Things To Do in Cape Town

Here are the top things to see and do in Cape Town!

Best with a Guide (pre-book):

  1. City Tour + Table Mountain
  2. Peninsula Tour + Penguins
  3. Tour to Wine Country

No Guide Needed:

  1. Robben Island (pre-book tickets)
  2. V&A Waterfront
  3. Scenic Helicopter Tour
  4. Hike Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill
  5. Shimansky Diamond Experience at Rockwell (contact us to make reservation)
  6. Old Biscuit Mill (cute shopping and dining)
  7. Eating, Drinking, and Shopping

Summer:

  1. Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
  2. Whale Watching in Hermanus (Sept-Oct)
  3. Going to the Beach

Dining:

  1. Kloof St. House
  2. Upper Union
  3. Spice Experience/Cooking class @ Spyce (opening in Sept)
  4. Den Anker or Harbour House @ V&A
  5. Grand Africa Café & Beach
  6. Gold Restaurant
  7. The Granddaddy Hotel has a fun Sky Bar on the 4th floor roof. There are also several airstream trailers up there that are rented out as rooms.
  8. Planet Bar at the Mt. Nelson Hotel

There are no Michelin star restaurants in Africa, but these restaurants are arguably equivalent.  You will need to make a reservation a couple of months in advance.  If you decide to go to Fyn, let us know as we can help make reservations.

  • Fyn
  • Salsify
  • La Calombe
Posted in South Africa | Leave a comment

Hotels in Cape Town, South Africa

In the summer, consider Camps Bay or Bantry Bay as they have great beaches and beachfront restaurants. Hotels by the V&A Waterfront are walkable to the V&A Waterfront. Many of the better restaurants are in the City Center area, but not walkable at night. The Sea Point area has great views of the ocean with a 3.5 mile promenade that is great to walk year round.

Prices are for an entry-level room from low season – high season just as a general guide.

MID-RANGE

  1. The Bay Hotel (Camps Bay) $200-400
  2. Commodore (V&A) $200-400
  3. Portswood (next to Commodore) $180-300
  4. Pepperclub Hotel (City Center) $200-$350
  5. The President (Bantry Bay) $100-250
  6. Southern Sun The Cullinan (V&A/City Center) $350
  7. Southern Sun Waterfront (next to The Cullinan) $200-350
  8. Winchester (Sea Point) $250-400

LUXURY

  1. Cape Cadogan (City Center/Kloof) $400-600
  2. More Quarters (Cape Cadagen) 4-bedroom house $400-600
  3. V&A Hotel (V&A) $500
  4. Queen Victoria Hotel (V&A) $400-600
  5. Dock House (Queen Victoria) $400-600
  6. Twelve Apostles (Camp’s Bay) $400-600

ELITE

  1. Cape Grace (V&A) $1000-1200
  2. The Marly Boutique Hotel (Camps Bay) $500/800/1000
  3. Mount Nelson / Belmond (City Center) $1000-1500
  4. One & Only (V&A) $1000-1500
  5. Table Bay (V&A) $1000-1500

See All Trips in Cape Town >>


MID-RANGE

1) The Bay Hotel (Camps Bay)

The Bay Hotel has 79 rooms. They are all very similar, but prices vary by view. The cabana pool rooms open to the pool. All rooms have a daybed, which can be used for 1 child under 14 years old. They also have a smart TV. The first minibar is included. There are no interconnecting rooms, but two rooms can be closed off by an outside door.

There are 4 guest pools. The main pool is solar heated. The Beach Club has a big deck, lounge chairs, and DJ during the summer.

Breakfast is a buffet and a la carte. The bar is cozy with nice windows and fireplace. Lunch and dinner are served at the poolside bistro.

The Bay has a large gym plus a spa with massages, mani-pedi, steam room and sauna. The spa are can be used by guests with early check-in or late check-out. There is also an indoor Padel court.


