Short stay: Table Bay Hotel, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

The 5-star Table Bay Hotel, a Sun International property set on the breakwater wall of Cape Town‘s historic Victoria & Alfred waterfront, is a contemporary architectural treasure with 329 rooms that either overlook the bay to Robben Island, where Nelson Madela was for a long time famously imprisoned, or – as in the case of our room – across the harbour and the city to Table Mountain.

Table Bay Hotel entrance

The welcome

We were met at the airport by representatives of the hotel and chauffeured to the V&A Waterfront in one of their air-conditioned minibuses. A recent addition to their veihcles has been in-car WiFi – a really useful offering, particularly when since we’d just been without access to emails for the best part of half a day.

Table Bay Hotel foyer

The room

Our room was beautifully presented, had a wonderfully comfortable bed and a seating area with a sofa with a pull-out bed. Small, personalised goody bags for each of our children had even been placed at the foot of our bed. There was also a desk area, ample storage for clothing and luggage, and a balcony with a small table and chairs.

Table Bay Hotel room

The view from the balcony was shrouded in mist when we arrived but that later cleared to reveal the unmistakable outline of Table Mountain, with the V&A Waterfront in the foreground.

Table Bay Hotel balcony view

The bathroom

Our bathroom was a good size with marble-topped vanity unity, separate walk-in shower and Molton Brown toiletries.

Table Bay Hotel bathroom

Molton Brown toiletries

The facilities

The hotel boasts many facilities such as an outdoor heated pool (closed for Winter at the time of our visit), gym and The Camelot Spa.

One of the unique features of the hotel is its direct access to the waterfront. Whilst the hotel does have three restaurants and two bars of its own, you also have access to many others in easy walking distance, our personal favourite being the glass-fronted Harbour House restaurant with some excellent fresh fish options.

Table Bay Hotel bar

The buffet breakfast at the hotel was excellent, with a wide range of choice that include everything from orange juice to oysters.

Oysters for breakfast

Other nice touches

Our experience of the hotel was full of many thoughtful extras, from the bottle of Champagne on arrival to lovely little extras for our children and fresh flowers in our room.

Table Bay Hotel Champagne

Table Bay Hotel flowers

One recommended add-on that’s available from The Table Bay Hotel (and from other Sun International SunLux properties) are special family excursions. Through a collaboration with SANCOB (The South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) you can go on an exclusive Penguin Experience and learn about the sea bird rehabilitation programme in South Africa. The adventure includes a visit to the penguin colony at Boulders Beach to not only see these beautiful birds in their natural environment, but also swim alongside them, before returning to the hotel to allow children to take part in related arts and crafts activities.

Penguins at Boulders Beach

We didn’t do this specific experience because we were already scheduled to go on a tour that took in Boulders Beach, but would have jumped at the opportunity otherwise!


Luxury king rooms at the Table Bay Hotel start from around £350 per night. A superior luxury family room with a mountain view starts from around £540 per night.

The final verdict

Table Bay was opened with much fanfare in May 1997 by former late President Mandela and has been a landmark hotel on the V&A Waterfront ever since, with a friendly staff and attention to detail both very much at the fore.

Oscar the Seal

Disclosure: The above formed part of a luxury trip to South Africa sponsored by Hayes & Jarvis, specialists in personalised, luxury holiday itineraries for discerning travellers to over 55 destinations worldwide.

Comments (11)

  1. Kathryn says:

    Looks like a lovely hotel and the extra touches you mention make all the difference between a good hotel and a great hotel. I have to admit, though, I’m rather distracted by the excursions you’ve mentioned. I would dearly love a Penguin Experience.

  2. Lance says:

    Wow! Looks great. We stayed over at the Lawhill by the Marina, but walked by this one several times and wondered what the rooms were like. And we went to the Boulders on our drive of the Cape Peninsula (it was great!). Thanks for sharing.

  3. Anna Parker says:

    Great location! My husband has stayed here – I recognise that balcony view from Skype! The V&A area is buzzing and this looks like a relaxing spot nearby – great service too. Love Cape Town -Vaughan Johnson wine shop is a must at the V&A, he packages the wine up in hold-friendly boxes!!

  4. Francois says:

    I never heard about Table Bay hotel, it looks very nice! Love also the Harbour House restaurant, that colonial style.. Is there a pool in that property ?

  5. Paul Johnson says:

    Hi Francois

    That picture is the bar at the hotel, not the Harbour House restaurant, but there will be some pictuers of the food at Harbour House in my next post, due to be published in the next few hours.

    There is a pool (it’s actually mentioned in this article) but it was closed at the time of our visit…

    Thanks for dropping by,


  6. Paul Johnson says:

    Hi Anna

    Glad it brought back memories! I didn’t go to Vaughan Johnson on this occasion, but have been there before and it’s a great little spot. There’s so much to see and do at the V&A that it’s hard to do justice to it all! :)


  7. Paul Johnson says:

    Kathryn and Lance… more pictures from Boulders Bay (ie. penguins) to follow in the next post… plus we spotted a dassie there, too!

  8. Ah Paul, I am so glad you tweeted about this amazing post and the oysters included in your breakfast. Once I had sampled the champagne and oysters, and relaxed in the lovely setting – I would so very definitely want to go on the Penguin Experience.

  9. Paul Johnson says:


    For those that don’t know, Jackie did a great post on oysters for us here (with over 1,000 re-tweets and still rising!):

  10. Jempi says:

    In-car WIFI…already a 10 for starters (toys for boys). South Africa is still highly ranked on our to-do list. Looks like the perfect place to stay. Great that you also mention some excursions. Nina is already convinced…thx to the oysters :)

  11. Derek says:

    I stayed there many years as a gift from two friends of mine. Incredible hotel, I’m thinking of booking it again for the next trip to Cape Town – just for one night of course, it doesnt come cheap!!

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