Tshepiso Makhele
5 minute read
14 Oct 2017
6:50 am

Two new kids on the block

Tshepiso Makhele

The two economy hotels; the SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl and the StayEasy Cape Town City Bowl represent Tsogo Sun’s continued commitment to the city of Cape Town.

Views from the SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl

Heaven knows I despise morning flights, and on this particular day I had to board a plane in the morning, which meant waking up early and trying to get organised so as not to miss that flight to Cape Town; a place I have always wanted to visit.

Not being a “morning person” and only being able to function well after a strong cup of coffee and once the clock hits midday, I surprised myself on this day.

Maybe it was due to the excitement of going to the Mother City or that I would be staying in an exquisite dual-brand hotel.

“Two in one hotel,” I thought to myself as I walked through the boarding gates on time with enthusiasm.

Next stop was Cape Town International Airport followed by a drive to the lovely SunSquare hotel.

Trying not to be too analytical, I struggled to supress my overly questioning mind as I noticed the huge number of shacks on the side of the road just after leaving the airport and then a few minutes later big, beautiful houses.

The drive, which had plenty of beautiful scenery and mountains that would make any nature lover feel awed, was somehow tainted by how evident the gap between the rich and poor is in Mzansi.

Nevertheless, right then and there I told myself that in this country which has so many ills, travelling would be my escape, a chance to switch off and appreciate South Africa.

Checking in was a breeze and so was making my way to the room, with elevators that require one to tap their access card before choosing a floor number. Proper security measures, no jokes.

I was astonished at how functional the space was. It’s well designed and practical and there’s nothing over the top, it’s just simple and comfortable but extremely elegant, with different tones of grey, white and wood here and there.

Grey is a cool, neutral, and balanced colour, a tone that is often associated with formal, conservativeness and sophistication, and that is the feeling the room exuded.

It gave the room a timeless feel. The whites brought in an element of purity, cleanliness and perfection.

Putting my luggage down on the half-wood and half-carpeted floor, I made my way to the side table next to the bed which had a box of chocolate enrobed nougat and a lovely bottle of Shiraz wine next to a notebook, a telephone and a pretty lamp, that assisted me throughout the night, not being one to like sleeping in the dark.

I opened up the thick dark grey curtains that would make anyone appreciate quality drapes, especially if you have had low-priced ones for some time like me, and there was a view that needed a bit more time to be properly enjoyed.

So I poured myself a glass of the good wine, pulled out the comfy chair tucked halfway under the side table, sat down with curtains opened and relished the mountain, big green trees and historic and contemporary buildings.

Before I knew it, it was time for the hotel’s official launch. Making my way downstairs I found the ground floor packed with excited people from in and outside Cape Town ready to officially open the masterpiece and welcome it as part of the Mother City.

The R700-million development incorporates two economy hotels; the select service SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl with 202 bedrooms and the StayEasy Cape Town City Bowl, with 302 bedrooms; representing Tsogo Sun’s continued commitment to the city of Cape Town.

This brings the total number of rooms operated by the group in the city centre to over 2 000 spread across six hotels.

The hotel is in an ideal location for easy access to innumerable attractions, as well as the now world-renowned Bree Street, which has overtaken other areas as Cape Town’s “coolest strip when it comes to eating opportunities”, according

The new dual-brand hotel is on the corners of Bree, Strand and Buitengracht streets. From there you can conveniently access beautiful surroundings, the vibrant restaurant district, Table Mountain Cable Way, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town Stadium and Cape Town International Convention Centre.

The SunSquare hotel has 14 storeys and a rooftop bar and pool with spectacular panoramic views of the harbour, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, Table Mountain and the stadium.

It has a retail space, a fitness centre and a trendy Vigour & Verve casual dining offering.

Hungry and needing something to nibble on, I headed to the hotel dining area.

I noticed that apart from the traditional, popular and varied offering in Tsogo Sun’s Vigour & Verve restaurants around the country, a special section has been developed especially for the new SunSquare City Bowl restaurant featuring authentic specialities from the region “the way they were prepared by those that came before us”.

These included uitpak slaai, with layers of salad, bacon, cheese, and soft egg; pickled fish, a local classic served with mosbolletjie bread; traditional Cape Malay lamb bobotie, the local icon, with braised minced lamb, fragrant spices, yellow rice, and sambals; a vegetarian Cape Malay bobotie option; wood-fire peri-peri chicken featuring Portuguese and African flavours; fish and chips; butter chicken, with rice, roti, and sambals; Lamb shank, slow roasted grandma’s way, with rosemary mash and citrus gremolata, and pan-fried line fish.

We partied the night away to celebrate the launch, spent some time on the rooftop enjoying the view and called it a beautiful night, hitting the sack and sleeping like a baby after a warm bath.