Hotel check: Protea Hotel President

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Background

Protea Hotels was formed back in 1984, with an initial base of four managed properties. Today, it is the largest hotel group in Africa, with over a hundred hospitality establishments in nine countries on the African continent.

What’s it like?

Restrained, cozy sophistication meets clean, bold exterior lines and elegant redesigned interiors with marble tiled floors, white walls, high ceilings, and unsurpassed views of the sea.

Where is it?

The 4-star Protea Hotel President is bang in the middle of Bantry Bay, which flows into the millionaires’ playgrounds of Clifton and Llandudno. The Atlantic Ocean hugs the front of the property and Lion’s Head soars behind it. The hotel is 30 seconds from the beach, five minutes from the V&A Waterfront, 10 minutes from Table Mountain and 30 minutes from Cape Town International Airport.

Room Facilities

The best way to enjoy the ocean is from a plush sofa in front of a large window, and that’s just what I did, watching the breakers from our sizable sitting room in our one-bedroomed apartment on the sixth floor. One or two bedroomed apartments comprise a small kitchen with fridge, microwave and kettle, a bedroom with comfy queen-sized bed, separate loo, and bathroom with a tub and shower. Of the hotel’s 349 rooms, three rooms are suitable for the disabled and guests can choose between ocean or mountain views. Our walls were white and unadorned, but offset by the lightwood veneer desk, coffee table, kitchen and built-in wardrobes. We used up our complimentary 100MB Wi-Fi in a flash and bought a voucher for R235 per gigabyte, which easily lasted our remaining three days. I caught up on emails at our work desk, while my husband watched sport on the multi-channel TV. Being a fresh air fiend, I enjoyed leaving the windows open and falling asleep to the roar of the Atlantic.

Restaurants and Bars

The breakfast was worth getting up for. I tucked into stewed fruit, yoghurt, smoked salmon with cottage cheese, chicken liver pate and mushroom omlettes, while my husband enjoyed the pancakes. We twice dined at the Islands Restaurant, which offers an “eat-as-much-as-you-like” buffet at R200 a head. It’s posh enough to merit a jacket, but I also felt at home in jeans. We also tried the set menu – great value at R180 each, including a starter (salad or soup), main (grilled chicken or beef curry) and dessert (fruit and litchi sorbet or crème brulee), all washed down with a glass of red wine. In summer, 120 people can lunch on the terrace overlooking the rim-flow pool or sip a cocktail from the Senate Bar.

Business Facilities

Three conferencing venues can seat up to 100 people per venue, depending on the seating style. Alternatively, the three rooms can be opened into one big venue for large conferences (350 people), gala dinners, cocktail functions, weddings or dances. There’s parking for 200 cars and conference-goers can expect a relaxed environment with tea breaks on the pool terrace.

Leisure Facilities

Nearby sporting facilities include tennis, squash, bowls, golf, jet skiing and a gym. The hotel has a curio shop, hair salon & nail bar, pool, small in-house gym and, of course, the beach just across the road. The Canal Walk Shopping Centre’s shuttle collects guests and drops them back outside the hotel’s front door. The V&A Waterfront’s shuttle also stops near the hotel.

Verdict

With high standard rooms and excellent facilities for events and parties, the Protea Hotel President is a modern, convenient and cost-effective choice for the business traveller.

Contact

Address: 4 Alexander Road, Bantry Bay, +27 21 434 8111, sales@presidenthotel.co.za, proteahotels.com

 

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