Africa/ Serviced Apartments/ South Africa

South Beach – Camps Bay

South Beach Camps Bay

 

When I received an email that read: ‘On behalf of the team at BBC Good Food Middle East I would like to extend a big congratulations on winning the BBC Good Food Middle East Awards voting prize!’, I initially assumed it was spam that had somehow gotten through.

I went and googled ‘BBC Good Food Middle East Awards voting prize’, and then realized I had actually posted the same thing on my facebook page a few months earlier to encourage readers to vote for their favorite blogger, restaurants and foodie brands in the UAE.

Any member of the public who voted online for their favorites in each category were automatically entered into the competition.

Vote and win a Luxury Cape Town Holiday and Family Safari in South Africa with South Beach and Gondwana Game Reserve worth $3,000!

Never in a million years did I expect to win the voting prize! And what a prize it was:

A two night stay at South Beach Cape Town for 2 adults and 2 children PLUS
A two night stay at Gondwana Game Reserve for 2 adults and 2 children

After initial difficulties in contacting the respective establishments, I finally managed to secure a reservation for South Beach Camps Bay luxury serviced self-catering apartments during my trip to Cape Town in April.

When I indicated that I have no children, they kindly offered to accommodate two more adults instead, as the prize included two fully serviced suites. It seemed like the perfect getaway for a coming of age celebration and girly weekend with my beloved ones.

The weather in Cape Town had turned cold and gloomy on the day I arrived from Dubai, and it rained intermittently over the next few days. When we drove off a week later to South Beach Camps Bay, the clouds were dark and heavy, threatening rain and thunder showers.

I realized as I drove along Sea Point beach road, following the signs for Camps Bay, that I had never actually driven on the winding coastal road hugging the steep cliffs between Bantry Bay, Clifton and Camps Bay myself. The hairpin bends and construction along the route made for a relatively nerve wracking trip (at least for me).

Trying to keep my eyes on the road, I still marveled at the homes that seemed to be hanging off sheer cliff faces in Bantry Bay and Clifton. On the beach side of the road all you can see from street level along Clifton seafront is what appears to be deck parking. Those are however some of the most expensive real estate on the Atlantic Seaboard, as the luxury apartments hug the cliffs falling into the sea and spilling onto a narrow white sandy beach.

As we came around the final bend and Camps Bay came into view, I was struck by the beauty of the seaside suburb curled around the lower reaches of Lions Head and the Twelve Apostles range, even with the dark stormy waves pounding the shore.

South Beach Cape Town

Camps Bay promenade on a gloomy and stormy day

One wrong turn and a detour later, we finally reached South Beach. It is located a few doors away from the Theatre on the Bay and if you are arriving in the evening, be prepared to navigate through the theatre traffic.

Check in was smooth, although trying to maneuver a large car inside the tight parking garage may turn out to be hazardous. Fortunately, there were only two or three other cars parked inside and I was able to reverse into the allocated parking spot without hitting anything.

The guest relations officer / receptionist showed us to our apartments and there were oohs and aahs all round from the minute we stepped inside. The apartments have an all white décor with touches of gray (which may explain the no children under 13 rule), and is larger than most studio apartments.

The entrance is into the large kitchen area where we found everything we needed to prepare the continental breakfast provided by the hotel. The refrigerator comes stocked with oatmeal, fruit salad, eggs, yogurt, milk, juice, cheese, butter and preserves as well as Vienna sausages and polonies. There were also bananas and apples in the fruit bowl and croissants in the bread bin.

South Beach Cape Town

Fully fitted kitchen

Coffee and tea are provided and replenished as required. There is also a Nespresso machine, but the pods are an extra charge at ZAR 150 per carton, if opened. If you think, as I did, that the charge is excessive, there is a Nespresso store at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront where they are available at nearly half the price.

There is a fully stocked bar shelf as well as other refrigerated beverages and snacks and these are charged according to the price list provided.

South Beach Cape Town

Suite view

The living area has two arm chairs facing a wall mounted flat screen Smart TV connected to a media centre. The television is directly across from the sleeping area where the king size bed is located. There is a small white leather sofa and coffee table facing the one sliding door to the balcony area.

South Beach Cape Town

Living area with Smart TV and media centre

South Beach Cape Town

King size lux living

The bathroom and toilet are adjacent to the bedroom. I loved that the bathroom had underfloor heating that could be set to heat up as required. Since the coastal areas can be frigid during Autumn and Winter, this is a lifesaver. The rain shower is spacious enough for two people and the soaking tub is deep and luxurious.