2) Commodore (V&A)

The Commodore has 230 rooms on 6 floors. Standard rooms are on lower floors with a bath/shower combo, some are connecting. Deluxe rooms are larger and the same as Executive rooms, but on lower floors. Executive rooms are on upper floors and with a balcony. Junior Suites are on a corner with a large balcony, and the sofa can be made into a bed for a child. Suites have a sitting and dining area plus a large balcony with nice views. The hotel has many family rooms that sleep 3 people but also connect with other rooms.

The gym is big and well-equipped. The spa has massages, mani-pedi’s, facials, steam room, and sauna.


3) Portswood (Commodore)

The Portswood is next to the Commodore but at a more modest price. It has 101 rooms on 4 floors — Standard, Deluxe, Studio King (6), Suites (2). The Suites connect to a Standard room. They also have an accessible room.

There is a nice restaurant and bar. The pool is a bit small, there is a large patio with tables.

Guests can also use the gym, pool and spa at the Commodore.


4) Pepperclub Hotel (City Center)

The Pepperclub is in the city center in a high-rise building. It has a sophisticated feel. The suites are good option for families.

Rooms are deluxe, superior deluxe, 1-room suites, 1-bedroom suites, and 2-bedroom suites. Deluxe rooms have 1 king or 2 twin rooms. Superior deluxe are the same but larger and some have a balcony. The 1-rooms suites have a sitting area with pull-out couch, but it is all one room. The 1-bedroom suites are the same but the bed is in a separate room. The 2-bedroom suite has 2 separate bedrooms. All rooms have smart TV’s.

The main level has a nice restaurant and bar. Breakfast is a hot and cold buffet and also a la carte. Lunch and dinner are also served.

There is a small private movie theater with popcorn to watch movies (free but prebook).

The spa has massages, mani-pedi, and a wet sauna. The gym is big and nice with great views.

Free shuttles go to the V&A and the Beach Club at Camps Bay. The Beach Club has lockers and showers.


5) The President (Bantry Bay)

With 349 rooms, this is the second largest hotel in Cape Town. It is located in Bantry Bay between Camp’s Bay and Sea Point.

Rooms are Standard, 1-bedroom suite, 2-bedroom suite, 1-bedroom ocean suite. Room s have small TV, desk, chair, microwave, mini-fridge (unstocked), and coffee/tea. Sleeper couches can accommodate up to two kids under 14. A few of the suites have a balcony (on request if available).

There are 3 restaurants. The main serves a breakfast buffet plus lunch and dinner. The second is a cafe with light meals. The third has pizza and pasta. At 4-6am, they offer a grab-and-go breakfast for people leaving early. There are indoor and outdoor bars.

The pool also has a kids area. External people can use the pool with a day pass.

They have a good gym with sunrise yoga. The full-service spa also has a hairdresser.

There is a shuttle to the V&A and to the beach every hour.


6) Southern Sun The Cullinan (V&A/City Center)

The Cullinan is located between the city center and V&A Waterfront. It will reopen after refurbishment on July 1, 2024.

The lobby is grand with tall ceilings, columns, granite floors, and a grand piano.

The gym is big with good machines and weights. There are 2 computers in the business center. The spa offers massages and mani-pedis.

Breakfast is a huge buffet in the upstairs restaurant with piano music. Lunch and dinner are served in the restaurant on the ground floor. There is also a wine shop.

Shuttle to the V&A on the hour, back on the half hour.


7) Southern Sun Waterfront (Southern Sun)

The Southern Sun Waterfront is right next to The Cullinan but at a more modest price point. It has 537 rooms — standard, executive, and suites. Standard rooms have 1 king or 2 twin beds, 2 chairs, small table, and desk. Executive rooms have a nice sitting area and a Nespresso machine. Suites have a separate living room and a bigger bathroom. Some room are accessible and some are interconnecting.

There is a medium size pool with waterfalls, tables, and lounge chairs.

