Hotel check: Ambassador Hotel

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What’s it like:

The Ambassador describes itself as ‘one of the most spectacular hotels inCape Town’. Fair comment, in terms of its stunning views of theAtlantic Ocean. However, it falls short with its offering for business travellers.  Albeit the hotel underwent a major refurbishment a few years back which included a re-designed top floor, a new restaurant and bar, and a reconfigured reception and lobby area, other sections of the hotel can best be described as shabby.  Maybe it’s a work in progress.

Where is it?

The Ambassador is located inBantryBaywithin easy reach of the city centre, Waterfront complex andClifton’s beaches.  Peak-hour traffic in and around Sea Point and heading towards Camps Bay can build up, causing delays, so if you have meetings in the southern suburbs, plan accordingly. Similarly, take this into consideration when travelling to the airport.

How many rooms?

The Ambassador has sixty-eight en suite hotel rooms and twenty-nine 1- and 2-bedroomed fully equipped and fully serviced Executive Suites. Prices range from R1,165 per night (including breakfast) to R1,670, depending on the time of stay.  Specials are offered throughout the year. 

Room facilities

Furnishings are contemporary giving rooms a clean and uncluttered look. Unfortunately, some bathrooms have inadequate partitioning around the bath/shower area which can result in a morning ‘deluge’.  The Hotel has opted for a limited offering of TV channels.  You will not find dedicated business channels such as Summit Television and CNBC Africa.  The usual tea- and coffee-making facilities can be found, as well as a well-stocked mini-bar and electronic safe. Larger items that require safekeeping such as laptops can be handed in for storage in the Hotel’s safe.

Restaurants and bars:

The Hotel’s dining facilities are housed within the Salt Restaurant. The decor and design is minimalist and trendy with floor-to-ceiling windows providing 180 degree views over theAtlantic Ocean. Spectacular! The menus (breakfast and dinner) offer simple, fresh, and contemporary food that is beautifully prepared. Friendly and unobtrusive staff makes the experience very pleasurable.  In the foyer to the restaurant is a bar that has established itself as a firm favourite among locals as well as tourists.  Light meals can also be had on the Ambassador’s pool deck where service can be slow.

Meeting and business facilities:

The Ambassador bills itself as ‘a perfect destination for vacation or business travel’.  Regrettably, it falls well short of offering business travellers the type of services that other four-star hotels offer inCape Town.  There is no dedicated business centre, while areas that afford sufficient privacy for meetings are severely limited. A secretarial service is offered as well as complimentary wireless Internet access to guests.   

Verdict

Management would do well to pay attention to detail.  Rusty air-conditioning units, clearly visible from the pool deck, as well as room-service trays left to stand outside rooms for an entire morning do little to impress guests.  The Ambassador is a suitable choice if you believe glorious views can offset the hotel’s limitations. However, for most business travellers, better options can be found.

Contact

34 Victoria Road,BantryBay, Cape Town,South Africa

Tel:    +27 (0)21 439 6170

Fax:    +27 (0)21 439 6336

Website:  ambassador.co.za

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