Cape Town hotels know a thing or two when it comes to hosting children and more often than not, little ones are treated like superstars – as are the adults who are no doubt exhausted after a flight with a couple of overexcited bundles of energy in tow! What is perhaps surprising, however, is that some of the city’s most luxurious hotels are also its most accepting of kids. Our top family friendly hotels below go out of their way to make families feel welcome and, as a bonus, often accommodate children free of charge.
Belmond Mount Nelson
The iconic pink-coloured Nellie and its beautiful lawns hold a special fascination for children. Book one of the family suites with cots for babies and roll-out beds for older children, then let the kids get comfy with their African colouring-in books and soft toy penguins. In-room, you’ll also find baby toiletries as well as children’s gowns and slippers, and tiny tots are catered for with a dedicated in-room service menu – and the all-important cookies and milk at turndown. Then there’s the children’s club, a supervised entertainment area that has everything a youngster could wish for from PlayStations and Xboxes to a range of activities for kids of all ages. And there’s more – what about an oversized heated family swimming pool, tennis lessons, teen spa treatments, and ‘Chef’s Table’ experiences during which children learn about the hotel’s ‘no waste’ concept and create sweet treats with the pastry chefs…? Suffice to say, the Nellie is one of our top family friendly hotels, hands down!
One&Only Cape Town
Family friendly hotel One&Only may entice families with a fab location at the V&A Waterfront, (it’s right next door to the aquarium), but its biggest family trump card is KidsOnly, a dedicated 100m² clubhouse for 4- to 11-year-olds. The amazing space has a movie lounge, reading and computer room as well as an outdoor play area with racetrack, jungle gym, tree house and mini-golf course. Phew! Age-appropriate activities centred on themed days (safari, ocean, environment, birds and bugs) will keep little ones busy for hours, and there are even SUP lessons around the resort’s own One&Only island. When hunger strikes, the KidsOnly menu at Reuben’s, complete with nutritious ‘brain food’ options, and the kid-friendly platter at NOBU are sure to impress. Teenagers meanwhile can hang out in the ‘For Teens Only’ club, or be pampered with special treatments at the spa. Following an action-packed day, your mini-yous are sure to fall into bed in your family suite, exhausted – with the obligatory milk and cookies at turndown, of course.
At this V&A Waterfront stalwart, young guests are treated like VIKs (Very Important Kids, natch). They’ll be spoiled with welcome gifts, colouring-in and activity books, and story time or gingerbread decorating every day at 18:00 (giving exhausted parents a much needed breather). A selection of games, consoles and books provide further entertainment, as does the heated outdoor pool. Cape Grace also offers important items that are not readily available in other hotels, from car seats, toilet steps and seats to socket covers and baby monitors – a godsend for parents who don’t feel like lugging around yet another product! When it comes to sleeping, the hotel will happily provide foldaway beds, pull-out sofas and cots, and families can cosy up with in-room DVDs and a special kids menu.
Children love space to run around – and there’s plenty of that at this super, family friendly hotel in Constantia. Set in lush gardens and surrounded by the Constantia Greenbelt, the outdoor options are endless from on-site swimming and tennis, to hiking and cycling in the surrounding area. Additionally, Acrobranch, an arial treetop adventure park, is just around the corner. In summer, try your hand at croquet and pétanqueon the lawns or get together for a leisurely family picnic under ancient camphor trees. If the weather isn’t playing ball, there are puzzles, games and DVDs to keep everyone occupied, as well as kids menus in-room and at The Conservatory restaurant. The kids (and you) will love staying in one of the spacious suites or villas, and all are supplied with mini-bathrobes, slippers, special room amenities and kids turndowns. Also watch out for the hotel’s ‘Family Memories’ package, which includes a host of goodies and choice of family activities.
The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Check into this serene hotel haven along the Atlantic Seaboard and you’ll find that your children are treated like mini Royals. They’ll receive a gift bag upon arrival, tiny bathrobes, their own range of toiletries and a selection of lovely sweet treats. During the day, a basket of toys and board games will keep them busy until it’s time for the movies. The hotel’s in-house cinema is quite possibly its biggest family USP, screening family-friendly films every afternoon, complete with popcorn and hot chocolate. But what about the parents? You might like to take advantage of the professional babysitters, leaving you free to enjoy a romantic dinner in the award-winning Azure Restaurant. That’s the sort of service we like from a family-friendly hotel!
While staying in a hotel is great fun, sometimes you may wish you had a kitchen to warm a bottle or heat up a quick meal. This is where President Hotel in Bantry Bay comes in handy. Apart from standard guest rooms, it also features a range of spacious one- and two-bedroom apartments with lounge areas and kitchenettes, which make a great option for families. On top of cots and high chairs, the hotel can also arrange essentials such as healthy baby food, black-out curtains and baby baths. During the South African school holidays, the supervised kids play area becomes a hive of activity, with a special activity programme, pizza-making lessons and kids yoga classes. Tasty and nutritious kids dishes are also available, keeping the little ones’ energy levels on track.
It might not be a family friendly hotel as such, but if you’re looking for a home-away-from-home, this collection of converted townhouses is a very good bet. The four family rooms feel like a better version of your own home and come complete with a second en-suite bathroom and a kitchen with all the mod-cons. If you’re on a multigenerational trip, you may want to book the four-bedroom Redcliffe House – it comes with a pool and sundeck and braai courtyard for that all-important South African BBQ. Kids get their own welcome pack, bed sets, amenities, fluffy robes, bath toys and cutlery, and the apartments are stocked with toys, games, and beach buckets and spades. Breakfast includes a multitude of kiddie delights to start the day off right and bedtime comes with late-night brownies and ice-cream in bed. Yum.