CONCIERGE’S CHOICE

“We Are Worth Waiting For!” Until the time comes to explore the beautiful city, Cape Town. #WeAreWorthWaitingFor

Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Tourism says, “Tourism is an economic lifeline for many small to medium-sized businesses in Cape Town and accounts for thousands of jobs in our city. The City, in partnership with Cape Town Tourism, will continue investing in programmes and campaigns to drive demand and keep the city top of mind, which is the main objective at this point. I am very proud of the efforts that Cape Town Tourism has taken to launch such a meaningful campaign, bearing a very warm message of hope and positivity at such a challenging time.”

Concierges in Cape Town who entered our Distell Inter Hotel Challenge 2019 have shown their admiration for the Mother City in putting together the most stunning itineraries for future visitors to the Cape.  The Concierge’s Choice #CapeTown at a glance…

2019 Distell Inter Hotel Challenge TOP 3 CONCIERGE’S LISTS: 

Sasha-Simone van Zyl, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve 
SEE SASHA’S ENTRY HERE… https://www.facebook.com/SHOWCOOKcom/posts/2377644299015758
Masood Sadulla, Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa 
SEE MASOOD’S ENTRY HERE… https://www.facebook.com/SHOWCOOKcom/posts/2379053625541492
Bradley Solomons, The Table Bay (Sun International)
SEE BRADLEY’S ENTRY HERE… https://www.facebook.com/SHOWCOOKcom/posts/238822958462389

Sasha-Simone van Zyl says, “Don’t miss Grootbos Private Nature Reserve  BIRDWATCHING EXPERIENCE AND MORE!”

You can tell by the chorus of the birdsong that greets you on arrival at Grootbos, that bird watching here will be out of the ordinary. With 118 different bird species and 26 that are endemic to the region, you’re sure to record more than a few rare sightings.

Go on a dedicated birding tour, walk a short trail or simply spot birds from your suite.

Look out for the Knysna Woodpecker, Southern Tchagra and Cape Rock Thrush. Glimpse the vivid orange of a Sunbird’s breast, see a Cape Sugarbird sipping on nectar or spot a rare Black Harrier.

Cool Afromontane forests, the rocky coastline and serene estuaries provide a magnificent backdrop to our birding outings. Our experienced guides will share fascinating facts while helping you spot rare and endemic birds feeding and breeding in these different ecosystems.

BOTANICAL 4X4 EXPERIENCE 
Take a 4×4 botanical safari on an open-top Land Rover and soak up the serenity in shaded glades, feel the wind in your hair as you drive past fields of flowers and get perspective looking down from mountain peaks. 
The 800 recorded plant species in our 2500 hectares of pristine wilderness will bring the fascinating story of fynbos and forest to life as you touch, smell and see the natural miracles that surround you. Your time at Grootbos will mean that you’ll never look at plants and flowers in quite the same way again. 
Learn how a sunbird’s beak fits perfectly into a flower, why the honey our bees produce is completely unique and how important ravaging fires are for bringing forth new life. Learn how native inhabitants have used fynbos for centuries. Understand the significance of your surroundings, and see the beauty that will stay with you for a lifetime.

HIVE TO HOME EXPERIENCE 
Suit up and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Visit active beehives under the guidance of our experienced beekeeper and learn the important role bees play in our environment and how delicate their ecosystem is. 
Explore the secret life inside the hive and see what the buzz is all about. Look inside a beehive and bee amazed by the fractals in nature – the matrix of hexagonal cells. An insect society made up of individuals that come together to function as one. 
Learn how black and yellow formations set out to collect nectar to create a unique fynbos honey. Then visit the Grootbos Green Futures Farm and see how natural honey is spun and the many uses it has to offer. 
Conclude the Hive to Home experience with a delicious honey-inspired breakfast under the ancient Milkwood trees. Take your own jar of fynbos honey home with you.

FARM TO TABLE EXPERIENCE 
We believe that nothing tastes better than organic, freshly picked vegetables and herbs. And what could be better than harvesting these items yourself and enjoying them in your meal on the same day. 
At Grootbos, we have our own farm from which we harvest and get these ingredients to our kitchen and onto your plate as fresh as possible. You are invited to partake in this simple, satisfying process by picking your own. 
Then, step into the kitchen and marvel at how the bright yellow yolks of the eggs you just collected are transformed into a golden carbonara. Or how fresh red peppers aromatically transform a wild rice dish. Garnish your prawn curry with dewy coriander bursting with fragrance and flavour. 
You’ll leave us with more than delighted tastebuds – you’ll leave us with rich culinary memories.