South Beach Camps Bay

Spaciousness

South Beach Camps Bay

Deep soaking tub

There is a gym on the ground floor and swimming pool on the first floor, but we did not use either of them during our stay (it was way too cold, brrr).

We realised after arriving from dinner on the first evening, that the balcony sliding door of the one rooms was not locking properly. It was shortly before 12 am, and it did not seem appropriate to be calling the front desk staff for repairs at that hour. Needless to say, none of us had much sleep that night.

My initial idea of taking a walk down to the Promenade for breakfast the next morning was scuttled as one of the group felt lazy and preferred to drive (less than 200 metres). In the end we didn’t stop on the promenade and continued on to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront where we eventually had breakfast. After breakfast we indulged in a few hours of retail therapy, including buying Nespresso pods!

Tired and hungry we returned to the haven of the South Beach apartments for a nap and late dinner. Strangely enough, I have absolutely no recollection of what we ate (a.k.a no Instagram pic 🙂 ). I did however manage to capture a beautiful sunset as the clouds cleared somewhat.

South Beach Cape Town

Sunset over the Atlantic when the clouds parted

I had forgotten to report the sliding door issue before we left to go out to breakfast that morning, but when we returned we found that it had already been repaired. The staff member who assisted us informed me that there was always someone on duty, and that we could have called down to reception at any time of the night for assistance.

He reminded us that South Beach Camps Bay is located directly behind the Camps Bay Police station, and is possibly one of the safest places to be.

South Beach Cape Town

Safety and security on your doorstep

We were awake bright and early on the final morning and prepared the continental breakfast provided by South Beach. It was a delicious and filling spread prepared with love.

South Beach Cape Town

Sunny side up

South Beach Cape Town

Continental breakfast

On our drive back home we stopped for photos on the Camps Bay promenade. It was a lovely day with bright blue skies and occasional powder puff clouds. The residents of the area were out in droves for alfresco brunches at the beachfront cafes, walks with their dogs and sports on the beach.

South Beach Cape Town

Cold and clear

South Beach Camps Bay

Craggy mountain backdrop to the Bay Hotel

The Verdict

South Beach Camps Bay can only be described as perfectly located for a luxury sea side vacation or weekend getaway. It is within fifty metres of the Camps Bay beach, and less than five minutes walk from Victoria road and the Camps Bay Promenade shopping mall and beach front restaurants. The Theatre on the Bay is a few doors down the same street for any thespian inclinations that may strike.

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is a twenty minute drive away with access to Robben Island as well as the Two Oceans Aquarium. There is access to Camps Bay beach across the road as well as the beaches further down at Bakoven and Oudekraal.

The myCiti bus and Open Bus routes pass through Camps Bay so there is adequate public transport from the city centre and Waterfront. Alternatively, the hotel can arrange a taxi pickup.

Despite the construction of another annexe to South Beach on the property next door, there was minimal noise disturbance during working hours and nothing at all after dark or weekends.

All suites are serviced daily and there is complimentary wifi throughout. The service staff were unobtrusive but the common areas were spotless and the rooms were in a pristine condition at check in and when we returned from our day out.

I loved the layout of the apartments and the fact that every need is taken into account to make the stay memorable. My one complaint was that the armchairs in the living room, despite the modern design, are probably the most uncomfortable I have ever sat in. This sentiment was echoed by the others in the group.

The kitchen was equipped with every requirement needed for cooking and serving a meal. This includes full size fridge/freezer, built in microwave and hob, frying pans, cutlery, crockery, stemware, serving dishes and even placemats.

The continental breakfast provided by South Beach is delightfully varied and was more than sufficient for our needs. In addition, they do replenish any used items on a daily basis.

South Beach Camps Bay are luxurious self catering serviced apartments in the perfect location for a relaxing beach holiday and in close proximity to beaches, restaurants, supermarkets and other attractions.

Disclaimer: I was a (prize winning) guest of South Beach Camps Bay and BBC Good Food Middle East, however all opinions are unequivocally my own.

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Zainab Dokrat
    June 2, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    omw so cool! Congratulations mashallah 😀 May Allah grant you more success in this world and the next Insha-Allah (www.spicyfusionkitchen.com and http://www.beautywithzainy.com)

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      June 2, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      Ameen, and you :). It certainly was an unexpected surprise but very much appreciated, alhamdulillah.

  • Reply
    Uma Srinivas
    June 1, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    You are so lucky to get to visit such nice place! That too with family! Looks like you enjoyed 🙂

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      June 2, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      We had a wonderful time and the birthday girl got to spend some time with her mother, her aunt and me 🙂

  • Reply
    Rabia S.
    May 25, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Oh wow, mashAllah for winning such a trip and then even for four! I know, there are coming so many spam emails telling you that you won something. And if its real, nobody believes it! I am happy for you that you could spend such a nice time. Since I am with the Muslimah Bloggers, I discovered the beauty of South Africa. Never went before but all the posts make me want to go there one day, InshAllah!

