7 Delightful ways for locals to spoil themselves in Cape Town

2015-09-15 13:09 - Selene Brophy
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Okay, so we've been going on about this staycation thing for quite a bit now but when you live in a city as immensely beautiful as Cape Town it just seems like the obvious thing to do.  And it's clear that as South Africans there is no need to worry about the weakening position of the rand and our shrinking international holiday opportunities.

READ: SA makes UK list of World's Most Beautiful Cities

After playing the typical tourist on a recent media trip with Newmark Hotels in the heart of the Waterfront and seeing this city from land, sea and air - each unique vantage point literally had me stop and stare in awe-struck appreciation.

Seriously, why would we head anywhere else in a hurry!?

READ: 6 Popular spots ideal for the lazy staycationer

With the downhill to summer, take the opportunity to make the most of this world-class destination right here and now. Here are Traveller24's top seven favourite ways to spoil yourself when in Cape Town - but we know there are many more - so please share yours with us either via email at info@traveller24.com or come join us on our FacebookTwitter or Instagram accounts.  

1.  Take a helicopter ride over Cape Town 

If you've never been on a helicopter ride, you definitely need to make your first flight over the Mother City. Enjoy a City Hopper experience for about R800 per person for 15-minutes of scenic loveliness. Certainly worthy of a special occasion in my opinion.

And that's exactly what the lovely Caryn Kohler thought too. I met Kohler while waiting to take my flip over Cape Town and she was in turn waiting for her parents.

Kohler was treating them for their 45th wedding anniversary, which also happened to be her dad's 75th birthday. It was just the most adorable thing to see the couple gleaming after their touch down, all vibrant and enthusiastic about life. 

(Photo: Selene Brophy)

For Claire and Eberhart Kohler, who first moved to South Africa 50 years ago, they said, "It's simply stunning, it's Cape Town and everyone should do this trip." And I couldn't agree more. Looking down at the city bowl is surreal and it really does fill you with child-like exuberance. 

We made the trip in Cape Town Helicopter's newly-acquired EC120, also known as the humming bird, said to be at the forefront of eco-friendly aviation and leading the way in responsible tourism in South Africa. It's certainly quite noisy up in the air but this bird is supposed to reduce noise pollution down on the grown considerably. Aviation nuts will especially enjoy this as they'll give you all the ins and outs of their fleet.


(Photo: Selene Brophy)

2. Take a sunset cruise 

Probably the more accessible of the two experiences. I'd go so far as to say the kaleidoscope of colours,  thanks to the sunset, makes this even more beautiful than the helicopter flip. We headed out on the Esperance for a 90-minute tour of Table Bay at R300 per person. The Cape Town skyline splashes out some picture-perfect backdrops but do remember to put your camera down and just enjoy the gentle ebb and flow before it's all over.

  

(Photo: Selene Brophy)

3. Day-trip for lunch out at Waterkloof Wine Estate

The drive there is a therapeutic treat. And if you're punching your co-ordinates into your Google maps, be sure not to confuse this one with Waterford Estate. This apparently happens often (do enjoy the Waterford chocolate pairing if you fall victim though).


READ: Staycationing: Perfecting the art of lifestyle design

(Photo: Selene Brophy)

Lunch at Waterkloof is a languid affair. Take things slow and savour the delicious dishes created by French chef Gregory Czarnecki and his team. 

Sitting on the veranda enjoying a glass of Syrah, next to the popular glass-box-designed restaurant, we enjoyed some light banter with a Dutch couple and a few British visitors. The verdict? Local wines are so lekker people, yes indeed. 

(Photo: Selene Brophy)

4. Treat yourself to a Seafood evening out at Oyo restaurant 

Oyo's crayfish summer special has become a bit of a legend and if you haven't heard or tried it out as yet this is the year to start. Come 1 October you'll be able to enjoy TWO gobsmackingly fresh West Coast Crayfish for R265. And did we say BIG, just check out the image below. Leave your manners at the door and crack those suckers open. Yum!

(Photo: Selene Brophy)

5. Brunch at Sotano restaurant

Head to this lovely little spot near the Green Point Lighthouse - it's also pretty convenient that there is a City Sightseeing Tour stop right opposite - making it the perfect brunch spot during your city adventuring. Sotano is slowly building up a reputation of note for their Lamb Burger Special on Wednesdays, which is literally two for the price of one at R90. Booking in advance is advised.

Sotano's tappas and sushi is also quite reasonably priced and delicious. I highly recommend the tappas platter to share at R229. Prepare for a feast!

(Photo from Nikki Lomba)


6. Let the legendary history of the Springboks WOW you!

The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum will do just that, from the interactive try-outs for the team (this is big fun, so prepare to work up a sweat) to the detailed history of the game rooted back to the 1860s.

This really is not just for the sports enthusiast.

The wealth of memorabilia and SA rugby artefacts is just shy of incredible. We spent a good hour there and barely touched the surface of all the information available to absorb. Young or old, whatever your culture or creed, get in touch with your Green genes by paying this place a visit. 

READ: RWC - 9 reasons why you'll love Newcastle


7. Stay at the Dock House or the Queen Victoria Hotel 

These two Newmark properties are perched above the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and if you search for them on Google Maps you won't really be able to find them. Their location puts you surprisingly close to the buzz of the Waterfront, all the while making you feel like you've stepped behind some secret garden wall.

Dock House is an exclusive boutique hotel that recently won the Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa Award of the year in the Africa and Middle East Luxury Travel Guide 2014. It has one suite and an additional five rooms as part of its stay offering, with the estimated price per room per night starting at R4 400. Considering your location, it's a lovely spoil for that special occasion.

The boutique hotel also has a plunge pool and private garden where you can enjoy sundowners in a relaxed fashion before heading out to eat at one of the Waterfront's many restaurants or head on up for a twirl of the Mother City skyline in the Wheel of Excellence.  

(Photo: Selene Brophy)

A stay at the Queen Victoria Hotel is ultra-grand but not in an in-your-face fashion. This hotel is so beautiful and reminded me of the decadence of The Wellesley in London's upmarket district of Knightsbridge - except for the V&A stay you'd pay a fraction of the price at an estimate R4 655 per room per night at the time of publishing.

Five-star attention to detail is an over-riding factor of the experience, including its in-house dining offerings at Dash. Staycation luxury really doesn't get better than this. 

Have any staycation favourites? Share your  #LoveSA travel experiences by emailing us at info@traveller24.com. You can also join us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram

Disclaimer: Traveller24 Editor Selene Brophy was hosted by Newmark Hotels for the Cape Town media trip experience which included accommodation, all meals and activities. 

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