GROOTBOS GASTRONOMIC EXPERIENCE 
Why do people travel? To experience and explore! 
The Grootbos Gastronomic Experience does exactly this by taking guests on a sensory journey through a 6-course food and wine tasting menu showcasing elements of this unique landscape and heritage. The menu created includes a combination of an array of indigenous edible plants paired with local wines from the Overberg region, all inspired by one of our local cultures. 
Each course is complimented by an explanation of why and how a certain plant was used, the cultural dish that inspired it, where and who produced the paired wine and why it is special to the region. We explain why the terroir of the Walker Bay and Cape Agulhas Wine Districts is unique and showcase examples of the excellent wines they are producing. 
Guests are able to forage with our chef team along the Walker Bay coastline and on our Green Futures organic farm. Engaging with sourcing and understanding the ingredients is reinforced by their incorporation and representation on the tasting menu.

GROWING THE FUTURE EXPERIENCE 
From the very beginning, we’ve always been about much more than luxury travel. Which is why we designed the entire Grootbos experience around a new movement we call Progressive Tourism: and we want the world to share in this vision too. 
What is progressive tourism? It’s a term we coined to explain a new way of living that is at the heart of the entire Grootbos experience. It’s about every action we take benefitting someone else or having a positive impact on the environment. 
From the freshly grown tomatoes you eat at lunch to the recycled candles in your room, to the earrings you buy at the gift shop – we’re constantly seeking out new ways to create sustainable livelihoods for the people who call this unique area home. 
Experience the wide-reaching influence of the Grootbos Foundation. We walk you through the education centre where students are engaged in hospitality, conservation and farming studies. We go past the community farm in Masakhane township where locals are now growing their own food or the environmental study centre at Witfoetskloof where conservation knowledge is being spread. Let’s go cheer on one of the kids’ soccer teams at the sports centre. We can’t wait to introduce you to the community.

LADY STANFORD RIVER CRUISE EXPERIENCE 
Soak up scenes of the surrounding mountain ranges, while quietly cruising down the Klein River from Stanford to the Hermanus Estuary. Assisted by our experienced guides, spot a flamboyant flock of Flamingos or Blue Swallows riding the airwaves next to the boat. There are more than 100 bird species to be seen along this peaceful river. 
Lady Stanford is an experience for any nature lover who wants to be completely immersed in a pristine environment. It can comfortably accommodate up to 26 passengers and is fully equipped with relevant birding books and checklists, binoculars, blankets and even an eco-friendly toilet. 
On your way back to Grootbos take a slow drive through small-town Stanford, one of South Africa’s only Heritage villages, whose history dates back to the early 1800s. Get a glimpse of times past while viewing the Victorian and Edwardian architectural designs. Perhaps stop for quick ice cream on the main road while you soak up the senses on your drive back to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.

ANCIENT CAVES EXPERIENCE 
Our guided cave tour along the dramatic limestone cliffs of De Kelders will introduce you to a Stone Age World. Once upon a time, the indigenous San people and later the Khoi bushmen called these caves home. See how they lived as you visit Klipgat Caves, a World Heritage Site, and snap some breathtakingly beautiful photographs. 
This is one of only three places in South Africa where such ancient remains have been found. Learn more about it through engaging commentary from our guides, and get transported back in time to a forgotten world. 
While out exploring the caves you can also learn more about marine life, perhaps spotting the rare black oystercatcher, a sea otter and other coastal creatures.

WHALE WATCHING EXPERIENCE 
It’s no secret that whale lovers from around the world flock to Walker Bay every year to observe these peaceful giants of the deep. The close proximity you get to these majestic creatures and the pristine natural environment you view them in is what elevates this experience above the ordinary and makes it the best in the world. 
Grootbos is ideally positioned to offer you close encounters with the magnificent Southern Right Whales. Spoilt for choice you can either view them from land, sea or air. They migrate every year from the icy Antarctic to our warm, sheltered bays to mate, calve and raise their young and seeing them in their natural habitat is a sight that will leave you spellbound.

