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Experience all-suite luxury at the Peninsula Hotel

The iconic windswept trees that hug the Queens Beach corner of Sea Point's Platinum Mile signify a strong link to the past for the Peninsula All-Suite Hotel. Its recent refurbishment has polished the perks that regulars love, while adding a fresh sparkle with soothing touches of the sunset-kissed sea everywhere you look.
All images supplied.

After a speedy check in at the regal navy reception area, where we all the amenities were explained, we were warmly met by the GM Chris Godenir. At the Peninsula for 15 years now, it was a special treat to have him on hand, as he was fast to recommend things to do in and around the hotel. No wonder he was presented with the ‘Special Recognition General Manager of the Year Award’ at the recent Tourism, Hotel Investment & Networking Conference (THINC) for his dedication to the tourism and hospitality sector.

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The ultra-efficient guest services manager Brynn Rorich helped us attach our overnight stay sticker to our car, then had our luggage whizz ahead into the lobby and showed us to our suite, ensuring everything we could possibly need was right at our fingertips.

The name ‘all-suite’ should have given away the fact that this wasn’t going to be your average night in a bland hotel room.

Our expectations swiftly rose as we went up 10 floors by lift, especially as our key card – thankfully not deactivated if held too close to your cell phone, (I’ve made that mistake before) – let us into a bright, modern space of a luxury suite. Each of the 110 rooms is self-catering and sea-facing, but our room seemed to have an extra special sparkle.

Maybe it was the pale grey granite corner kitchen unit, was complete with stove top, oven, microwave, bread bin, fridge, and drinking water. There were snacks aplenty waiting to greet us, from the Caffeluxe coffee machine with House of Coffees pods to complimentary flutes of bubbly with a bottle of Pongracz MCC chilling on ice, and an enormous fruit bowl with chilled pears, cut kiwi fruit, bananas, strawberries, apples, nuts, enormous grapefruit and even a pineapple, as well as Jungle energy bars.

There were large, shiny white tiles throughout leading to the dining room set with six plush navy velour chairs with yellow trim; and the lounge complete with flat-screen TV, fluffy silver rug and soft grey, lime and plum velour seating in modern florals and geometric patterns. From there we opened the sliding doors onto a private wooden deck equipped with Jacuzzi, Cadak gas braai and retractable awning over the outdoor six-seater and sun beds.

Don’t do the rubber duckie walk of shame

The main bedroom held a padded emerald velvet headboard with crisp white linens and lime duvet cover, another TV, handy USB chargers, a safe behind the mirrored wardrobes doors and an en-suite bathroom with the softest gowns and a corner bath.

The bathroom was filled with complimentary Dream Hotels soaps and shower caps as well as Peninsula branded body wash, body lotion and shampoo but there’s no chance of a sneaky soak in the tub as the bath plugs have been replaced with large rubber duckies, and there’s the ‘Cape Town sight’ of buckets in the shower stalls.

Luckily, we didn’t spot anyone making the ‘walk of shame’ to reception asking to switch their rubber duckie for a bath plug – #DayZero may well have been pushed back but the water crisis is real.

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There was also a second bedroom with two single beds and an extra bathroom, and you could easily unfold the sleeper couch in the lounge if you had sleepy visitors. It is a suite, after all.

Having successfully unpacked and posted millions of images to social media thanks to the free Wi-FI, we took time to take in the view out of the lounge and bedroom windows. It was just mesmerising – with wave after wave rolling in off the sea, there’s no chance of hearing the revellers and live music in the restaurants below. If you’d rather not whip up a meal for yourself, you have a choice of the Sunset or the Strolla.

Massage with a difference

Before we could think of dinner though, it was time for our in-room remedial massage with sports therapist, Moira Mahon. Her accent a curious mix of Welsh, Irish, South African and Newcastle, she’s been with the Peninsula Hotel for 16 years.

This was a truly educational massage-with-a-difference, as former rugby-player Moira cheerfully unfolded her ironing board-like portable massage table right there in the lounge, then focused on fixing our existing muscle tension from the strains of daily life with unscented aqueous cream while noting which shoulder I tend to carry my handbag on and that my husband’s left-handed – all from pummelling our muscles.

She also shared tips to improve posture when sitting at that work desk or on the motorbike so that hips stay in their sockets and the back is straight. There was a strong focus on our tense backs and necks but legs also got some attention. Just blissful.

If fitness and exercise are your thing, you can stroll the promenade or hit the slightly heated back pool area below the gym, but we were happy with that.

