BACKGROUND: Marriott International celebrated the opening of the first AC Hotels by Marriot in the Middle East and Africa in April. AC Hotels by Marriott is a lifestyle brand that “celebrates a new way to hotel complemented by a European soul and Spanish roots.”
WHERE IS IT? The hotel is situated in the mixed-use Yacht Club development. It is a 25-minute drive from Cape Town International Airport, minutes away from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and within the city’s central business district. It is walking distance from the Cape Town International Convention Centre, although the hotel does offer a shuttle to and from the venue.
ROOM FACILITIES: The new build hotel offers 188 rooms. My mountain-facing room on the second floor was more than adequate, with space for a king-sized bed, a work chair and desk, luggage rack, a mini-fridge tucked away inside a cupboard, padded bench, coffee table and chair. Mounted on the wall was a huge smart TV, which was connected to the internet for viewing the likes of YouTube. Instead of a full wardrobe, the room had a single hanging closet (which stored an iron and ironing board) and an open shelving scheme with a couple of drawers and an electronic safe. The effect was much less claustrophobic than the traditional cupboard. The designer went with dark laminate floors in the bedroom, instead of carpets or tiles, and it gave the room a richer look. Plug points were easy to access, with a two and a three-pin point at the desk as well as two USB points. The bedsides also each had a two-pin and a USB plug point – a welcome feature to everyone who likes to keep their cell phone close at hand while sleeping. The bathroom was spacious, with a large shower and shower rose.
RESTAURANTS & BARS: Onsite dining options are limited to the AC Kitchen on the ground floor, but the fare on offer is superb. I attended the launch party, so there wasn’t a traditional dinner served, but rather a delicious selection of finger food; a harvest table with a large selection of cheeses, breads and crackers; a charcuterie station with Parma ham and salami; and a dessert station with crispy churros to be dipped into the chocolate and caramel fountains. I especially enjoyed the beef carpaccio bites, the oxtail marmalade tartlets and the Cajun-fried chicken sliders that were delivered by friendly waitrons. The next morning, the AC Lounge and AC Kitchen had been restored to their primary functions. Breakfast was served in the AC Kitchen, with an impressive selection of buffet items and a small a la carte menu for hot dishes. I decided to stick with the buffet and filled my plate with sausages, bacon, cheese, bread and pastries, all of which were fresh and tasty. There was also fruit, yoghurt, cold meat and cereal set out, but I just didn’t have room to sample anything more. There is also the AC Market, with a selection of sandwiches, muffins, biscuits and beverages for those who need to grab a quick bite on the go.
BUSINESS & MEETING FACILITIES: There are four flexible meeting rooms and a boardroom with a total of 250m2 of event space. The AC Lounge, adjacent to reception, also serves as working space. The wi-fi is free (for guests), fast and easy to connect to.
LEISURE FACILITIES: There is a fitness centre and a swimming pool. The pool deck, on the second floor is a great place to catch some sun. Or you could get in a cardio workout in the gym.
VERDICT: A smart, well-appointed hotel for business travellers. Its proximity to the CTICC is a big plus. Mine was a quick in-and-out visit and I found everything to be quite satisfactory for a four-star hotel. The staff were pleasant and helpful, especially the young man at the reception desk who checked me out in record time (I was late to catch my lift to the airport).
A: Dockrail Road, Foreshore, Cape Town
T: +27 21 137 1100