GREAT WHITE EXPERIENCE 
This thrilling encounter with one of nature’s most fearsome predators will stay with you for years to come. Venture into our underwater world with a tour company who prides itself on conducting responsible experiences – protecting both these creatures and the environment. 
Gansbaai in the Western Cape of South Africa offers the best shark cage diving in the world: attracting these awesome predators as they hunt for birds, penguins and seals. Look these hunters right in the eye and feel your adrenalin surge as you make memories you’ll keep for a lifetime. 
No diving experience is needed and you’ll never be more than a metre below the surface, completely protected in a metal cage. We work in partnership with Marine Dynamics, conducting the tour on our luxury boat along with the help of a dedicated marine biologist.

See more…www.grootbos.com

More than just an ambassador for The Table Bay hotel, Concierge Bradley Solomons is an ambassador for the Western Cape of South Africa and the extraordinary experiences it offers. Living and breathing the culture, they have tried and tested food and wine in places off the beaten track and explored landscapes and spaces that most tourists don’t get to see… 

We invite you to experience Bradley’s ‘Concierge’s Choice’ – Contact Bradley Solomons to facilitate your booking 021 406 5695 at The Table Bay hotel Sun International.

URBAN FORAGING EXPERIENCE
Explore Cape Town’s splendid freshest outdoor “market” under the guidance of urban hunter gatherers who have intricate knowledge of the Cape’s landscapes and the opportunities to harvest wild plants for culinary use. Depending on what is available in nature’s larder, you will be taken on informative and scenic tours of some of Cape Town’s beautiful areas, and then return to the hotel where our chef’s will transform your ingredients and present you with a taste of Cape Town. 

FYNBOS PICNIC BY AIR
Languish under Western Cape skies amidst indigenous Fynbos in a most private and secluded spot at the top of the Platberg, the mountain of the “sleeping dog”. Unreachable by foot or by vehicle, you will be flown in a helicopter to a private nature reserve site, Baskloof, from where you will take a short 20-minute hike to the picnic spot which offers breathtaking views of the ocean.

EXPERIENCE A JAZZ SAFARI
Enjoy an evening of unforgettable music with local jazz musicians in their own homes. Share a traditional meal such as braaied snoek or pickled fish in the comfort of the home of an accomplished jazz performer. The evening is perfectly rounded off with a visit to a jazz venue for the late set. All of the musicians you will encounter represent the authentic sound of Cape Town jazz.

SNORKEL WITH SEALS BENEATH THE 12 APOSTLES
There is a quiet spot close to Camps Bay where you can snorkel with seals in their natural habitat. This intimate experience requires no prior experience and you will not need any complicated diving equipment. You will be briefed and escorted by expert guides as you swim amidst the colony of seals below the 12 Apostles.

HISTORIC TUNNEL TOUR
Take a guided walking tour of the underground tunnels for an eye-opening perspective of the city. Few people know about this underground water system that rests beneath Cape Town’s metropolis. Follow the river of our culture and heritage that runs off Table Mountain to the Castle of Good Hope. This educational and historic tour will inspire your imagination. 

See more…https://showcook.com/blog/2019/08/23/the-concierges-choice-2/

Sun International
The Table Bay hotel

Yusuf Jinoo, Head Concierge Radisson Blu Granger Bay says, “Cape Town is iconic with so many memorable activities, it is extremely difficult to narrow down a list for our guests, but here are my top recommendations. We personalise them based on individual requirements i.e. a family or honeymooners.”

TABLE MOUNTAIN 
Must be the No.1 choice as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the world. We encourage guests to enjoy the experience and walk up. Walking up really gives you an opportunity to breathe in the city and is an experience like none other. They, however, need to be prepared and we can help with that, a sun hat, warm jacket, lots of water and snacks are all very important. 

A MOONLIGHT WALK-UP LION’S HEAD
Hard to beat an evening out under the stars, while enjoying a view like none other. 

CAPE POINT AND THE PENINSULA TOUR 
Cape Point may not be the southernmost point of Africa – that honour goes to Cape Agulhas – but it certainly feels like the meeting point of the oceans. Beautiful scenery and history, the original lighthouse was built in 1859 on Da Gama Peak.  Enjoy the Penguins and Boulders Beach, Restaurants and stunning ocean views on the rest of the Peninsula Tour

BO-KAAP 
Not only a striking photo opportunity between all the brightly painted homes but an opportunity to taste and smell the local spices. If you enjoy food and learning about local cuisines, we can also arrange a cooking experience in a local home. Guests can then take a little of Cape Town home to their kitchens. 

