Hotel check: City Lodge V&A Waterfront

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Background

The City Lodge Hotels Group runs a chain of separately branded hotels throughout South Africa, comprising 1-star Road Lodges, 2-star Town Lodges, 3-star City Lodges and 4-star Courtyard hotels. The group has 52 properties with 6440 rooms across South Africa, and the City Lodge brand targets the business traveller community.

What’s it like?

If you’ve stayed at one City Lodge, you’ll be more than familiar with the overall offering, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You know what you are going to get. The rates are reasonable, the staff are friendly and efficient, and, in this case, what sets the V&A Waterfront City Lodge apart is its central location in Cape Town.

Where is it?

The hotel is very conveniently situated close to the V&A Waterfront, the Cape Town International Convention Centre, and the CBD, which are all walking distance away. It’s about 20 kilometres from Cape Town International Airport and with little or no traffic, takes around 15 minutes to reach, by car. The hotel also offers a shuttle service from the airport for a nominal fee.

Room Facilities

The hotel has 207 rooms with double or twin beds, and my room had a view of the canals that weave their way in and around the Waterfront. My room, whilst not luxuriant in size, was more than adequate. The interior of the room echoed the feel of the hotel, catering for business needs, with a desk, work chair, universal adaptors, Wi-Fi access (throughout the hotel – first 15 minutes free), and electronic safe large enough for a laptop. It also had the standard comforts, in the form of air-conditioning, a couch, coffee/tea station and a TV with a selection of DSTV satellite channels. The room service is run through a takeaway company and offers anything from chicken to pizza to Asian cuisine. The bathroom consisted of a shower with a separate bath, which was impressive, for a 3-star property.

Restaurants & Bars

The hotel has a buffet-style breakfast offering Continental or English breakfast with a delicious and impressive range of fresh fruit. The breakfast area turns into a coffee shop after breakfast, and is open until 22h00, offering light snacks and drinks. This is the only restaurant in the hotel and for more substantial meals, you will have to try one of the many restaurants at the Waterfront (a short walk or drive away), or venture a bit further to the social hub of Long and Kloof streets, in the city. The hotel does offer a sundowner bar for cocktails and drinks, which is open from 16h00 until 23h00 on the deck overlooking the canals.

Meeting Facilities

The V&A Waterfront City Lodge only has one 14-seater boardroom, and also offers a fax and copy service. But, it isn’t suited to conferences for obvious space reasons, which isn’t too surprising, with the hotel appearing to cater more for the travelling business person, as opposed to the conference group.

Leisure Facilities

The hotel has a small sauna-style plunge pool for a quick cool down. It also has a fitness room with basic gym equipment, such as a treadmill, bicycle and weights. Additional facilities are the 24-hour reception and check-in, same-day laundry and dry cleaning, and free parking, which is a big plus in Cape Town.

Verdict

A pleasant experience. Although not luxuriant, the hotel is more than comfortable and certainly convenient. The emphasis here is on a comfortable stay and not in-house entertainment. So, if you fancy seeing what Cape Town is about, you’ll have to get out and explore, which the reception staff are more than willing to facilitate.

Contact

Address: Corner of Dock and Alfred roads, +27 21 419 9450citylodge.co.za

Julia Ramsay