Thanks to Three Cities Hotel group, Travelstart recently had a short but sweet stay at the Inn on the Square in the Cape Town CBD. This 4-Star Cape Town hotel is directly across from our offices on Greenmarket Square, so straight after work last Thursday (22nd September 2011) we dashed across the piazza motivated by thoughts of a slap up dinner at the Inn’s Dish restaurant.
Inn on the Square recently underwent a 33 Million Rand ‘soft’ refurbishment and the improvements are evident the moment you step off the square and into the hotel’s foyer. Check in went smoothly and took about two minutes thanks to the professionalism and efficiency of Cindy Oormeyer at reception. After checking in, I immediately took the lift to my room on the 7th floor, excited to see the results of the modifications carried out in the winter months.
Inn on the Square Accommodation Review
I had been booked into Room 708 – a Standard Double Room (nonsmoking). The first thing that struck me about the room was the great views you have of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak as well as the activity going on in the square below. The sellers were packing up for the day when I arrived so there was quite a lot of noise coming from below, however, this was easily solved by closing the window.
The room is small but intelligent use of the space means it doesn’t feel pokey. A wall mounted Plasma TV provides a sleek and unobtrusive entertainment solution and additional reading lights above the bed are a bright and useful touch.
- Coffee/Tea Station (incl. plunger style filter coffee)
- Satellite TV with a bouquet of channels including local, sport, movie channels, music and international news – no on demand TV or pay-per-view
- Air Conditioned
- Hair Dryer
- Electronic Safes
- Free Wi-Fi
- Recently refurbished bathroom including powerful shower head
After examining the room I made myself a cup of filter coffee with the plunger provided then headed downstairs to Dish Cigar Bar & Lounge to meet Wouter, Helen and Jonty from Travelstart.
Dish Restaurant Review
Dish is the Inn’s on site restaurant. There are 2 parts to it – the Dish Cigar Bar & Lounge (West of the foyer) and the Dish dining area to the east. There is also a large outdoor veranda* that looks directly on to Greenmarket Square, however, we opted to stay indoors as the Cape Town winter isn’t finished just yet.
Naturally, we started at the bar before making our way across the foyer to dinner. There are 2 lounge areas in the bar (both with fireplaces) which create a cozy atmosphere especially on cool winter evenings. A stylish, temperature controlled cellar houses a selection of fine local wines and there are a range of quality cigars on offer. The bar staff had no knowledge of this blog and were observant from the outset – Always friendly and always there to offer you another drink and a clean ashtray.
Next was dinner. The 7 of us were seated by Frederick (the Inn’s F&B Manager) and were introduced to our waiter for the evening. His service throughout the evening was impeccable – not overbearing but always on hand for any request. Craig Anderson, Exec Chef at Dish Restaurant at Inn on the Square introduced us to the menu for the evening – a good variety of salads, light meals, poultry, seafood, pasta and meat dishes. The food and wine pairings on the menu should help you with your selections for your evening.
Sandy walked me through some of the changes that have been made to the hotel over dinner. The building is a National Monument so full blown structural changes aren’t possible, and in my opinion aren’t necessary. Most of the surface changes that have been made are designed to enhance comfort for guests as well as bring the hotel up-to-date as we head into 2012… even the iconic clock which graces the upper most part of the building is keeping up with the times again.
While they’re still ironing out a few cosmetic glitches (which weren’t even visible to my naked eye), the soft refurbishment has freshened up the art deco building’s interior dramatically. The layout of the hotel is much the same as before but new carpets and a fresh coat of paint have gone a long way in uplifting the interiors.
What we like about Inn on the Square
Aside from the Inn on the Square being opposite our offices, we like that you walk out the front doors of the hotel and you’re greeted by the hustle and bustle of Cape Town’s famous Greenmarket Square. The rhythmic Marimba band draws you in as you browse the stands. The market is a buzzing hub and visitors to the Mother City will most certainly pick up a fantastic souvenir to take home. Sellers come from all over Africa to sell their wares and you can find anything from T-Shirts with a unique African flavour to authentic woodcarvings and beadwork.
The hotel is also in close proximity to a number of fine restaurants and quaint sidewalk cafés as well as Cape Town’s famous Long Street if you’re looking to indulge in the best of the Mother City’s nightlife scene.
In summary, you’re not far from all the delights of the Mother City when you stay at Inn on the Square. With Greenmarket Square on your doorstep, the V&A Waterfront in close proximity and the Table Mountain Cableway just up the road; everything is just really accessible meaning you save on transport and are able to explore Cape Town on your own terms.
- Same day laundry service available except Sunday’s and Public Holidays
- Airport Transfers can be arranged
- In house concierge available
- Rooftop pool, Gym and Sauna. Sandy told me the gym will be upgraded with new equipment and Plasma TV’s soon.
Location, Location, Location as they say is what it’s all about and Inn on the Square couldn’t be in a better position. Whether you’re doing business in the Cape Town CBD or want to be close to all of Cape Town’s attractions for your leisurely holiday, Inn on the Square has a prime location.
It honestly feels like you’re getting a 5-Star product at 4-Star prices when you stay at Inn on the Square. In a sentence the staff was polite, efficient, attentive and approachable while the rooms were spotless, modern and comfortable. Judging by their near 100% occupancy levels for the month of October, the refurbishment at Inn on the Square has been extremely well received.
On behalf of the Travelstart team I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to Sandy Pollock and Chantelle Mogg from Three Cities for hosting us in inimitable style.
All Inn on the Square pictures: Russell Jarvis
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