Breakfast is a large buffet with hot and cold dishes.

There is a spa with massages and mani-pedi, and a business center.

They have a free shuttle to the V&A every hour.


8) Winchester (Sea Point)

The Winchester is right across the street from the Sea Point Promenade. The lovely courtyard with bougainvillea is one of the most photographs spots in Cape Town. It has a spa, small gym, and a pool with lounge chairs.

The Winchester Hotel has 78 rooms, including various suites and lofts. Select rooms offer ocean or mountain views. There are 16 Loft Rooms, 32 Classic Rooms, 18 Jr. Suites, 2 Family Suites, and 10 Suites. Some of the suites are sea-facing.

The Shoreditch Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Harvey Bar has a great patio overlooking the promenade.


LUXURY

1) Cape Cadogan (City Center/Kloof)

Cape Cadogan is 19 room boutique hotel in 2 beautiful historic white buildings with gardens. Rooms are Superior and Superior Luxury (with veranda and bathtub).

There is a small pool, nice patio, a gym, and spa with massages (including couples) and mani-pedi. They offer afternoon tea and canapes.

The Cape Cadogan Residence is 3 rooms in a separate house. Breakfast is served in the house, the minibar is included, there is a separate fireplace, private pool, and it comes with a butler.

Upper Union is the restaurant, which is very popular, so make a reservation for dinner. There is seating inside, in the sunroom, and on the patio. Breakfast is buffet plus a la carte.

There is a shuttle once a day to the V&A. And a kids program.


2) More Quarters (Cape Cadogan)

More Quarters is part of Cape Cadogan. It is a separate 4-room house across the alley in the old stables. There are 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and interconnecting rooms. Some have views, all have a smart TV. There is a kitchenette and deck.


3) V&A Hotel (V&A)

The V&A Hotel was refurbished in 2023. There are 94 rooms — Loft, Piazza facing, Mountain view, Harbor view. Some rooms are connecting and some are accessible. All have a smart TV.

Breakfast is a large buffet plus menu and great outdoor seating area. Lunch and dinner is also served. There is a small cafe with snacks. On weekends, there is live entertainment.

Guests can use the gym and spa at the Queen Victoria.


4) Queen Victoria Hotel (V&A)

This is the sister hotel to the V&A Hotel. It is across the street from the V&A and a bit more sophisticated, boutique, and on the ridge.

There are 35 rooms on 3 floors — Deluxe, Premium, Jr. Mountain Suites, Executive Suites, Presidential Suites. All rooms have smart TV’s. One room is accessible.

It has a big gym with yoga mats. The spa has massages, mani-pedi, facials, and a sauna. The pool is on a large grassy area. They have e-bikes to rent.

Breakfast is a buffet plus a la carte. You can also go to the V&A Hotel for one breakfast. Lunch and dinner is also served in the restaurant. On weekends, they offer a 7-course tasting menu. The grand piano also plays in the lobby on weekends.


5) Dock House (Queen Victoria)

The Dock House is a separate building next door. It has 6 separate rooms that can be booked altogether or separately. Some rooms are connecting.


6) Twelve Apostles (Camp’s Bay)

The Twelve Apostles is a 5-star hotel in Camp’s Bay with amazing views of the mountains.


ELITE

1) Cape Grace (V&A)

Cape Grace is a Fairmont hotel located on the bay of the V&A Waterfront.


2) The Marly Boutique Hotel (Camps Bay)

The Marly is a 5-star boutique hotel in Camp’s Bay. It is very quiet with beautiful art, flowers, candles, and lovely scents throughout (even in the elevator). There is a rooftop pool and bar.

It has 38 rooms — classic, superior, and suites. Sea view rooms have a balcony and have a higher price than mountain view rooms. All rooms have bath+shower, lots of mirrors including a magnifying mirror, robes, and slippers. They also have a minibar and coffee/tea. 10 rooms have a sofa bed for kids. There are some interconnecting rooms that can accommodate up to 5 people with sofa bed.

