Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.
 



Business Travel Guide: Cape Town, South Africa


With Table Mountain as a majestic backdrop, flower-and-garden-filled Cape Town is the urban heart of South Africa. Visitors to this multicultural capital city can enjoy vibrant Cape Dutch architecture, upscale shopping and modern regional cuisine boosted by the booming South African wine industry. Tourism is right up there with shipping and high-tech industries luring visitors in. The city offers many options for business travelers who have extra time for sightseeing. Take in a Western Province rugby match or head to the water for whale watching. With so many activities, it's easy to fill up your free time. Well-equipped hotels and a variety of restaurants provide excellent locations for conducting business.


Facts to Know Before You Go

Currency:

In 1961, the Rand (ZAR) replaced the South African pound as the country's recognized currency. The Rand is divided into 100 cents, which equal R1, and it is available in bills from R10 to R200. Although it gained considerable strength in the opening years of the new millennium, many still consider it undervalued. The exchange rate hovers at a bit over R6 to the U.S. dollar.

Transportation:

Cape Town International Airport is located in Cape Flats, about fourteen miles southeast of the city. A taxi ride from the airport into town will cost about R130. Officially authorized by the airport, Touch Down Taxis is the cab company of choice. Intercape www.intercape.co.za runs a minibus between the airport and the bus station at Strand and Adderley Streets. Expect to pay about R30 per person if you go this route. Greyhound and Translux also offer rides to the same drop-off point.

Information:

Business Day is the major daily newspaper serving the Cape Town business community. For general news, Cape Argus comes out in the afternoons. Official Cape Town tourism information can be found at www.tourismcapetown.co.za


Ready to book a trip now?
Get exclusive savings on hotel rooms.

Where to Stay

Cape Grace
West Quay Rd.
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
27-21-410-7100
www.capegrace.com

Situated directly on the waterfront, this hotel combines elegance and convenience. It's only twenty minutes from the airport and three minutes from the city center. Guestrooms come with fax and Internet access, a daily coffee and tea tray and a selection of books, for leisure reading in the off hours. Niceties for executive stays include a communications center outfitted with PCs with flat screen monitors and a private meeting room. All the trappings for conferences are also available, as is a formal boardroom venue. For unwinding, hit the spa, grab a bite at one.waterfront overlooking the yachts of the marina or choose from more than 420 whiskies at Bascule Bar.

Ellerman House
180 Kloof Rd.
Bantry Bay
27-21-430-3200
www.ellerman.co.za

Once a lavish private home, this historic boutique hotel offers beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and Bantry Bay. Each of the eleven, chic, white-on-white bedrooms are individually decorated and feature Internet connections, satellite television and little indulgences such as heated towel racks. A special freestanding twelfth room, the Ellerman Villa, can provide a deluxe residence for business travelers in Cape Town on extended stays. Looking for a place to take a client after work? The hotel bar is stocked with more than 17,000 wine bottles. Start your day with a workout at the gym, and relax between meetings in the well-stocked library.

The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
76 Orange St.
Table Mountain Foothills
27-21-483-1000
www.mountnelson.co.za

At the foot of Table Mountain, The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel holds court over the local lodging scene. This pink landmark opened in 1899 and is steeped in history. In addition to the main hotel, there are six wings, offering plenty of privacy for travelers seeking a respite between executive sessions, especially when conferences are held right on the grounds. A full business center accompanies The Ballroom and a range of smaller venues. Recreation-wise, a gym, two swimming pools, tennis courts and a Body Care Clinic add to the appeal. For cementing that contract, host clients at the refined Cape Colony Restaurant.

Radisson Hotel Waterfront
Beach Rd.
Granger Bay
27-21-441-3000
capetown.radissonsas.com

This hotel enjoys a peaceful location on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Catering to corporate globetrotters, it has a collection of business class rooms, with extra amenities and more space than standard accommodations. Other amenities include a business center, 24-hour room service, laundry and valet. Two conference rooms are equipped to meet audio-visual and technological needs. Beware of the striking infinity edge pool and adjacent golf course, which will do their best to entice you away from your computer. The same goes for the sunset view from Tobago's Bar & Terrace.

One&Only Cape Town
Dock Rd.
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
27-21-431-5800
www.oneandonlyresorts.com

Situated within Cape Town's Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, this contemporary urban resort offers two types of accommodations. The seven-story Marina Rise houses 91 rooms boasting views of Table Mountain. Across a series of bridges are the Villa Suites, located on their own secluded island accessed only by bridge or private water taxi. Also on its own island are the property's private infinity pool and the 13,000-square-foot One&Only Spa. Notable dining options include Nobu and Maze by Gordon Ramsay, while NEO boutique promises to satisfy the jet set's retail fetish with exclusive collections by top fashion labels.


Where to Dine

The Africa Café
(Traditional African)
108 Shortmarket St.
Heritage Square
27-21-422-0221
www.africacafe.co.za

 

While we offer plenty of suggestions for wining and dining in a sophisticated atmosphere, we've chosen The Africa Café for its casual attitude and cheerful introduction to African dining. Meals are served in a communal manner, so this might not be the right choice for a big boss you're trying to impress. But if you feel like bonding with colleagues, it's a great place. You'll discover flavors from all over the continent: Moroccan chermoula, Egyptian steamed fish and roadside dishes from Malawi. The setting in a restored 18th-century Cape Georgian home adds to the charm.

