Hotel check: Hotel le Vendôme

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What’s it like?

Now under new ownership andmanagement by the (UAE-based) Bin Otaiba Investment Group, there’s a fresh attitude here towards guest relations and service levels. The hotel itself is in a convenient city suburban location in Sea Point and, being down a side street just 100 metres off the actual seafront itself, has some views of the Atlantic coast. Hotel Le Vendôme has an assortment of 143 rooms and suites which are individually designed, comfortably furnished, and well appointed. Other than the Presidential and the Executive Suite, there are a further eight, plus 12 Luxury and Junior Suites, as well as 58 King, and 63 Classic Twin rooms available. Although guest rooms are currently being refurbished, mine was already done and quite comfortable. I liked the good, solid, king-sized bed with great linen, as well as the work desk and a flat-panel TV that had great reception (so many hotel TVs don’t). I wasn’t too enamoured by the in-bath-shower facilities, but liked the street-facing balcony, which allowed me to kill the air-conditioner and open the door for fresh air, from my fifth floor position. The hotel also offers free Internet connectivity, although its in-room connections are on ADSL cable, and Wi-Fi is only available in the main lounge at this time. But it’s not charged for as an extra, as one still finds in so many South African hotels. A bonus, really.

Where is it?

20 London Road, Sea Point, 8005, Cape Town – a very convenient address for business in the city and for locals to attend functions. The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Clifton Beach, the newly built FIFA 2010 Greenpoint Stadium, Table Mountain and the central business district are a very short drive away (and there are free hourly shuttles to the V&A Waterfront).

Conference Rooms

The conference and banqueting space comprises three multi-purpose interconnecting rooms that can accommodate up to 220 guests theatrestyle – or up to 190 guests for a gala dinner. Private boardrooms, breakaway rooms, and video conferencing technology are also available. The hotel’s Business Centre offers full secretarial services. I found that the lighting needed a lot of adjusting, the supplied projectors are somewhat antique, and the available raised stage decking was ready to collapse (perhaps it’s part of the refurbishment budget), but the staff were exceptional – and the delegates at my event commented on the quality of the snacks and coffee. Don’t let this put you off – just take your own equipment and insist on new decking! A half-day package comes in at R200 per person including the basics and mid-morning tea, coffee and pastries. A full day at R350 per person is good value, and includes a buffet lunch (minimum 30 people) or plated (below that figure). The hotel also has good, secure parking.

Leisure activities

The hotel offers fine dining on site, or in the adjacent neighbourhood. An African Day Spa is to open shortly, along with a new coffee-cum-bistro-bakery, and its own top-class gym (There are currently vouchers and courtesy transport to the nearby Virgin Active gym).

Verdict

I didn’t like it much before, as I felt it was a little jaded and ordinary – but I sure do now, thanks to the fresh, new style and approach to business. The refurb programme is also extremely discreet – I didn’t actually see or hear anything untoward during my overnight and conference day stay. A big ‘well done’ to Claire Fortune (the conference event coordinator) and her team for going the extra mile, and providing great service – just avoid the in-house conferencing equipment until after the refurbishment. Make sure you give Hotel Le Vendôme a try for your next Cape Town conference or event. You won’t be disappointed. 

Contact

Tel: +27 21 430 1200

Website: le-vendome.co.za

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