15 on Orange Hotel
For modern style with a twist, 15 on Orange is hard to beat. The African Pride hotel offers 129 spacious rooms and modern, quirky decor throughout (delegates enter via the stone 'red carpet' and check in amid feathered lamps - even the lift boasts a luxurious golden seat). Facilities include a cafe, the 74-seat Savour restaurant serving global cuisine and the Suntra Spa complete with a roof pool. Event spaces include three boardrooms with capacities ranging from ten to 18 delegates and a function room for 30. It is located at the foot of Table Mountain, within walking distance of the National Museum and the Planetarium.
Cape Town International Convention Centre
Ideal for larger events, the light and airy Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) is located in the heart of the city. Its wealth of facilities include a 2,000m2 ballroom, auditoriums for 1,500 and 620 delegates respectively and 33 breakout rooms with capacities ranging from 25 to 320. CTICC was the first convention centre in Africa to sign up to the United Nations Global Compact, and is a Global Green Alliance founding member. Directly linked is the Westin Cape Town, offering 483 modern rooms with floor-to-ceiling views over Cape Town.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Cape Town Blaauwberg
Located 16 miles from Cape Town's business district, the hotel will offer the perfect retreat for VIP groups when it opens in April. Delegates will be able to enjoy 30 miles of sandy beaches and views of the city and Table Mountain. The hotel will offer 140 rooms, an outdoor pool with a 385m2 deck to soak up the South African sunshine, a fitness centre and the Filini Bar & Restaurant. Incentive activities can include whale-watching and a trip to the nearby Rietvlei Nature Reserve. For events, the hotel will offer six meeting rooms, including two large conference halls covering 184m2 and 116m2 respectively.
Groups can expect more than a meal at the luxuriously titled Gold Restaurant, which counts T-Mobile and Pizza Hut among its recent clients. The eclectic, pan-African experience features interactive djembe drumming sessions for up to 100 and a 14-dish set menu. Entertainment includes the Pulse of Mali show performed around the tables. Event spaces include two courtyards for 150 and 50 delegates seated, while up to 250 can be hosted for cocktails. The restaurant leases space from the Gold of Africa Museum, which offers guided jewellery exhibition tours with a glass of bubbly and 24-carat gold leaf. Ideal for VIPs, the restaurant boasts a security status to match that of the South African Reserve Bank due to the museum's collection.
For oenophiles and gourmets
The Vineyard Hotel & Spa
Perfect for both incentive and meeting groups, the property is located in six acres of parkland on the banks of the Liesbeek River. Up to 130 can dine at its Square Restaurant, with indoor trees and a sushi bar. Alternatively, chef Mike Bassett's acclaimed Myoga restaurant offers contemporary fusion cuisine and an award-winning wine list. For a VIP experience, book the private cellar for 16 delegates. The 207 bedrooms are decorated with works by leading South African artists. The conference centre ticks several sustainability boxes, including using renewable electricity sources since September 2009. The centre spans two floors, each with the capacity for 280.
Elegance with a view
Mount Nelson Hotel
Delegates familiar with the Orient-Express collection will not be disappointed with its Cape Town offering. Set against the backdrop of Table Mountain, it offers 201 rooms with views of the gardens, Signal Hill or the mountain. The lavish afternoon tea is a must, along with a visit to the Librisa Spa. It also unveiled its refurbished - and renamed - Planet restaurant in January. The new-look space features a Swarovski crystal-tiled walkway depicting a map of the stars, and windows looking out to the nine-acre gardens. Delegates can also dine al fresco on the underfloor-heated terrace, or in the private dining room for eight. Event spaces include six meeting rooms with capacity for 300 delegates.
Billed as South Africa's oldest and most historic hotel - it was established in 1802 - the hotel is located 28 miles from the city in the Stellenbosch wine region. It offers 32 en-suite rooms and six apartments with Georgian-style decor, plus a heated pool and the 75-seat 1802 Restaurant, which offers local and international cuisine and an impressive wine list. Ideal for smaller incentive groups, nearby activities include several golf courses, guided historical village walks and wine tours. The hotel also offers a meeting space for 40 delegates. It is currently undergoing extensive renovations and restoration, set to be completed by April.
South African Tourism
Contact: Donna Abberley
Tel: 020 8971 9354
Buyer Verdict: Why does Cape Town work well for events?
Aoife Delaney, Ovation Global DMC, regional director of sales for UK & Ireland
Cape Town is one of the most exciting and efficient meetings and events destinations I've ever visited. We operated the annual conference for the Dublin Solicitors' Bar Association there and received ecstatic feedback from delegates who loved how easily all facilities flowed into each other. They stayed at the five-star Table Bay Hotel, but moved for evening functions around the various portside restaurants. The setting was incredible, with the crashing ocean on one side and the iconic Table Mountain on the other. We visited the wine regions, took the very poignant tour of Robben Island, drove to the Cape where we put one foot in the Atlantic and one foot in the Indian Ocean, enjoyed sundowners under a stunning, endless sky at Camps Bay. We also undertook a really worthwhile CSR project with the Niall Mellon Foundation, who provide proper housing for homeless Capetonians. I can honestly say it was one of the most professionally and personally rewarding events I've ever been involved in.
Steven Moffett, SML Marketing and Events, creative managing director
Quite apart from its variety of activities, fabulous venues, stunning settings and exoticism, Cape Town offers good value for money. Besides a favourable exchange rate, the trick is going slightly off-piste. Look beyond the obvious and you will find real gems, from B&Bs like Kensington Place to the Village Apartments. There is a treasure trove of hotels and The Mother City also offers a wide range of venues, from Stellenbosch wine estates, the city castle, Robben Island, the Waterfront and the new football stadium to the spectacular vantage point at the top of Table Mountain. Imagine a breakfast meeting on Table Mountain, a conference designed to inspire in the sight of Nelson Mandela's prison or a dinner under African skies, with the sound of lions in a private game reserve. You could even send delegates off for a shark dive if they weren't satisfied with the wonderful food and wine on offer in the city. Tokara Estate is worth a mention, as is a private lunch on the beach at The Grand Cafe, complete with sofas in the sand.