THE WINELANDS 
With so many options you really need to chat one on one with the guests to feel what best suits them. From Franschhoek’s tram to Stanford’s wines, and the history of Constantia to the vineyards of Stellenbosch. Majestic views, historical towns and the best restaurants, it’s our job to help them choose.

DINING OUT
Cape Town boasts some of the finest restaurants in the world and it is our duty to know and recommend the best, the special and the unique. A few of my favourites, besides our Tobago’s Restaurant, which offers ocean views and alfresco dining, would be; Test Kitchen, Pot Luck Club, La Colombe and Shortmarket Club. Other gems are Fish on the Rocks in Hout Bay, Wembley Take Away on the Cape Flats and Bo Kaap Kombuis, which offers a diverse mix of cuisine.

THE WATERFRONT’S SATURDAY MARKET
This is where the locals come to buy their fruit and veg for the week, but it also an opportunity to taste the bespoke flavours of Cape Town. Within walking distance of the hotel, it’s a taste experience.

CITY WALKING TOUR 
A Saturday experience, offering smaller groups a guided walking experience through the city. Truly experience the culture and vibe of Cape Town and Capetonians by getting up close.

1ST THURSDAYS
An unusual way to experience our city – bars, restaurants and art gallery’s open up onto the streets with a fair or market vibe. We guide our guests so that they experience the art as well as the nightlife. 

ADVENTURE OPTIONS
Unlimited adventure options in Cape Town include paragliding, shark cage diving, kite surfing, surfing, sandboarding, and many more.

A TRUE TOWNSHIP EXPERIENCE 
Culture travel is of global importance, people want to get to know the locals in a destination and our township tours allow them to meet the locals, walk through their homes and experience a local beverage.

KAYAKING 
Atlantic Outlook situated minutes from our hotel offers guests epic moments. Slide through the ocean and enjoy a view experienced by few, you may even get an opportunity to see dolphins. 

ZEITZ MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART AFRICA 
Celebrate African art, with an awe-inspiring selection shown off in a spectacular renovated grain silo. Not far from the hotel in the V&A Waterfront adds a sophistication often needed to balance a trip.

KIRSTENBOSCH BOTANICAL GARDENS
Choose from a picnic, or decadent lunch or perhaps a hike through the gardens and up Table Mountain? Containing over 7000 species of plants from Southern Africa.

V&A WATERFRONT
A myriad of adventure from boat trips (for kids and sundowners for adults) shopping delights, Two Oceans Aquarium, Scratch Patch and Cave golf as well as the Cape Town Wheel and so much more.

Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Capetown
V&A Waterfront
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
Cape Point


Nardus Buys, Head Concierge at The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa,
shares his diverse wish list of 15 activities to experience!

The Tunnels
Not one of the biggest secrets anymore but still a stunning part of Cape Town that very few people know of! 1.5 Million Litres of Water running out of Table Mountain into the ocean in myriad brick tunnels that date back to 1652. These tunnels used to supply the Company Gardens with Fresh Water as well as passing ships.

The Heritage Vine
Known as the oldest wine-producing vine in South Africa, one of the few remaining French Vinifera rootstock. Estimated to have been planted in 1771. This Vine is in the Cape Heritage Courtyard and still produces a few liters of wine a year!

St Georges Cathedral in Woodstock
Also known as the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St George was built in 1904 Byzantine-style frescoes decorate the vaults, walls, and apse with depictions of Jesus and various other saints and icons. This artwork, painted by the Romanian priest and hagiographer Father Nikolai during the 1990’s, is nothing short of beautiful. The domed ceilings are painted light blue and dotted with stars, and when the light shines in through the stained glass windows, it is as if you are transported east to the shining Mediterranean.

Centre of the Book
If you love books this will be the place to go. One of the finest examples of Edwardian architecture in the city – the ceremonial hall was based on an ancient Greek theatre, and the dome rises 56 feet with a base made from Paarl granite.

Kleinbaai Park
This little spot in Blouberg has the best views of Table Mountain and the City Bowl, so get here before sunset and enjoy the view.

Franschhoek Wine Tram
One of the most ingenious ways to do Wine Tasting in Franschhoek, you hop on a Tram that takes to different amazing Wine Farms and experience from art to cheetah encounters.

The Alpaca Loom
Visit the petting zoo and see these quirky South American native animals up close. Situated in Paarl it worth the drive to see what these animals are all about.

Hint Hunt
Rather like staying indoors and solving puzzles! Hint Hunt has it covered! You and a group of up to five people have 60 minutes to escape a room by solving an array of puzzles and mysteries.