Breakfast is served at the restaurant or on the patio with a continental buffet and hot items off a menu. Full room service is offered at no extra charge.

The Marly has a large spa on the ground floor with massages and mani-pedi. There is also a nice gym. Guests with a late check-out or early check-in can use the spa facilities.


3) Mount Nelson (City Center)

Mountain Nelson is a Belmond property on the south end of city center.


4) One & Only (V&A)

Gorgeous 5-star hotel at the V&A Waterfront. There are 91 rooms in the main building and 40 rooms on the island. The entry level room is the Premier King in the main building, followed by the Marina Suite, and finally the Island Suites. The Marina Suites can interconnecting to a room with 2 queen beds for a family suite. Island Suites have a couch, dressing room, and large bath plus there are golf carts if needed.

All rooms have 1 king or 2 queen beds with a mountain view or lagoon view. They have a smart TV with Chromecast.

There is a large heated swimming pool. The pool restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch (but closed in winter). The pool has cabanas, which are included with suites.

The spa is located on its own island. They offer massages, mani-pedi, and facials.

The lobby bar is spacious with tall ceilings and a wall of glass overlooking the lagoon and Table Mountain. The custom carpet is topography of the Cape Town area. On site is the Japanese restaurant, Namu. There is also a Wine Studio for wine paring and blending experiences.

There is a kids club for kids 4-11 years old open 10am-6pm offered for free.


5) Table Bay (V&A)

Table Bay is located on the end of the V&A mall. It will be closed for renovations February-December 2025.


See All Trips in Cape Town >>

Posted in South Africa | Leave a comment

Hotels in Winelands: Stellenbosch and Franschhoek

Here are hotels we recommend. Prices are a rough estimate for an entry level room for low season/high season.

  1. Franschhoek Country Villas (Franschhoek) $315
  2. Le Quartier Francais Hotel (Franschhoek) $590/$700
  3. Oude Werf Hotel (Stellenbosch) $270
  4. Lanzerac Hotel & Spa (Stellenbosch) $540/$750
  5. River Manor Boutique Hotel (Stellenbosch) $180
  6. Southern Sun de Wagen (Stellenbosch) $160/$240

The hotels in Franschhoek offer a shuttle to town and to the Wine Tram.

For a special meal, check out the Delaire Graff Restaurant.

Visit the Winelands on your trip to Cape Town in South Africa!


1) Franschhoek Country Villas (Franschhoek)

Luxury boutique country house just a short distance from the center of Franschhoek and from the Wine Tram. It is a beautiful French-like garden area. There are both a heated and unheated pools.

There are standard rooms in lodge, 4-room building, 2-room building, 2-floor rooms, and amazing villa rooms.

Breakfast is a cold buffet plus hot options off a menu and cappuccinos. Arguably, the best croissants around.

Free parking and free shuttle to/from the Wine Tram.

2) Le Quartier Francais Hotel (Franschhoek)

Quiet neighborhood 2 blocks from the main street. Sophisticated boutique hotel with luxury restaurant and spa. You can look forward to a free breakfast buffet, a poolside bar, and a terrace at Le Quartier Francais. At the two on-site restaurants, enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, kids’ meals, and garden views. Free in-room WiFi is available to all guests, along with a garden and a library. An outdoor pool with sun loungers and pool umbrellas.


3) Oude Werf Hotel (Stellenbosch)

Located right in the middle of downtown Stellenbosch, Oude Werf has 58 rooms on 3 floors. Some rooms are in the original building, which are more historic, and some are in the newer buildings, which are more modern. There are 3 levels of rooms — all have same amenities, but some bigger than others, some on a corner, and some have balcony. The rooms on the pool are bit like a fishbowl.

There is a medium sized pool in a nice courtyard with lots of lounge areas and garden. There is a boardroom that seats 14 people and has a large TV. Valet parking is free. This is the only hotel I visited that had a steamer for clothes and a towel heater.

