The Bay Hotel is one of Cape Towns premier beach front hotels located in vibrant Camps Bay.
Bay Hotel: Our full report
The Bay Hotel is a large international hotel with one of the best beachfront locations in Cape Town. It is situated at the foot of Table Mountain, across the road from the palm-fringed beach of Camps Bay. It is located within walking distance of the numerous restaurants and cafes of trendy Camps Bay. A short 10-minute drive takes you to the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town city centre and to the cable car station, from where you can smoothly be whisked about 1000m up to the top of Table Mountain. In short the Bay has an ideal location for exploring Cape Town.
Inside the Bay Hotel feels bright, light and airy; expect an exclusively white exterior to fade only a little inside – softened by natural marble floors and a few beiges and earthy tones. With its sea-front location, and cool, modern décor, the Bay is Africa's answer to trendy spots in southern California and Miami.
The Bay Hotel has 78 guest rooms, all identically decorated in soft, neutral colours. These are divided into about seven different types of rooms, differing mainly in their locations. Note that different locations and views can make a huge different to the price of the rooms.
In summary, the Bay Hotel's basic room types are:
- Mountain room - these face south and east, and have side-views of Table Mountain and the roof of the car park below.
- Classic room - the same size as the mountain rooms, these also have a good balcony. All classic rooms face north or west, and have direct access to the pool therefore don’t have the privacy of the other suites.
- Classic club room - these are slightly bigger than the mountain rooms and are located on the side of the hotel. Some have a partial sea view with a lovely view of Lions Head.
- Premier room - the same size as the mountain rooms, most premier rooms have great views of the sea, with a handful facing north to Lions Head, and most are split-level, with the separate seating area on a lower level, leading out onto the balcony. This room also has a Jacuzzi.
- Luxury room - these are bigger than the rooms mentioned above. Each luxury room has a sitting area and a west-facing balcony, complete with private jacuzzi. The larger bathroom in these rooms includes an oval bath and separate shower.
- Suite - These large rooms have the facilities of the luxury rooms, but with more space and a separate lounge, rather than one that's part of the bedroom.
- The Cabanna rooms are the same size as the classic rooms, with a private patio, loungers leading straight out onto the lawn and plunge pools and also have direct access to the main pool.
- Penthouse - on the top floor of the Bay Hotel, there is only one penthouse suite. It's very luxurious and reached from an exclusive staircase and lobby. The penthouse has a private dining room and lounge, complete with plasma TV and a surround-sound stereo system, as well as a separate guest bathroom. The balcony is huge, and has an amazing view of Camp's Bay beach and the ocean.
All the rooms at the Bay Hotel have a small entrance lobby that separates the bedroom from the outside corridor. Inside the room, all have tea- and coffee-making facilities including an espresso machine, a mini-bar, internet connection, and a radio/alarm clock with iPod docking station and remote-controlled air-conditioning. All have en suite bathrooms with cream tiled walls and floors, a toilet, a bath, a glass shower cubicle and double wash-basins with a range of complementary toiletries.
Along the wide ground-floor corridor to the rooms you will find an art gallery displaying works by local artists, which are for sale.
The Bay Hotel has a large outdoor solar heated swimming pool surrounded by a series of wooden decks on different levels, each having plenty of white-and-wood sun loungers under equally pale umbrellas. There are a further three smaller swimming pools on different levels, allowing guests to find quiet areas to relax and enjoy the Cape sunshine.
The Bistro, located to the side of the main hotel foyer is light and airy, with easy access to the outside pool. Here you can have breakfast or a light lunch with tables and chairs located inside and outside. During low season all meals are served here when the main restaurant is closed. There is also a small wine shop in the foyer selling local wines, and offers free wine-tasting every alternate evening.
