5 Great Reasons to Stay at Hilton Cape Town City Centre
Our family recently returned from an epic adventure to South Africa and we were fortunate to spend a few nights at Hilton Cape Town City Centre. The city has a rich heritage and offers visitors so much in terms of activities and recreation that it can be a bit mind-boggling to decide where to stay in Cape Town. We found Hilton Cape Town City Centre absolutely central to everything and everywhere we wanted to visit. It is nestled on the border of Bo-Kaap, which is a multi-cultural area rich in history dotted with colorful buildings and quaint cobblestone streets.
We were visiting over the December holidays and although the hotel is Halaal-friendly, I was pleasantly surprised to find it delicately decorated for Christmas. The hotel truly caters to every guest in a refined and respectful manner. I find this to be a refreshing quality especially in South Africa where the struggle for recognition and acceptance is still palpable. The hotel acknowledges their Halaal-friendly environment on its website, but items such as alcohol are still available in the Executive Lounge, Signal Hill Terrace and in-room dining. In my opinion, I found that to be a perfectly acceptable compromise.
After spending a few nights at this wonderful hotel, our family would not hesitate to stay here again when we return to Cape Town. Here are my top 5 reasons to stay at Hilton Cape Town City Centre:
Hands down, the staff at any hotel can make or break a stay whether the hotel is a one-star or a five-star. The staff at Hilton Cape Town City Centre are among the friendliest we have met in the hotel industry. From the moment we entered the hotel until our departure, we were never far from the shining smile and warmth of any staff member we encountered, which is so refreshing!
The concierge team was always readily available and helpful in arranging tours and providing recommendations. They provided a wonderful personal touch, and on their advice we booked several amazing tours we otherwise never would have considered.
A few days after departure I realized I had left my favorite denim jacket in our room and I really didn’t have much faith in having it returned. I emailed the hotel to inquire if it had been found and quite promptly I received a reply telling me that it was indeed there! I arranged a time to pick it up when we passed through the city at a later date and again we were immediately met with the warmth and hospitality we so fondly remembered. The helpful nature of everyone truly made our stay special.
I definitely want to give a shout-out to Tracy Losper, the Journeys Ambassador we met during our stay. She made my children feel like her own, especially my daughter who immediately formed a strong bond and sought Tracy out every day for a hug!
I admit I am super picky about hotel rooms; especially when I have my family in tow. After all, staying in a hotel is often half the fun of traveling, and naturally I want the hotel to provide a good experience and a clean room. When travelling internationally I have had to lower my standards at times, but what I won’t compromise on is 1) unfriendly staff and 2) an unclean room.
Hilton Cape Town City Centre did not disappoint in the room category, and in fact, they earn the triple-crown in my book! All of the rooms from the standard rooms to the two-bedroom suites are spacious, updated and clean. And many of the rooms feature spectacular views of Signal Hill, the waterfront or even Table Mountain.
As a Hilton Diamond member, the hotel treated us quite well and upgraded my family to a two-bedroom suite that had a lovely balcony facing Bo-Kaap and the waterfront. The balcony proved to be just the place to sit and relax with a glass of South African wine after touring around the city all day. As an added bonus; wifi is provided to ALL guests free of charge. It’s no wonder my family wants to return!
Executive Lounge Benefits
The Executive Lounge at Hilton Cape Town City Centre is definitely worth a visit while staying at this hotel. You can take advantage of complimentary breakfast and a range of sweet and savory snacks throughout the day. It proved to be a nice retreat for our family to relax and grab a snack or a glass of wine at the end of the day. If you book an executive room or are a Diamond Hilton Honors member, you will be provided complimentary access.
In my travels I have found many executive lounges really don’t offer much in terms of breakfast, maybe just a few continental items such as yogurt and bagels. However, this particular lounge offers a full-breakfast buffet with both hot and cold items, traditional dishes and many made-to-order items such as pancakes, waffles and omelets.
At Hilton Cape Town City Centre, guests can enjoy an array of restaurants that are all exceptional. Even my youngest child who is especially picky was never disappointed with a meal. The hotel’s executive chef ensured our meals were cooked to perfection and truly cared about our dining experience. Guests can enjoy regional South African dishes, northern Indian specialties and a variety of international cuisine.
Bistro 126 will spoil you with its international breakfast buffet that features many regional dishes as well as traditional items you may crave while on vacation such as omelets or pancakes. Because this is a Halaal-friendly hotel you won’t find bacon or sausage offered but with so many other items available, you couldn’t possibly be disappointed. Instead try karoo or ostrich — both proved to be hits with my kids! They are also open for lunch. However, we never had the opportunity to try their lunch menu as we were always out touring around the city. You can view their menu here: Bistro 126 Menu (PDF).
Mezbaan serves the finest North Indian cuisine I have ever tasted. I read rave reviews about this restaurant before we arrived and knew we would have to try it. Mezbaan definitely was the best restaurant we experienced while in Cape Town. I am a vegetarian which can be a difficult accommodation when traveling internationally, but their menu offered a plethora of mouth-watering dishes that made it difficult to choose. In the end, we ordered sampler plates which consisted of deliciously spiced curries, creamy and cool yogurts, kebabs and of course naan. It was way too much food, but we left quite satisfied and eager to return. This is a Halaal-certified restaurant which is free from alcohol and pork products. As a vegetarian I don’t eat pork, but there are other meat dishes to choose from that will leave you quite satisfied. As for not having wine available, we just enjoyed a glass on our balcony after dinner. You can view their menu here: Mezbaan Menu (PDF).
Signal Hill Terrace offers an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere in an exotic semi-enclosed space. This restaurant is located next to the pool, and we had the opportunity to dine here after a much needed swim. Although we were in Cape Town during December and January which are their summer months, the weather can get chilly at night, and the staff made sure we were warm by placing heat lamps near us as we dined. The menu again pleased us all with a variety of meat and vegetarian dishes and satisfied all of our palates right down to the delicious macaroni and cheese my younger child devoured. If you are so inclined, you can even try an authentic Arabic shisha pipe. (We did not.) Signal Hill Terrace does serve alcohol and offers a full cocktail menu as well as a large selection of beer and wine. You can view their menus here: Signal Hill Menu (PDF) and Signal Hill Tapas Menu (PDF).
If all of the above reasons aren’t enough to encourage you stay at this hotel, the location will close the deal. Hilton Cape Town City Centre is located in a wonderfully vibrant area of Cape Town and close to all of the major attractions. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle every hour throughout the day that takes guests to and from the waterfront. All of the other sites can be accessed either by walking or the metered taxis located outside the hotel.
Across the street from the hotel is the Bo-Kaap Museum. Although small, it is packed full of information about Cape Town and tells the story of the local Muslim community within the national socio-political and cultural context. We visited this museum while waiting for the waterfront shuttle one afternoon, and it provided great insight into Cape Town and its past struggles with apartheid.
Also within walking distance is Greenmarket Square where you can pick up local arts and crafts and enjoy local entertainment or dine in a nearby restaurant. The famous Table Mountain is also nearby, as well as Signal Hill and the Stellenbosch wine region.
Tip: I recommend trying at least one of the city’s Hop-On-Hop-Off tours during your time in Cape Town. There are three well-planned tours with optional add-ons that will take you to nearly every attraction in and around Cape Town. You can check out their prices and times here: Cape Town City Hop-On-Hop-Off
Thank you Hilton Cape Town City Centre for making our time in Cape Town so memorable. Now we always know where to stay in Cape Town and we can’t wait to return!
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