Travel writer Jaillan Yehia spent this winter enjoying the shores and safaris of South Africa. In the first of her series of guest posts on the trip she recommends a great place to stay in Cape Town.
Separated from Cape Town city centre by Table Mountain itself, the Cape peninsula’s Atlantic-facing beaches make an ideal location for visitors to the Mother City who love the smell of the ocean in the morning, enjoy spectacular sunsets on tap, but still want easy access to the sightseeing opportunities of downtown Cape Town and beyond.
Bantry Bay is a small relaxed seaside suburb, nestled between the trendy Clifton beaches (there are three, each with a distinct character) and the facilities of the larger suburb of Sea Point which sits just to the North along the Atlantic seaboard.
Uniquely secluded from Cape Town’s infamous ‘Cape Doctor’ wind, Bantry Bay has a pleasant residential feel and is packed with upmarket beachfront developments and self-catering apartments, so if you’re sticking around for more than a couple of days it’s a place where you can really settle-in and feel comfortable.
As a home-from-home the Bantry Bay and Sea Point areas tick all the boxes and offer every facility you could possibly need on vacation, from laundries and pilates studios to great delis, neighbourhood restaurants and cafes, plus kids playgrounds and even a large outdoor swimming pool set alongside the ocean.
Every bit a real community rather than just a tourist enclave, with joggers, mums, local people and visitors alike enjoying the promenade that runs from Bantry Bay to Mouille Point, and going about their day-today business; staying here gives you a great insight into the outdoorsy lifestyle Capetonians are lucky enough to enjoy.
As well as the promenade itself, Bantry Bay’s Regent Road which becomes Sea Point’s Main Road is ideal for a walk, but you’ll need a car to head out of the area; a scenic drive along Beach Road to the North will take you up to Mouille Point, before curving round to the Waterfront and ultimately the city centre, while Victoria Road ushers you South toward the fashionable Camps Bay to indulge in some first-rate people-watching.
Bantry Bay At a Glance: Ideal for families or those seeking a more chilled-out neighbourhood vibe, as well as holidaymakers who want to concentrate on Cape Town’s beach scene. You can see a slice of real Cape Town life; Bantry Bay is safe, friendly and easy to navigate, yet is still just minutes from the city centre.
See: The sunset over the Atlantic year round, whales and dolphins playing in the bay between May and November.
Do: Swim in the local pool – it’s the only water round here remotely warm enough to immerse yourself in!
Eat: Simply Asia has a number of branches dotted around town, but the branch in the Piazza Da Luz is convenient for quick eats.
Shop: Woolworths (South Africa’s version of Marks & Spencer) and Spa’s gourmet deli section as well as lots of little local neighbourhood restaurants and delis for all your beach picnic provisions.
Set just one block behind the ocean, this hotel prides itself on friendly staff and a personal touch – with only 40 rooms, all with self-catering facilities, in comparison to the 400-room capacity of some other local hotels. The Bantry Bay is also very competitively priced given its facilities and location, especially for families as kids under 12 stay and eat for free.
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