A Cape escape is always a treat. And even more so when you choose a city-chic hotel.
We’ve just spent a week in Cape Town … and struggle to understand why anyone would want to travel abroad when there’s such an incredible destination right here in our own country. It’s a spot that – no matter how many times you visit – simply never gets stale.
The basics stay the same … ‘the mountain’ (only ever said with that iconic Capetonian drawl), the buzz along the Camps Bay restaurant strip, the icy sea only fools and born-locals enjoy (then again, maybe we should take a lesson from them … a 15-minute cold-water swim apparently has massive health benefits – from increasing your metabolism, helping with circulation, relieving stress, enhancing your mood, boosting your immune system and helping you to sleep better).
But once you’ve done the 15 minutes of hell in the cold water, the cable car, tried tandem paragliding off Signal Hill and Lion’s Head, and kayaked along the coastline looking for dolphins, there’s always something new to discover and explore. And it’s one of the only major cities – if not the only city – in SA where staying in the centre of town is not only safe but also massively desirable. This is why we booked into, and loved, The Onyx Hotel.
This cosmopolitan blend of hotel and residential accommodation sits proudly on Heerengracht Street, Cape Town’s oldest thoroughfare, and with its bold, architectural features and resemblance to the rare, striking black sapphire, it’s a real gem … offering a chic city on par with apartment offerings around the globe but infused with authentic South African vibrancy and authenticity.
What’s there to love? What’s not to? The rooms are large, spacious and edgy … with everything you need to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. The location is spot on … it’s on Cape Town’s Foreshore, so right in the hub of the city’s dynamic urban lifestyle. There are bright lights and city vibes, great restaurants on every corner and bustling bars. Not that you have to leave the hotel to find a place to play. The hotel’s YU Restaurant and Bar on the 4th floor mixes up Insta-ready cocktails – the Africa Rising City of Gold cocktail with its candyfloss and sexy molten gold surface is particularly photogenic.
Don’t venture any further for dinner either … there’s an exotic menu of Asian-style tapas served with a side of a fabulous cityscape view.
The hedonistic traveller looking for some pampering can book an hour or so in the Sanctuary Spa at The Onyx. Ask, when you’re there, which packages are on special … they’re always a treat (and a well-priced one). Book a massage, order a bottle of bubbly … and, after your treatment, relax at the indoor-outdoor heated pool. Bliss.
For out-of-towners wanting to explore more of the wine and brandy options in the winelands, The Onyx’s concierge team has teamed up with Ilios Tours and can create individualised day-trip itineraries. Think a fascinating visit to Van Ryn’s Distillery in Stellenbosch, KWV’s House of Fire in Paarl and Oude Molen Distillery in the Elgin Valley, or a wine tasting and lunch at the many heritage wine estates that the Cape has to offer, including Simonsig.
If a Cape break appeals, The Onyx always has winter packages and promotions worth exploring … and the hotel works equally well for business and leisure travellers, for singles, couples and families. Details: Visit newmarkhotels.com, email [email protected] or call 021-427-5900.
Compiled by: KYM ARGO