Brian Berkman stays at the Park Inn by Radisson on Cape Town’s Foreshore, an engineering marvel reclaimed from the sea
In 1937 just before the start of the Second World War, a massive project in South Africa’s mother city was undertaken, the Cape Town Foreshore Plan. With the city swelling beyond its capacity and little room to move sandwiched as it is between the Atlantic and Table Mountain, a bold plan to push back the sea and make almost 500 additional acres of land available was unveiled. Because the area was designed as a whole, there is a clear look and feel to much of the Foreshore and, while Cape Town is not really a city of skyscrapers, most of them are found in this precinct.
There is no mistake that the Cape Town railway station and the harbour are within proximity as the land and the 11-storey Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore overlooks both, with Table Mountain in the background.
While nothing akin to Sunset Boulevard, the Heerengracht, the boulevard on the Foreshore, is lined with tall Palm Trees and I felt I might just jump from my third-floor balcony and climb on to the top of one. The Heerengracht was designed as a monumental approach into the city and it still has that impressive feel today as you approach the fountain at its top, just before Adderley Street, the most prestigious business address in the city’s heyday.
Ideally placed for people attending the theatre at the nearby Artscape Centre or the Cape Town International Convention Centre which is within easy walking distance, lodging here it is also super convenient for a city break where you are sufficiently close to feel the vibe but sufficiently far away not to hear it.
In recent years a number of hotels have opened in the Foreshore, the most recent of which has a much talked about adrenaline ride on its top floor.
Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore is a four-star graded hotel but the third-floor room we had with a balcony overlooking the fountain could easily have been a five-star room. There are 120 rooms in the hotel, and all come with coffee machines and Lavazza pods as well as a kettle and a selection of teas. Usefully there is a lap-top sized safe and an ironing board and iron in the room along with free Wi-Fi internet, Smart TV and super-snazzy leather office chair on which to swivel if the mood takes you. The bed and cushions were extremely comfortable.
But, the best reason for staying here isn’t the smart room or new state-of-the-art gym, also on the third floor, but Harald’s roof-terrace and bar on the 11th floor, which seems to frame Table Mountain in such a spectacular way you’d imagine it was purpose-built to do so.
There is a tiny pool and an AstroTurf “grassy” patch with doggie bowls, as this is a pet-friendly property and loads of high tables at which to perch and comfortable sun loungers too. While the best view is outside, there’s a great bar and additional seating inside at Harald’s too and such a viby soundtrack was playing when we were there that I looked to see if there was a deejay in residence.
RGB is the ground-floor eatery for all-day grazing and where a top-notch breakfast is served.
It has been a while since we have been in the Foreshore and the whole area, from the fountain which is now looking glorious and working full-time to the neat landscaping along the Heerengracht, seems much upgraded since we were there last. While we lived in Cape Town all our lives, this most recent visit suggested that the various city improvement projects, and local government safety initiatives, are really succeeding.
Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore provides secure undercover parking, albeit via Thibault Square which you must access from behind the hotel. If you are driving yourself I recommend you pull up to the front of the hotel and park there temporarily while you off-load your luggage and check-in and later move your car into the secure parking.
We had the feeling that everything was spiffy – all the staff we encountered – from the welcome at the front door to ordering delicious food on the roof-top were ready, friendly and efficient but not in that sometimes bristling way that makes one a little uncomfortable.
While the V&A Waterfront is less than a five-minute drive away, there is a significant saving in accommodation prices on the Foreshore which further adds to the appeal of being near to the action without having to pick up the tab for it. And, as you will find with all South African hotels, all Covid-19 protections are in place.
Tell Me More About Park Inn By Radisson Cape Town Foreshore
Park Inn By Radisson Cape Town Foreshore, 29 Heerengracht, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
T +27-21-427-4800. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rates from ZAR1600 or about £79 for two people in one room.