Breakfast 7-11am with hot and cold buffet plus a la carte. Cappuccinos are included at breakfast. The restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner to the public. The bar also serves coffee and is popular for afternoon tea.

There are lots of restaurants and shops right outside the door. The hotel can organize a day of wine tasting with a local wine expert.


4) Lanzerac Hotel & Spa (Stellenbosch)

Built in 1692, the hotel has 54 rooms. 8 rooms have fireplaces, 4 have private plunge pools. Minibar is included. All rooms are designed for 2 people, but a daybed can be brought in for a child. There are 5 shared pools, one with a small pool bar. Room categories are Classic, Luxury, Stable, Manor House (6 rooms common lounge), Suite.

The hotel has a rose garden, whiskey and cigar lounge (good for watching sports). You can walk through the vineyards. Shuttle to Stellenbosch 3 times a day.

The gastro-pub has a fireplace and patio. Breakfast and dinner are served in the main restaurant. Breakfast is a cold buffet and hot dishes off a menu. There is a large private dining room, and smaller board rooms, which can be used for private dining. They offer Saturday afternoon tea and Sunday brunch.

Spa is one of the best in the country and open to the public, so it is important to pre-book services. It offers full spa services, indoor pool, sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, gym, and juice bar.

Wine tasting areas indoors and outdoors, chocolate pairing, deli (famous scones), open 8am-6pm, cellar tours offered 11am and 3pm, no reservation necessary.


5) River Manor Boutique Hotel (Stellenbosch)

River Manor is just a couple of blocks from the center of Stellenbosch. It has a B&B / oasis feel to it. There 2 pools in a cozy garden.

It has 18 rooms in 2 buildings — Loft, Standard, Deluxe, Superior, Family (4 people). Room #3 has a balcony.

Breakfast has a cold buffet and order hot dishes off a menu. The cappuccino machine is available all day. At 3pm, they offer tea with cake.

The spa has massages, mani/pedi, and facials.


6) Southern Sun de Wagen (Stellenbosch)

Located on the edge of town, there are 22 rooms: deluxe, attic, 8 suites in separate building, 2 family rooms.

Breakfast 7-11am, hot and cold buffet, lunch and dinner served at restaurant next door.

Interior courtyard is lovely with tall grasses and small pool.

Visit the Winelands on your trip to Cape Town in South Africa!

Posted in South Africa | Leave a comment

Cape Town: Wineries for Families

  1. Fairview Wine and Cheese (Paarl)
  2. Rickety Bridge Estate (Franschhoek)
  3. Boschendal Wine Estate (Franschhoek)
  4. Hazendal Wine Estate (Stellenbosch)
  5. Spier Wine Farm (Stellenbosch)

Visit the Winelands on your trip to Cape Town in South Africa!


1) Fairview Wine and Cheese (Paarl)

At Fairview Cheese and Wine, all wine tastings are paired with cheese.  They offer a premium wine tasting in the room in the back.  Picnics are not allowed, but there is a restaurant. The grounds are beautiful with a lovely koi pond.

For kids, they offer a special tasting with cheese and juice.  There is a pen with goats and tower that the goats climb up on stairs.


2) Rickety Bridge Estate (Franschhoek)

Rickety Bridge Estate has wine tastings for kids (juice with cheese or chocolate).  There are also cheese platters and pizza.  They have indoor and outdoor seating in a lovely area with mature trees.    There is also a playground and boules (bocce ball).  The separate restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.  Cellar tours are by appointment.


3) Boschendal Wine Estate (Franschhoek)

For kids, there is a tree fort, pump park (kids bikes for rent), gardens for walking, big chickens walking around, and an ice cream truck.  For parents, there is wine tasting, deli restaurant, and farm shop.  This is a large winery, but a lovely setting with tall trees.


