and is a testament to rich Indian heritage, contemporary design & digital nomad conveniences, as well as the business and leisure hub the hotel boosts the profile of.

The hotel building itself is an architectural gem dating back to 1896, with its own memorable history (previously the Reserve Bank), even while orbiting museums and buildings known in history books and saturated in the storied past of Cape Town, such as the:

  • South African Museum
  • Slave Lodge
  • National Art Gallery
  • Planetarium
  • Holocaust Museum

A red carpet welcome, followed by burnished gold and bronze door fixtures, glossy tiled floors, and shiny wood abound, greets visitors at the high-ceilinged ground level, and offers them the entry-level taste of the old-world opulence of a Taj Hotel stay.

Programmed electronic keys ease guests’ minds, limiting room floor access to that person’s specific floor only – in addition to one accessing their room with the key.

The eggshell yellow hallways of my floor matched with the dark carpet and Neoclassical detailing, were a mild and largely unremarkable welcome to my hallway. However, they’re great when the outside world can be largely overstimulating.

Inside the rooms, the interior design is nothing to sniff at. It’s all elegant décor and neat lines.

Whether in a suite or room, guests can be guaranteed on-theme and tasteful artwork that’s definitely not generic. There is also a walk-in marble shower to look forward to, plentiful storage and sturdy furnishings in their rooms. The Posturepedic mattress provides one of the best, most restful nights of sleep (my room, blessedly, had the king-sized). And the Pillow Menu is a pleasant perk to further ensure your comfort level is met.

Naturally, separate tubs make this hotel one of my more favoured ones.

Leather headboards paired with the paisley-patterned thick-pile carpet, the rich decorative pillow brocades, and the paint’s warm tones differentiate the various suites and rooms, from oranges to greens, and even beige cream headboards exist in some rooms.

The true distinction of the rooms’ designs is in the amenities and square footage.

  • 24-hour in-room dining
  • Inclusive newspapers
  • Glass partition with privacy blinds between the bedroom and bathroom
  • High-end bathroom amenities
  • Fresh flowers and a selection of fruit
  • Inclusive of bottled water
  • Fully stocked mini-bar
  • Plush bathrobes and slippers
  • Daily housekeeping and turndown service
  • Multimedia hub enabling laptop and flat-screen TV interface
  • Electronic safe with built-in laptop charger
  • Inclusive of tea and coffee-making facilities
  • International plug sockets
  • Superior Interior rooms average 34 Sq Mt here, while
  • Heritage One Bedroom Suites are around 65 Sq Mt
  • The Presidential Suite tops in at 200 Sq Mt, with a wraparound terrace, and interior space which comfortably sleeps 4 people.

The pleasure of picking mountain-facing rooms and their double-glazed windows isn’t just having a superb perch to view the city from, but encountering the breathtaking scale and beauty of the local World Wonder – not just any mountain, but Table Mountain!

With more than 100 rooms and suites, the hotel is careful to ensure options for various travellers, such as:

  • Family suites with adjourning rooms
  • A Presidential Suite with its own secure system for access, anonymity, and speedy hospitality
  • Rooms and suites at various price points
  • Views which face the cityscape and mountain too, alternatively.

PRO TIP: The Heritage rooms (floors 2-6) are more atmospheric

Here to work?

With speedy uncapped Wi-Fi, and even conference facilities likely to impress even the most seasoned business professional, The Taj has an established reputation for being a dependable and sophisticated option for meetings and travelling business professionals.

Rooms have a strong desk and cushioned chair right by a plug socket, to work on, but there are plenty of spaces to settle into if you want to remote work at The Taj.

For those trying to ‘work it’ as it were, beyond their job, give the fitness centre a try!

Hotel facilities and other available amenities include:

  • Fully Equipped Fitness Centre
  • Indoor Swimming pool with yardage for laps
  • Sauna
  • Spa Steam room/hammam
  • 24-hour laundry services
  • Amenities for those travelling with infants
  • Parking etc.

If you’re hungry or parched, and staying in your room isn’t tempting (though Room Service in the dead of night, is a treat!), venture to the ground floor and its glittering bar setting and lush hotel lounge.

This segmented, but open-plan area feels very much like a members-only hangout complete with with live music and entertainment!

Coffee (or tea) and cake can very nearly be in your future, with The Taj’s own cake corner colourfully peeking through in the hotel lounge.

Alternatively, head to casual bistro-style Mint Restaurant for lunch or dinner with dependable city hotel menu favourites & some Indian flair, or enjoy a cosmopolitan breakfast buffet there that’s spaced out & prepared to be attacked with the efficiency of a decadent diner with time to spare.

