Doubletree Cape Town: Too Far to Taxi

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The Doubletree Cape Town Review is part of the Trip Report: The $77,000 Trip Heard Round the World which covers 5 Continents, 13 Countries, and 17 Cities.

Find the nerdy planning here. Find the picture preview here.


Getting There: While the hotel isn’t close to the major attractions of Cape Town, it is a 15 minute tax from the airport which according to the hotel’s website should cost 320ZAR or $23.


The Doubletree Cape Town
The Doubletree Cape Town

The Overview 

The Doubletree Cape Town Upper Eastside is not in a good location. It is far from the waterfront, far from the beach, and far from any taxi driver’s recollection of how to get there. That is a huge negative. The positive is that it was available for New Years at a rate of 20,000 HHonors points a night when the going rate was $250/night.

The Location 

The Upper Eastside is a neighborhood undergoing revitalization. However, apart from the hotel, there were no restaurants nearby and I was advised not to walk in the surrounding areas. Instead, I could either take the complimentary shuttle to the waterfront or take a taxi. If you missed the shuttle, you had to wait a half hour. If you called for a taxi, you had to wait for a half hour.

The Staff 

The staff was more than accommodating. I arrived on New Year’s Eve and the front desk made calls to see which parties were still available and offered a complimentary driver to take me to pick up the ticket.

My last day there the tour bus was supposed to take me for a wine and penguin tour (mutually exclusive). There was a mix up and the bus didn’t show. The hotel called every private tour company available until they found a driver to show me around. They even split the cost of the tour with me. It doesn’t get better than that.

The Hotel

The buildings around the Doubletree are run down but the hotel itself has been renovated. It is modern and clean with a great bar and nice breakfast area. The breakfast buffet was excellent.

Room Service 

Room service is the tourist trap of all tourist traps. It’s often a rip off and despite the allure of not leaving your cozy bed, the food isn’t as delicious as we romanticize it to be. This is not the case at the Doubletree. The food is very affordable and of top quality.

The Room 

This was one of the smallest rooms I’ve seen for a Hilton but it did the job.

Overall 

The hotel’s location isn’t a deal breaker but it is awfully inconvenient. No taxis knew where the hotel was making coming and going a laborious task. But the price and service, make it worth checking out if you aren’t SPG or Club Carlson points rich.

View of the surrounding mountain
View of the surrounding mountain

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4 COMMENTS

  1. The hotel is about a 10-minute walk down to Albert Street and the Woodstock neighbourhood, which I agree is not very attractive though is undergoing a mild gentrification. It’s pretty safe to walk during the day though and there is a commuter rail station just off Albert that takes you into the centre of the city in about 10-minutes. To the south along Albert (turn right) are two excellent restaurants. The first one, The Local Grill, is a steak house located over a craft brewery. They serve both grass and grain fed beef along with other meats. Their beers are some of the best I’ve tasted in this part of the world. Further down the road, in a complex called the old biscuit factory, is The Test Kitchen. It serves a fixed multi-course menu that changes based on what’s available to the chef. Each course can be combined with a flight of appropriate wines, or you can opt for other drinks. There are several otehr smaller eateries in the complex. But I do agree, this is not really the hotel to stay if you want to be a tourist in Cape Town.

    • Those restaurants sound awesome! Adding them to the list for when I return. As you’ll see in upcoming posts, I thoroughly enjoyed the food and drink in my second favorite city in the world. When there is that much to see, eat, and do it’s imperative to stay in the heart of the action. Thanks for the insightful comment.

  2. Regarding the comment about there not being any good restaurants nearby, I have to disagree on this.

    As David mentions, the Test Kitchen is nearby as well as a number of other good restaurants. The Test Kitchen is on the Restaurant Magazine’s list of the 50 best restaurants in the world, and the food there is cheaper than anything comparable in any other major city.

    Taxis are quite cheap in Cape Town, but for anyone going I would recommend renting a car, which is also pretty cheap. It really is convenient having a car when you want to visit the bays, the wine farms, beaches and anything else in the Cape Town area.

    Back to the hotel, yeah don’t stay there. It is not very well located for a stay of more than a night or two as the area is quite dull after having visited Woodstock, and the hotel itself is really boring. I would suggest one of the many boutique hotels outside Cape Town or in Sea Point. Perhaps the Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel and Spa if you want to stay in the city centre.

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