Cape Town - City Center Hotels for Every Budget!
By Michael McCormick
Most of us bring to mind Nelson Mandela or Mel Gibson's Lethal Weapon 2 when we think of Cape Town, South Africa. But as visitors year round know, the region is an outstanding vacation spot as well as efficient business center, and right in the city center, you'll have a wide range of choices for accommodation.
If you're looking for a budget hotel, you might like the Cape Town Lodge on Buitengracht Street, right on the edge of the Central Business District. 114 rooms with cable television, movie rentals, and air-conditioning in a hotel with a restaurant, bar, and room service offers terrific value for the price. Cape Town Lodge also offers a terrific central base for city attractions, as well as for treks to outlying regions of the Western Cape. For those daytrips, it's proximity to the railway station comes in handy, and within walking distance lie some utterly delightful cultural attractions such as the William Fehr fine art collection of paintings, prints, and drawings spread between the Castle of Good Hope and Rust En Vreugd, both just a few blocks away.
For a bit higher price, you might find the high standards of hospitality at the Holiday Inn Cape Town to be to your liking. Also located centrally, this hotel offers some more sophisticated amenities including babysitting services, conference facilities, a fitness center, and even a beauty and barber salon. As with most city center hotels, you'll have quick access to Museum Mile: the Castle of Good Hope, Rust En Vreugd, and also the South African Museum, focused on natural history, and the Bertram House Museum, with a collection of some of the finest pieces of English and Chinese porcelain in existence.
Every city center hotel offers visitors the opportunity to check out Museum Mile and Greenmarket Square, what was once a farmers market that has now become the most enjoyable flea market in the city. The best time to explore the market is Saturday mornings, when even dancers and singers set up shop and entertain for tips.
Along with the cultural exhibits, in close proximity to St. Georges Hotel is, of course, St. Georges Mall, filled with specialty shops, eateries, and more. The St. Georges Hotel is known for its luxurious accommodations and top-notch service...at a reasonable price! Within walking distance to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront - locally known as the V&A - the St. Georges offers 139 air-conditioned rooms, and various perks to include babysitting services, a swimming pool, and a comprehensive tour desk to help you plan your itinerary, whether your stay is for business or pleasure.
With a short taxi ride, you'll be at the Tabletop Mountain Cable Car or Mouille Point, a boardwalk type pedestrian walk that also contains one of the oldest lighthouses on the coastline. Begin at the lighthouse and wend your way forward for an adventure that follows a bit of the Atlantic coast. You'll quickly reach Sea Point, a seaside collection of shops and restaurants. On the other hand, if fine, white sandy beaches strikes your fancy, Camps Bay and Clifton are two other Cape Town beaches often enjoyed by locals and tourists, alike. However, beware - Clifton has four beaches, the first two for sunbathers and beach sports, the third for gays and lesbians, and the fourth is designated family.
Finally, if you're looking for 5-star lodging in downtown Cape Town, look no farther than the Mount Nelson on Orange Street. The hotel is comprised of six different wings, each separate from the main hotel and each with it's own gardens, facilities, and distinctive personality. With a business center, limousine service, conference facilities and tennis court, you know you are traveling in style when you stay at the Mount Nelson. Less than a half-hour walk takes you to the delights of the city center, including the world-famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. On the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, the Garden grows and displays only plants native to South Africa in its 528 km2 of glorious flora and natural forest.
Whether you're traveling to Cape Town for business or pleasure, whether you're on a budget or traveling in style, make sure to take time to see all the city center has to offer. You won't have to travel far, and you'll find some of the most interesting and intriguing displays in this surprising city at the bottom tip of the African continent.
About The Author
Michael McCormick is a savvy traveler and editor of hotel reservation website Hotel Detective.
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