Monday, April 09, 2007

Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel, Cape Town

The four-star Southern Sun: Cape Sun hotel is a bit pricey but very comfortable and is great for business travellers.
First thing that impressed me was the number of staff at the lobby. The moment I stepped in, all six of the staff (excluding the doorman, concierge and reception) were lined up at attention greeting me. (It was actually a bit embarassing.)

Checking-in while sipping my complimentary drink was quick and hassle-free. The lobby was spacious, modern with ample lounging room, a bar and a baby-grand piano in one corner.

The hotel is walking distance from Long street which has a row of bars and restaurants. (Even if you could walk to it, the staff advises against it because it's unsafe.) Lots of shopping and fast food around St. George's Mall St., there's a grocery and Woolworth's which is their version of Marks & Spencer and a catholic church which is a 15 minute walk away. It's a 30min walk to the V&A waterfront but the hotel has a shuttle that leaves every 30mins.

the room
The room was clean and looked new. I had a picture window with a great view of table mountain (see photo). The bed was big with immaculate white sheets. Soft down-feather pillows, cable tv, office desk, couch and a mini-ref. Every night, there was a complimentary bottle of water.

Wi-fi internet service is relatively affordable (ZAR80/day) and fast but has a limit on how much data you can transfer.

Housekeeping generally keeps the room clean however they weren't consistent in giving me those evening treats. In theory I was supposed to get a Lindt chocolate every night, a Sally Williams nougat every 5th night, and the longer I stayed, i'd get bigger and better things like a bottle of wine. In practice though, I never got them and I was lucky If i got a Lindt at all!

Before I checked out and after staying for almost 3 weeks, I told the head of housekeeping about this. She was extremely apologetic and said she'd make sure it would not happen again. She gave me three Sally Williams nougats. Meh. Too little, too late.

Oh and one time I unexpectedly returned to my room just after lunch and I caught the housekeeper taking a leak in my room's toilet. She was aghast and embarrassed but I was pretty cool about the whole thing. (I still don't know whether to give this minus points because of the unprofessionalism or to give plus points because of the sheer hilarity.)

view from the 27th floorBreakfast
The pricey breakfast buffet (ZAR110) has a big enough spread-- fresh fruit, cheese, bread, porridge, cereal, bacon, sausages, smoked fish, grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms and eggs made on-demand.

They've got a professional-looking coffee machine and they'll make a fresh cup of cappuccino or espresso. I would've asked for a fresh cup every morning but it takes so long that by the time they deliver it to me, i'm half done with my meal!

The hotel has a modern gym with exercise balls, free weights, a resistance machine, rower, treadmills and a bike. There's a pool but it's so small that I'd rather call it a bird bath.

Conclusion: 0
Four pawikan points. Bonus points for the glass elevators. Make sure you ask for a room on the higher floors facing the mountain.

The staff is accomodating but they lack initiative-- you have to ask for what you want. I contracted chicken pox while I was here and it was their perfect chance to show-off their service but I didn't get any special treatment.

Upon check-out, I told them about how I expected them to "shine" but they said that I should've told the duty manager. (This despite the fact that I already told the concierge and he even called the doctor for me, that I was ordering room service for each meal for almost two weeks and that I'd tell the cleaners to be careful because I was contagious) They said that they would've sent up snacks, magazines, DVD's and what-not. Too little, too late but I'd definitely stay here again.

1 comment:

SuperM said...

You're too nice, too often.

I guess it's good.