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      May 26, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Alhamdulillah it really was a surprise, but a good one 🙂 I think Cape Town is the most beautiful city in the world, but there are so many other towns inland and along the coast that are really lovely to visit. Now is probably the best time to go as the exchange rate is very favorable for tourists and you can have an amazing time whether at a seaside resort or at the game reserves.

  • Reply
    American Hijabj
    May 25, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    You are truly so talented and clearly deserved to win this trip, ma shaa Allah! I would have probably casted it off as general spam mail as well, because who ever thinks that they’re actually going to win? Knowing that you are from or had lived in South Africa previously, I am so happy you were able to discover this hidden gem! The resort was absolutely beautiful, and your photography skills are on point ma shaa Allah! I had never heard of a “continental breakfast” that you made yourself, but you clearly did a wonderful job. (No doubts that you would considering your site is “Tantalise My Tastebuds”) My husband and I have discussed visiting South Africa, perhaps this is a place we should consider staying; unless you have other suggestions.

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      May 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Thank you for your kind words. The apartments do not have a restaurant or kitchen since they are serviced self catering, but I was surprised as how well stocked the fridge was with items for a Continental DIY breakfast. I suspect it is more than what most hotels provide.

      There are so many beautiful places to see and explore in Cape Town and the surrounding areas maa shaa ALLAH. Camps Bay is perfect for exploring the Atlantic seaboard as well as further along the coast to Llandudno and Hout Bay. It has easy access to the city centre as there are taxis as well as public transport and an Open Bus route. There are many other serviced apartments as well as guesthouses, hotels and boutique hotels in this area so you have a wide variety to choose from. The prices can range from $50 to $350 per night in low season, depending on the location and facilities in the establishment. Other lovely coastal areas to stay in are Hout Bay or Noordhoek which are further down the road or Gordon’s Bay which is on the other side of the Cape Peninsula.

      To be honest, my family home is in the suburbs and I wouldn’t ordinarily stay at a hotel along the Atlantic seaboard as my brother lives there. However, when I have wanted a staycation in the past, we have gone to Hout Bay and checked what was available online through booking.com, then checked out the reviews on Tripadvisor before making a booking. Unfortunately, being out of the country for so many years has meant I’m very much a tourist on my short visits.

  • Reply
    Afreen Zia
    May 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Looks like a great place to spend vacations..I like the suite view and fully fitted kitchen…

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      May 25, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      The view was amazing and it was so close to shops and restaurants and even a theatre a few doors away. The kitchen had everything we needed and more 🙂

  • Reply
    Hina
    May 25, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Wowww mashallah for winning it. And looks like it was well worth the trip ? congratulations once again
    Hina – http://www.hinasworld.com

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      May 25, 2016 at 11:19 am

      Thank you. It was a great place to stay at and made the short vacation even more enjoyable, Alhamdulillah 🙂

  • Reply
    Fozia S
    May 24, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Oh wow well done on winning masha’Allah and what a fantastic prize! That apartment looks amazing! Would love to visit here

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      May 24, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      It was an expected but much appreciated surprise, Alhamdulillah 🙂 I usually feel slightly claustrophobic when the sleeping area/living/kitchen/dining area are one big room, but this was very spacious maa shaa ALLAH.

  • Reply
    Irum
    May 24, 2016 at 11:09 am

    After reading ur post my holiday craving has started again… It’s soo serene and beautiful… Your pictures are simply amazing. Love the clarity and views. MASHALLAH.

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      May 24, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Cape Town is one of the most scenic and beautiful cities and you should try to visit some day in shaa ALLAH. JazakAllahu khairan, your kind words about my photos have made my day. With such natural beauty I just point and shoot 🙂

  • Reply
    Sara Essop
    May 23, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Congratulations on winning the prize. This place looks lovely. Are you going to Gondwana as well?

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      May 23, 2016 at 11:58 pm

      Alhamdulillah it was a lovely 2 day retreat at the beachfront 🙂

      No dates have been reserved yet for Gondwana but it is valid until the end of the year 🙂

  • Reply
    ginger and scotch
    May 23, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Oh my gosh – how exciting to win such a grand prize! Congratulations and thanks for sharing your trip with us 🙂

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      May 23, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      You have no idea how blessed I felt Alhamdulillah. To put the cherry on top I qualified for a discounted return flight to Cape Town with an Emirates promotional miles offer running around the same time 🙂

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