4) Hazendal Wine Estate (Stellenbosch)

Wonderdal is a huge, awesome play area for kids 5-13 ($7-19 for 2 hours).  There is a free car museum with several Bentleys.  The wine tasting area is mostly indoors and very sophisticated.  The outdoor area is fairly small.  We can arrange the loft VIP tasting area for 6 people.  They do have cheese or charcuterie pairings as well.  There is also a beer garden with pizza and burgers.  They also have a hotel, golf course, and spa.  No reservation is needed for the cellar tour.


5) Spier Wine Farm (Stellenbosch)

Spier is a large winery with lots of activities. One unique element is the Eagle Encounter where you can get up close to a number of raptors. There are also walks, Segway tours, and a craft market. For adults, they offer charcuterie, cheese and olive platters to accompany the wine tasting, a wine blending experience, and a spa.

Visit the Winelands on your trip to Cape Town in South Africa!

Posted in South Africa | Tagged | Leave a comment

Okavango Delta Sleep Out Deck

Fall asleep gazing at the glittering night sky and gently wake up to the stunning African sunrise and glorious sound of birdsong. Comfort has also been kept in mind, and the deck is fitted with a private toilet and mosquito nets. In keeping with the beautiful design of Camp Okavango in Botswana, the Sleep-Out Deck is elevated to take advantage of the breath-taking panoramic views and keep guests protected from the roaming wildlife. Facing eastwards, you can take in the spectacular Botswana sunrise, as Camp Okavango’s outstanding staff will provide fresh morning tea and coffee to take in the experience.

The Sleep-Out Deck is available to book from the 1ST OF APRIL TO THE 31ST OF OCTOBER and is a complimentary experience for couples and families staying three nights or longer.

The sleep-out is a unique wilderness experience set-away in a tranquil location away from the camp. Guests will, however, have the company of a qualified guide on call who will stay in a guide tent a short radio call away should they need any help.

After dinner, you will be escorted by your guide to the sleep out deck from the main camp which is about a 10-minute drive away, to enjoy a night under the stars. Guests will be asked which drinks they would like to enjoy while they are sleeping under the stars. There is coffee and tea for the morning. Guests then radio into the guide in the morning to and activity can start straight from the sleep out deck, or they can return to the lodge later in the morning for breakfast.

Enclosed en-suite toilet and running water is available right next to the bed. Guests may shower when returning to their main room in the camp.

Guests’ room is not vacated/checked out of and therefor available at any point should the guests feel uncomfortable.

We recommend skipping the scheduled early activity to enjoy a tranquil morning watching sunrise from the sleep-out deck with tea/coffee watching the morning birds and wildlife come to life. Guests can return to the camp for full breakfast as soon as they are ready.

A mosquito net is provided over the king-size bed.

Guides are stationed in a separate deck about 200mtrs away and in keep in communication with the guests by radio, should at any time the guests feel uncomfortable.

Helicopter scenic flights early in the morning from the sleep-out deck is possible.

FAMILIES: An extra bed can be arranged for the sleep-out deck and needs to be requested with the consultant at the time of booking.

Posted in Botswana, Safari | Leave a comment

Salt Pans Sleep Out at Leroo La Tau in Botswana

Sleep out under a blanket of stars across the endless Botswana sky on one of the world’s largest salt flats – the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in Botswana. A place so remote both sound and light pollution are non-existent, an experience described by many as life-changing. With nothing more than a cozy bed between you and the vastness around you, the sleep-out takes place on a remote salt pan in the southern area of the Makgadikgadi Pans near Leroo La Tau. It is like being on the moon!

It is available mid-June through the end of October, depending on the rains. You need at least a 3 night stay, and it is best to pre-book.

It is a 4-hour drive to the pans. You can add a helicopter transfer to or from the camp. You have a private, very comfortable mattress, toilet tent, and dinner table.

