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Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Tel: 27 21 431 5800
On the edge of a marina on the buzzing V&A Waterfront, this glamorous newcomer makes the other five-star harbor hotels seem buttoned-down by comparison. While service is still short of being seamless, the hotel raises the bar in Cape Town with its designer dining, luxurious accommodations, and innovative facilities. There's a Nobu doing faultless food with a nod to locally sourced ingredients; the Gordon Ramsayhelmed Maze, known for its tasting-plate menus; and a central bar with a gunshot view of Table Mountain. All of the 91 rooms and suites in the main hotel are smartly done in dark, African-inspired hues and sleek lines. There are also 40 island suiteshot accent colors liven up the decor hereset apart on one of two private islands within the marina that form part of the hotel (the other island has the retreat-like ESPA spa, wisely set away from the hotel's superbly staffed gym and KidsOnly club). Quieter and more spacious but without views, these suites surround a vast free-form infinity pool with its casual, alfresco Isola restaurant (hotel guests only in high season) that serves wood-fired pizza, tapas, and salads.
Which room to book: For a resortlike ambience and privacy, go for an island suite far away from the restaurant and pool. For Table Mountain views, request a room on the top (fifth) floor of the main hotel; for views of the working harbor, ask for the sea-facing end of the buildingrooms 218, 318, or 418.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.