Warned that we would be lightweights with all those toxins released from the massage, we stuck to just a small flute of bubbly each and spent a happy while sunset-gazing from the Jacuzzi.

Sunset dinner: Chicken beats salmon, Bread beats chicken!

Next, it was finally time for dinner. Strolla has a wider menu and seemed the more popular dining option of the two on the night as beach-goers can walk in from the promenade side, but we decided to rather head down to the revamped Sunset restaurant, with its smaller three-course menu with four options per course, a view of the well-lit pool, and jewel-toned bucket chairs that hugged our bodies throughout the meal.

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This is where you see the effects of that R800,000 refurbishment. Now decked in soothing teal and navy sea swatches, with touches of gold, grey and chartreuse further representing the sea and seaweed, the light washed wood-look floor tiles make it look like a sea scene just roll in to the beach cottage.

Ably served by Joseph, (also at the Peninsula for 20 years), he explained how he had worked his way up from serving in the bar. Reassured by Joseph that portions are large and we wouldn’t have midnight cravings (though there is a room service menu just for that purpose), we skipped the three-course option and went for just a main and dessert each – the herb-infused chicken Ballantine for me on a bed of sweetcorn kernels and perfectly-cooked peas, paired with an intensely chocolatey ice cream-slushy milkshake.

I followed this with the death by chocolate ganache-mousse dessert, with soft espresso-cream centre, white chocolate sliver and tart slice of strawberry – paired with a cappuccino.

It was an entirely different order at the other side of the table, with my husband opting for the pumpkin- and almond-crusted Norwegian salmon with summer vegetables – the cutest multi-coloured baby carrots and fruity-rich dressing, followed by a slice of citron tart with homemade peppermint gelato and fresh raspberries.

The chicken was creamy, soft and pepper-spicy and just beat the excellent crusted salmon in the flavour stakes, but it was the slices of homemade Cape seed loaf, served with tiny soft butter balls that arrived just before our mains that made the meal. With the Peninsula big on giving back, we noted that a voluntary R5 is added to your dinner bill in support of the StreetSmart SA initiative.

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The gin and Cape brandy trolleys were another interesting touch, with Romeo happy to talk us through the 14 local options and made a recommendation to pair a tot of ‘die Mas potstil brandy’ with that citrus tart. We were amazed by the taste difference of slowly sampling it both with and without ice.

By then almost asleep on the table - blame the relaxing powers of the massage combined with the bubbly at the Jacuzzi – we ended the meal with a cappuccino and whiskey-strong Irish coffee from the Faces Bar respectively. Perhaps we weren’t quite as careful of our ‘cheap date’ massaged-status as we should have been, but the night was young!

Lulled to sleep by the sea

When we got back to our room the bed had been turned down with bite-size Sally Williams’ nougats on the pillows and slippers laid out at the bedside.

The private Jacuzzi on the deck, with a view of Lion’s Head – my favourite – really made the stay, we were in it again after dinner and again the following morning after breakfast.

We were soon lulled to sleep by that roaring sea crashing endlessly over the waves, and with a fresh breeze flowing into the room, we woke feeling refreshed, to the sound of seabirds calling to each other.

Once dressed, it was time for breakfast at our leisure in either restaurant. The Sunset appealed with the full breakfast buffet option – you can upgrade from filter coffee to a cappuccino for R10, with a selection of juices on offer too.

The buffet spread winds around the outskirts of the eating area and I was just as excited as my husband when he reported back from his initial recon: “They have waffles and kippers!”

They also had a sheet of honeycomb, a station where you could ask for eggs any way you like – omelettes proved popular – as well as breakfast fruits and hams, hard and soft cheeses with figs, stewed fruit, strawberries in syrup, pine nuts, pistachios and a choice of three yoghurts.

It’s easy to see why this is one of Cape Town’s top timeshare stays. Click through to my blog for the pics we took during our stay.

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Psst: In case you’re wondering, the hair dryer is hidden in plain sight mounted on the bathroom wall, while the ironing board folds out from a kitchen drawer.

It’s quite the marvel, and little wonder they received an internal award as Best Large Resort of the Year within the Dream Hotel & Resorts Group, also recently winning big at the 30th annual RCI Oscas Awards with an RCI Value Award for their Investment in Hospitality and development, as well as a global RADA Award for Innovation in Staff Development and the title of Best Large Resort of the Year, based on customer feedback ratings. It shows.

*Leigh Andrews was a guest of the Peninsula All-Suite Hotel. Visit their website to make your booking and follow them ‏on Twitter for the latest updates.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...