This is a safe and fully guided excursion with your Leroo La Tau team on hand to help
setup camp, prepare meals and ensure that on departure your remote sleeping place
is as untouched as you found it. It can be chilly at night, so best to bring a hat, gloves, and jacket.

It is safe, comfortable, and one of the most amazing and truly unique experiences!

Posted in Botswana, Safari | Leave a comment

Johannesburg Airport Hotels

There are a number of hotels right by the Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport. All hotel rooms have a/c, telephone, TV, hairdryer, free Wifi, safe, fridge, and laundry service (extra charge).

  1. Intercontinental
  2. City Lodge
  3. Southern Sun
  4. Protea OR Tambo (Marriott)

You can walk to the Intercontinental and City Lodge. Southern Sun and Protea have free shuttles between the airport and hotel. To find the hotel shuttles, after exiting security, follow signs for the Bus Terminal, past the airport hotels. Go outside, and all hotel buses are lined up in one parking lot. Look for a shuttle with the name of your hotel. The people there will help you find the right one.

See also:


1) Intercontinental

This is a luxury hotel an easy walk from the airport. After immigration and customs, follow signs for Exit and Hotels. Follow signs for Intercontinental — go outside and it is on your left. A porter can be arranged to escort you as well.

The Intercontinental has a sophisticated and calm feeling to it. The hotel has 138 rooms — classic, classic with balcony (4), executive (corners), and presidential suite (1). Rooms come with robes, slippers, iron/ironing board, and coffee station.

On the ground level is the restaurant, small bar, lounge area, and business center. Breakfast is partially buffet and hot items off a menu.

On the 8th floor is the medium sized indoor heated pool, large gym, and full spa.


2) City Lodge

Walk from the airport. By the Intercontinental sign which takes you outside, instead follow the City Lodge signs up 2 escalators. Go down the long hallway along the parking ramp to the end. Take the hotel elevator to Level H.

The hotel has a huge restaurant but no separate bar. It has a medium sized outdoor pool with fountains and a small gym.

In the lobby, there are screens with flight schedules, scale for weighing luggage, and a water station. Expect long lines to check in and out.


3) Southern Sun

A quick shuttle from the airport, departing every 15 minutes. It is nicely decorated, but feels a bit sparse.

There are 366 rooms — either standard, superior, or executive. Standard and superior come with 1 king or 2 twin beds. Executive rooms only come with 1 king and also have robes and slippers. There is 1 double room for families. Only some rooms have a mini-fridge, but they can be requested.

The hotels has a restaurant, bar, and many separate lounge areas for gathering. Breakfast and dinner are a buffet.

There is also a business center, big gym, medium sized outdoor pool with nice garden area. The pool is accessed off the restaurant, which is a little odd.


4) Protea OR Tambo (Marriott)

This is a 5-minute shuttle from the airport. The bus leaves the airport at 15 and 45 minutes after the hour. It leave the hotel for the airport at 00 and 30 minutes after the hour.

The Protea is a Marriott property that was remodeled in early 2024. It has an interesting airplane theme throughout. There is a nice restaurant and separate bar area. Outside is a large pool and spacious garden area with seating.

Rooms are spacious and comfortable. The toilet has a door, but the shower and sink are open to the room except with a curtain. There is a coffee/tea station with instant coffee but real creamers.

Breakfast is buffet. Lunch and dinner are also served in the dining room.

See also:

Posted in South Africa | Leave a comment

Travel Apps 2024

Here are my go-to travel apps these days. I typically put these in a folder on the first page of my phone so that I can access them easily. Make sure they are downloaded/updated, and you are logged in if you will be out of cell service.

1) WhatsApp / Skype

WhatsApp is used internationally for free texting and calling (both users must have number on WhatsApp). Skype is another option for making international calls — cheap but not free, but you can all any number even if they are not on Skype.

2) Wallet

Keep your airline boarding passes in your Wallet. Also your Priority Pass card if you have one.

3) Airline Apps

Include the airlines you are flying on so that you can check-in and get notified of any changes.

