The Table Bay is THE address in Cape Town. Not only for travellers who want a five-star stay and the best views of Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront. Not only for Nelson Mandela himself (it was his favourite hotel in Cape Town). But The Table Bay is the Cape Town address preferred by Oscar the Fur Seal and his descendants.
A fur seal made friends with a fisherman and visited him at the waterfront every day, even coming into the quay from the open water between Robben Island and the city’s shores. When this immaculate five-star hotel was being built in the late 1990s, workers would join the seal and the fisherman, Oscar, on the waterfont, impressed with the unlikely friendship between the two.
Oscar died shortly after The Table Bay opened, but the seal would still come to the pier every morning looking for him. Staff named him Oscar, after the fisherman, and he continued to visit with his pups until he died. His great-grandpups still bask in the sun on Table Bay’s jetty. Danie De Jager created a sculpture honouring Oscar, which sits outside the hotel’s stunning lounge. Whether you’re sitting on the patio or inside, be sure to make a toast to the seal and to friendships made in South Africa with an Oscar Lager.
The Table Bay is the rare hotel that gets the combination of friendliness and service perfection right. The hotel is luxurious but you don’t feel like anyone is judging you whether you’ve chosen to dine at the Atlantic dressed to the nines, just want a relaxing and casual day visiting the spa or hanging out at the pool, or return tired after exploring the top of Table Mountain but want to sit down for a snack.
The Table Bay’s luxe rooms are decorated in beautiful shades of Sun gold (the hotel is a Sun International property). They have every amenity you could want, as well as twice-daily turndown service to make sure your towels are fluffed, your Nespresso machine and shortbread cookies stocked, and you have anything else you might need. There’s a huge range of accommodation types so you can have a room or a suite with views of the sea, Table Mountain or Signal Hill.
Hotel facilities and services include a heated outdoor pool (which is in the sun throughout the day), a spa, a health club and gym with views out to Robben Island, formal afternoon tea, complimentary shuttle service to various highlights in Cape Town, and even a foraging tour with hotel chefs.
Given Cape Town’s water crisis, The Table Bay has an impressive strategy to reduce the use of this precious commodity. This includes significant water reduction activities as well as encouraging guests to make sustainable choices (for example, you’ll need to ask for the plug for your beautiful bathtub, and are instead encouraged to take a two-minute shower, as well as use hand sanitizer and even a toilet water neutraliser to reduce flushing; you’re even asked to use bottled water rather than tap for drinking and for making coffee and tea).
Like Nelson Mandela and Oscar, you’re sure to love your experience at The Table Bay.