The Sweet Service Award goes to 5-star VP Plaza España in Madrid, and its Guest Experience Manager Samuel Vela, for his kindness to me, despite not staying at the hotel. On my arrival in Madrid, I mistakenly tried to check in at the hotel, having been dropped off outside its door by my Uber driver. Samuel showed me where the hotel that had been booked for me by an airport travel agency was. A day later I needed a beer, due to the heatwave in the city, and as my hotel did not offer this service, I went to the VP Plaza España. Samuel suggested I go up to their Gynkgo SkyBar on the 12th floor, with a lovely view of a lit-up Madrid, and of a thunderstorm, with good service. Continue reading →
Three weeks ago I and a group of writers was invited to enjoy breakfast at the new Tintswalo at Boulders, perched above Boulders Beach in Simonstown, renowned home to the African penguins. Shortly after our visit, we were invited by Five Star PR to spend a night at the luxury boutique accommodation lodge, directly overlooking Boulders Beach. I chose to stay on Saturday evening 8 December, having to be at Stargarden in Fish Hoek for a reading from my second book ‘SwitchBitch: My Journey of Transformation in walking the Camino, Sole to Soul’ the following day. Continue reading →
Yesterday I attended the launch of Yumcious Café in the DeVille Centre in Durbanville, the second restaurant of Chef Jenny Morris, her first one being the very successful Yumcious Café in the Cape Quarter. Continue reading →
Yesterday I attended a moving StreetSmart South Africa function at the Salesian Institute, at which R540000 of the annual monies raised in Cape Town restaurants was presented to six organizations working with street children. In total StreetSmart raised R1,1 million nationally in the past year. Continue reading →
On 3 September the City of Cape Town stepped up its water restrictions to the next level, announcing further severe water saving measures. Compared to the previous Level 4 B restrictions, the new Level 5 restrictions retain the daily water usage target per person at 87 liters, and step up restrictions on the commercial usage of water. Tourists to Cape Town and the province will not be turned away as a result of the drought!
Last week was a lucky week of spoiling, which included staying over at Leeu Estates outside Franschhoek, the signature local accommodation property in the Leeu Collection. The variety of local artwork, and top name artists, makes Leeu Estates an art gallery within a hotel! Continue reading →
Yesterday Leeu Collection announced that it has acquired a new property, its first in London. The current office block 55 Newman Street is to be turned into an 100-bedroom luxury hotel, planned to open its doors in 2019. Continue reading →
Less than a year after opening in Franschhoek, Leeu Estates has been featured on the 21st edition of the Condé Nast 2017 HOT LIST, the only South African accommodation property to make the list of 75 accommodation properties, and one of only seven properties in Africa. The accolade complements the five star boutique hotel making the 2017 Travel + Leisure It List. Continue reading →
Ten days ago, on its third day of operation, hotelier and writer Llewellyn Lambert, architect Jan de Wet, and I went to visit The Silo Hotel in the commercial side of the V & A Waterfront. We were blown away by the luxury of the interior decor, the generosity of spaciousness, and the extreme friendliness of the staff, hallmarks of the operations of The Royal Portfolio. I returned nine days later, to have a second lunch at The Silo Rooftop. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to The Ivy in Franschhoek, which invited me to try their Apartment 3 on Monday evening. I did not spend much time in the apartment, but slept there in a very comfortable bed that was warm, with an electric blanket, and an air conditioner in the bedroom. The apartment is very spacious, with two bedrooms, each with a bathroom, one en suite. The kitchen is equipped with quality appliances, and everything one would need for a self-catering stay. I did miss a converter plug to be able to use the two-prong hairdryer and to charge my phone. Parking is available on the property, and employee Wellington was very friendly in showing me the apartment, in helping me to set up the wifi, and switching on the air conditioner. Breakfast the next morning was at the nearby The Village Tart, owned by Lisa Adams, who also oversees the management of The Ivy.