Crystal Pools
Situated in the Steenbras Nature Reserve (an hour outside of Cape Town) although it takes about 45 minutes to hike to the first pool it is well worth a dip!

The Clay Café
Situated in Hout bay this will bring out the inner artist in everyone that joins, come and choose your pottery piece, paint your owns colors and style and they will bake the finished piece for you in a couple of weeks to treasure forever!

Honest Chocolate
This artisanal chocolate cafe is certainly the best place to go when the craving for chocolate kicks in, Indulgence is the easiest way to say it!

!Khwa Ttu
!Khwa ttu combines culture and heritage, adventure and relaxation, and education, giving a new understanding of the phrase “San Spirit Shared”. As far as I know the only place they educate about the first inhabitants of our beautiful South Africa! And as a bonus they have a 360 degree cinema.

Stony Point Penguin Colony
Situated in the small village of Bettys Bay and hour outside of Cape Town it has one of the largest African Penguin Colonies +-2500 breeding pairs. This used to be an old whaling station called Waaygat in the 1900s.

Wally’s Cave (Lion’s Head)
One of the most popular caves amongst many on Lion’s Head but most people hiking Lion’s Head have never been.

Chapman’s Peak Drive
114 curves make this 9km route something special, views that one can only dream off and it took seven years to build and consist of picnic areas and amazing viewpoints.

12 Apostles Hotel and Spa
www.12apostleshotel.com

“Be entertained by all this and more in my City!” says Charné Davids.

“The Mother City, Cape Town, voted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, is rich with a mixture of cultures, vibrant nightlife and interesting historical sites,” says Charné Davids, Concierge TAJ Cape Town, Distell Inter Hotel Challenge 2019.

Included in her superb list of diverse activities for travellers to experience…

NOT JUST WINE
Horseback ride combined with safari and wine! Situated on R304 Koelenhof, 12km from Stellenbosch  Horse Rides at Pete’s Adventure Farm. It’s quite interesting as this tour combines wildlife and wine tasting. The game reserve is home to springbok, zebra, giraffe wildebeest, kudu and eland. No need to drive to the outskirts to experience nature wildlife and wine do it all on the way to the wine region of Stellenbosch.

EXPLORE
See African penguins by Water Bike in Simons Town. https://insideguide.co.za/cape-town/things-to-do/water-bikes/ Cape Town. Water Bikes offer a guided or self-guided water adventure from Simon’s Town.

SIDECAR ADVENTURES 
Chapmans Peak Iis one of the most scenic drives with beautiful views, if you are looking for a memorable experience ride along Chapman’s Peak in a sidecar. https://www.sidecars.co.za/

LION’S HEAD 
Live a little and experience the joy and freedom! Most locals hike Lion’s Head, get your adrenaline fix by paragliding.

THE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE
Gold restaurant is brilliant when it comes to dinner and a show. Learn how to drum while experiencing African cuisine take home the memories of laughter, fun and face painting. If you are up for day time drumming Long street is home to an African market where you can learn how to drum. 

SUNDOWNERS 
Camps Bay (Our mini Miami) is great for sundowners and sunsets. Rent a bicycle from UP CYCLES and cycle along the beach promenade. Camps Bay is vibrant during the summer season, enjoy a cocktail or two at Chinchilla, an exclusive rooftop venue. So for stunning views and perfect sunsets head to Camps Bay. https://upcycles.co.za/

FOR THE LOVE OF ART
Zeitz Mocca Museum. This beautiful gallery is situated in the V&A Waterfront, The Silo building is home to modern African contemporary art. 
In Cape Town we celebrate ‘First Thursdays’ when all art galleries are open until late, visitors and locals are issued a map with locations of galleries in the City. This is a great way to explore and find out about upcoming exhibitions and events.

UNDER THE STARS 
Concert or movie under the stars at Kirstenbosch Gardens. This world-famous garden ranks as one of the best and most beautiful botanical gardens in the world. Galileo open-air cinema enjoyed by many locals during the summer season is a must-do.
Summer concerts are entertaining and music draws local and international visitors. Summer isn’t summer in Cape Town without a sunset concert so why not combine nature and music.

www.tajcapetown.com

The role of the Concierge in any of the great hotels of the world
has always been a vital one. Often the face of the hotel,
playing a most extraordinary part…
See more here –
Showcook.comhttps://showcook.com/…/2019/08/23/the-concierges-choice-2/

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