Taj Cape Town
Don’t be surprised if you’re overcome by the scent of old money as you wheel into the surprisingly intimate lobby of one of the newest, grandest hotels in Cape Town’s city centre. This was after all the original banking hall of the Reserve Bank, an elaborately crafted space in which four majestic marble columns support a dazzling barrel-vaulted skylight that has-along with many of the original fittings (chandeliers, heavy timber doors, heraldic crest)- thankfully been incorporated into this otherwise very modern, very chic hotel. Located diagonally opposite Parliament at the bottom end of the Company Gardens, walking distance from most of the city’s cultural offerings, Cape Town’s newest kid on the block is the result of more than two years of reconstructive surgery at a cost of R500 million, and-given what the 5-star Taj hotels offer in their native India-is poised to raise the bar on inner city hospitality. To make space for the 176 rooms (offering every conceivable luxury), a completely new 17-floor block has been grafted onto the original heritage buildings, and the result is a rather unusual piece of inner city design. And if all of the above isn’t enough to persuade you, there are the astounding views, especially from mountain-facing rooms near the top.
What is a classic hotel?