Visit when the weather is good, and enjoy both the indoor and outdoor seating.

If you want delectable canapés, an evening aperitif, or just more bar vibes, head to the three-arched gold bar towering with cocktail ingredients and other refreshments to sip on in good company (or while people-watching).

I, however, favour the intimate room to the side, with its moody lighting and brown leather and wood furnishings – the perfect setting for The Taj Hotel’s now scintillating Whiskey Tasting.

The semi-formal dining experience at Bombay Brassiere begins with the melding of Indian and African hospitality in sumptuous royal blue surrounds.

They are all all warmth and commitment to feeding you, here.

Clearly encouraged to engage visitors on a very real level, the team here do their jobs in a knowledgeable, efficient, and comfortable way that shows enjoyment for the art of food and good hospitality. They invariably ‘filled my cup’ before my first bite or drink, and my good vibes subsequently “runneth over”!

Now, the food: The  A La Carte dinner menu is predictable Indian cuisine with Cape Malay infusions, but no less satisfying.

The small dishes offer up the opportunity for diners to fill themselves with Indian street food and classic Indian favourites enhanced & reimagined with a fine dining finish. Rich is what everything is – rich in texture, rich in colour, rich in history, and rich in flavours and scents.

The most pleasant reprieve between courses comes with the sorbet palate cleanser that’s an absolutely cool visual delight.

 “…holistic treatments are enlivened with meaningful ceremonies and rituals that encourage total relaxation. The award-winning J Wellness Circle’s global principles apply: everything that touches the body is completely natural…”

J Wellness Circle. The Taj Cape Town. 2023

Words aren’t too necessary where the J Wellness Circle is concerned.

Know simply that world-class therapists here, as well as the Taj Signature classics and the newer treatments, are the stuff of dreams.

The ‘Sangma’ and the ‘Agni’ rooms hold the most aromatic, skin-softening, and utterly decadent treatments. I say start at the top of the Spa menu and indulge in everything from Indian therapies to the holistic!

Unequivocally authentic to famed Indian ancient wellness wisdom, J Wellness Circle uses the best to deliver the best!

With consideration for your body, mind and soul’s wants and needs, the J Wellness Circle dishes a spa experience equal to and in some ways surpassing some of the world’s best!

They’re good...and now, so too am I!

The city has a medley of cultural attractions, including street artists and dancers, colourful and poignant walking tours through neighbourhoods like Bo-Kaap and De Waterkant, and even wine tastings, fine dining, visits to the Castle of Good Hope, Outdoor markets, fashion designer meeting opportunities, and so much more.

If staying in is not for you, get out to the glittering V&A Waterfront where shopping, activities, sightseeing, and living like a local, are all on offer.

Settle in for a drink or bite at the eateries dotted around the mall as well as its surrounds, or bring your own meal and enjoy The weather from the plentiful seating also in the waterfront area.

There are great rides like mini-trains, for kids, and even sailing opportunities, aquatic adventures, and foodie journeys that the whole family can enjoy.

Solo travellers can feel free to people-watch from perches in restaurants and cafes, or even Starbucks cafe situated on the mall’s first floor.

PRO TIP: Most locals keep it chill. Wine/Whisky/Beer and nibbles, while enjoying good weather and people-watching, is honestly what you can expect most of us to be up to!


Rating: 4 out of 5.

The rooms stand as a sanctuary of straightforward luxe comfort and neotraditional style.

With cleanliness that checks out, a hospitality team I can’t stop raving about, and with my body rested following decadent Spa treatments, I have no notes counting against The Taj Hotel.

It is a choice pick and you won’t regret a thing.

Book knowing what to expect from your package (such as the fact that mountain-facing rooms will ALWAYS be more expensive than their counterparts in the same room category), and be relaxed as the hotel team has everything else covered!

Service here is gold standard; intuitive, adaptable & attentive, and it’s delivered with a smile and genuine good humour – from amazing Bellhops to concierge, housekeeping, and restaurant hosts.

The guest feels as if they’re at the centre of the hospitality mantra here, at all times!

And the 5-star rating is proven again and again, from perks such as shuttles to Waterfront to walking tours and even late check-out if you time it right!

The Taj Hotel’s most admirable trait is staying so true to its roots, and subsequently fashioning itself as one of the Cape’s foremost havens of sophistication and quiet opulence.

It’s a treat of a city retreat.

 1 Wale Street, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

Tel: 021 819 2000


One Comment Add yours

  1. Great post. Thanks for the information.

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