4) Google Translate

A great way to translate menus and even talk with people. Download the language in your area.

5) Google Maps / Rome2Rio

Download the area where you are going in Google Maps so that you can view the map offline. It may have the local bus and train schedules. Rome2Rio can also help figure out how to get between cities.

6) MapMyRun / Strava

If you are hiking, these are great apps to track your hike.

7) Uber/Lyft/Lime/Bolt

Ride share, bikes, and scooters depending on the area.

8) GPSmyCity

This is a tour app for popular tourist cites and towns. It is a great option if you like to explore on your own.

9) PeakFinder/Night Sky

Fun apps in the mountains and in a dark sky.

10) Photos

Create a folder of travel photos you will need — passport, drivers license, travel insurance, travel itinerary, etc.

Posted in Travel Advice, Travel Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Highlights of Santiago

Here are some of the most popular sites in Santiago:

  1. Bellavista + Patio Bellavista
  2. San Cristobal Hill
  3. Plaza de Armas + Mercado Central + Santa Lucia Market
  4. Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago
  5. Lastarria
  6. Santa Lucia Hill
  7. Wine Tasting

See Also:


Bellavista + Patio Bellavista

Fun neighborhood with many restaurants and shops near the Castillo Rojo hotel.


San Cristobal Hill

Take a tram or hike up to the top of this hill near Bellavista.


Plaza de Armas + Mercado Central + Santa Lucia Market

Santiago is a very walkable city with many interesting sights!


Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago

Beautiful cathedral right on the Plaza de Armas.


Lastarria

Fun area with great hotels, restaurants, and shops.


Santa Lucia Hill

A quick hike in the Lastarria neighborhood.


Wine Tasting

There are many wineries in the Santiago area making a great day trip.


Contact us if you are traveling to Chile and Santiago!

Posted in Chile | Leave a comment

Hotel Las Torres — Torres del Paine, Chile

Hotel Las Torres is located in the Central Sector right at the trail head for the Las Torres Base trek.

Visit Hotel Las Torres:

The main building has the front desk and the Pionero Lounge, which is a large, cozy lounge/bar area. They offer homemade beer and craft cocktails. Lunch is served in the bar. There is also a lounge/sitting area in each section of rooms.

To the right is the excursion area where the guides will walk you through what excursions are available each day. Past that is the restaurant and past that is the spa.

It has 82 rooms and 2 suites. Each room has 1 king or 2 twin beds, closet, desk and chair, large windows that open, bath and shower combo (small tub).

The spa has 1 private jacuzzi, 2 private dry saunas, and 2 massage rooms. Everything is at an additional charge.

There are stables for 200 horses and an organic farm.

There is an interpretive trail by the hotel, which takes about 30 minutes. It is well laid out and interesting.

Breakfast is a large buffet and eggs made to order right in front of you. There is a large menu for dinner.

You receive a gift bag of a metal water bottle, snack bag, and neck pillow.

It is a 2 hour drive from Puerto Natales. At 1hr40m, you reach the park entrance where you show your entrance ticket (driver has). They have nice vans with reclining seats and USB charging ports. It is 5 hours to Punta Arenas and 5 hours to El Calafate.

The Lamb Experience dinner is a special experience where you share a lamb that is slow cooked for 6 hours over a fire in the middle of the room. There are also roasted vegetables, wine, dessert, and hot mulled wine. It is offered every night in high season and every other night in shoulder season. This is for up to 15 people in a separate building. It is included in the all-inclusive program, or it is extra.

Hotel Las Torres Lamb Dinner:

  • Wine
  • Grilled Potatoes, Giant carrots, Red peppers, Onions, Apples, Squash
  • Salad
  • Lamb over an open fire
  • Bread
  • Stewed Peaches and barley in sweet sauce
  • Hot mulled wine
Posted in Chile, Patagonia, Trekking, W-Trek | Tagged | Leave a comment