Buitenverwachting
(Modern South African)
Klein Constantia Rd.
Constantia
27-21-794-3522
buitenverwachting.co.za

 

We’re including this restaurant for its R&R factor. Its name means "beyond expectations," chosen perhaps to prepare you for the menu. Located on the Buitenverwachting Wine Farm on the Constantia Wine Route, the dining room overlooks vineyards through floor-to-ceiling windows. Executive chef Edgar Osojnik prepares dishes such as thyme-infused Kingklip and olive pasta in lime sauce, and pan-fried loin of springbok with prune sauce, as well as broad bean fricassee and madumbi-walnut samosa.

The Cape Colony Restaurant
(South African Fusion)
The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
Table Mountain Foothills
27-21-483-1000
www.mountnelson.co.za

 

South African fusion cuisine and an excellent local wine list are highlights in this hotel dining room. On the menu you will find influences from Cape Malay, the Mediterranean and the Far East, as well as exotic ingredients such as ostrich, springbok and crocodile. With its elegant setting, this restaurant makes an ideal venue for impressing bigwigs. And if you need a place to wine and dine a group, you'd do well to order up a Chef's Table dinner, a tailor-made event for up to ten in the kitchen with opportunities to interact with the chef.

Cheyne's
(Eclectic)
108 Bree St. S. Stephens Church
27 21 422 3358

 

 
Cheyne's restaurant in Cape Town
For a unique business dinner, consider turning the intimate restaurant Cheyne’s into your own private dining room. For a party of up to 18 people, chef Cheyne Morrisby can craft a menu according to your clients’ tastes; his past projects have included dishes such as green asparagus risotto with morel mushrooms, peas and Parma ham, and grilled wild salmon with wilted spinach and a black olive, basil and tomato salsa.

Hildebrand Restaurant
(Italian/Seafood)
Pierhead
Victoria & Albert Waterfront
27-21-425-3385
www.hildebrand.co.za

 

From the oldest building in the Waterfront District—it dates back to the early 1900s—diners can listen to African groups singing along the promenade and watch boats chugging to and fro. The service is old-world Italian, as is the food, but the ingredients are strictly South African. Whether you're in the mood for homemade pasta or Chateaubriand (flambéed using a secret recipe), you'll find a hearty dish to satisfy your appetite. Those here to conduct business can tone down the corporate vibe with drinks after dinner at the swanky, upstairs Alba lounge.


Rozenhof
(Continental)
18 Kloof St.
City Bowl
27-21-424-1968

 

Among the many dining venues on Kloof Street, Rozenhof stands out. The homey atmosphere comes naturally, as the restaurant is situated in a historic Georgian manor home built in the 1850s. The ambience is warm, the service attentive and the wine list sizable. Divided into three rooms, the dining area offers a nice degree of privacy. With its refined cuisine and quiet setting, this is a smart choice for working out the details of that lucrative deal.


Off the Clock

Castle of Good Hope
Corner of Buitenkant & Strand St.
27-21-469-1249
www.castleofgoodhope.co.za

This pentagonal castle was built in the 1600s by the Dutch East India Company. Now the oldest building in South Africa, it was declared a national monument in 1936 and restored in the 1980s. A traditional military ritual known as "key ceremony" starts at 9 a.m. every morning, and tours are offered throughout the day. After your tour, check out the Military Museum or William Fehr art collection, which provides insight into the lives of early colonists. Then grab a bite to eat at the onsite De Goewerneur Restaurant, serving classic South African cuisine.

Greenmarket Square
54 Shortmarket St., Cape Town, 8000
27-21-426-0152

The 1834 declaration abolishing slavery occurred right here in the heart of Cape Town. It became a farmers market and a popular place for the townspeople to drink in the 19th century. Nowadays, surrounded by old buildings, it is an open-air market where tourists and locals can purchase everything from clothing to art. This is a good place to go shopping for gifts for those back home.

Groot Constantia
Constantia Road
Constantia
27-21-794-5128
www.grootconstantia.co.za

Founded in 1685, Groot Constantia is the oldest wine-producing vineyard in South Africa. The Cape Government bought it at public auction in the late 1880s, and today it is owned by a trust dedicated to preserving the property. Along with gardens and a historic farm, you can tour the wine maturation cellar, or Cloete Cellar, which displays winemaking equipment. Among tasting events are those that feature the staff in period clothing. Jonkershuis restaurant serves Cape cuisine paired with estate vintages.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
Rhodes Dr.
Newlands
27-21-799-8899
www.sanbi.org

Created in 1913 on the east slope of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens unites the flora of South Africa on one expansive estate. One crucial aspect of its appeal is that it fosters only plants indigenous to South Africa. Conducted theme walks take you through various gardens such as medicinal and fragrance ones. There is also a greenhouse for plants from the country's desert areas. A craft market is held one Sunday a month, and sunset concerts are offered from December through March.

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
Lower Cable Station
Table Mountain
27-21-424-8181
www.tablemountain.net

Dramatic Table Mountain has long been one of South Africa’s most famous attractions; in the early 1900s, an aerial cableway was built to take visitors to the top. Its highest point, Maclears Beacon, is a gasp-worthy 3,559 feet above the sea, and has welcomed an estimated sixteen-million people (including Queen Elizabeth II and Sting) since the cableway's opening. Although it takes just ten minutes to reach the summit, leave yourself plenty of time to wander around and admire the views.


Going to South Africa? Check our Guide.

Ready to book a trip now?
Get exclusive savings on hotel rooms.

Find Business Travel Guides for cities around the world.

P092605
UBR121114

Whether looking to travel across the Australian Outback, the Canadian Rockies or historic Europe, these opulent trains will let travelers see the countryside in comfort.
Boutique fleets are the hottest thing on the high seas, promising smaller passenger lists, larger staterooms and sophisticated resort facilities.