The hotel's main restaurant, Tides, is open in high season and serves à la carte breakfast and dinner. It is light and airy with large windows that slide open to reveal views towards the beach and sea beyond. It is decorated in soft creams and browns enlivened by African-print fabrics. Enjoy cocktails on the deck of Sandys bar while watching the sun setting over the Atlantic, or - for a quieter drinking experience - visit the more sedate and elegant Traders bar upstairs, a sophisticated bar/lounge with an impressive walk-in cellar.
The Bay has a recently refurbished gym and spa offering his and hers treatments from massages to full day pampering packages. it also has a steam room and sauna. There is also a hair salon on the premises.
Our viewThe Bay offers luxury accommodation with an unusual combination for Cape Town: a top beach location with plenty of buzzy bars, restaurants and nightlife. It certainly best suits a young, lively crowd and the bar here is often visited by Cape Town's smarter residents in search of a chic sundowner spot.
The Bay probably won't suit older visitors, or those seeking peace and quiet, as its location beside the beachfront road in Camp's Bay is far too busy! It's a place to see and be seen, not a retreat for solitude. If its peace and quiet you would prefer then we suggest that you stay at The Bays sister hotel Camps Bay Retreat, not far away.
Ideal length of stay: 4 to 5 days is ideal to explore Cape Town and its environs – longer if you can afford the time.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Village and Life
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: On a recent visit to The Bay (May 2014) we popped in for a visit but did not stay overnight. Although we didn’t have a full meal here we did have coffee and a snack at The Bistro. As this was low season The Bistro was the only restaurant open in the hotel, as the main restaurant, Tides, is closed in the low season. The reason for this is that there are so many restaurants in the area and guests often prefer to eat out, rather than in the hotels restaurant.
Breakfast at The Bistro is a buffet serving pastries, cereals, various flavoured yoghurts, fruit juice and fresh fruit. A cooked breakfast is also available as well as eggs benedict, French toast, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and a flapjack stack.
The lunch menu ranges in price from ZAR55 (£3) to ZAR165 (£9) and offers squid, fish and chips, a selection of quiches, pasta, burgers, steak, a choice of salads, sandwiches and sharing boards (charcuterie or cheese).
Dinner is a choice of four starters – beef carpaccio, smoked haddock, pork ribs and asparagus and cost from ZAR70 (£4) to ZAR85 (£5). The main course is beef fillet, local line fish, quail and pork belly or mushrooms and brinjal (aubergine) bake. The costs vary from ZAR115 (£6) to ZAR180 (£10).
This is all rounded off with deserts, which at the time of our visit was sticky toffee pudding, chocolate pudding or apple and pistachio tarte tatin. The cost for one of these was ZAR60 (£4)
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: No
Further dining info: Yes
Attitude towards children: The Bay Hotel welcomes children aged 8 years and older
Property’s age restrictions: No children under the age of 8.
Special activities & services: Arrangements can be made to convert the conference centre into a playroom, however this can be done in high season only.
Equipment: The club classic, premier mountain, luxury rooms and suites all have a sofa bed in the room to accommodate a child (under the age of 12) sharing with parents.
Generally recommended for children: The hotel does not allow children under 8 years old and there are no additional facilities or activities for children, other than the swimming pools and the beach across the road.
Notes: The hotel has no inter-leading rooms; it's really not a family hotel and, in our view, not suitable for children under 12 years old.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is business and travel centre with internet and fax facilities for guests to use. The whole hotel has WiFi for guests who have their own laptops. Guests are allowed to use 250 MB a day and can pay for extra if they require more.
TV & radio: Yes – local and satellite.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: There are doctors and hospitals nearby.
Security measures: There is a security guard at the gate and all guests are given a guest pass to allow entry into the property. There are security guards on duty in the grounds 24 hours a day.
Fire safety: Yes there are fire prevention measures in place as befitting a five-star hotel.
Disabled access: In Place
Laundry facilities: Available at an extra charge,
Money: Money exchange is possible at the days bank rate less a commission charge. There are electronic safes in all the rooms.
Accepted payment on location: Most international credit cards are accepted. Cash is accepted in SA rands, pounds sterling, US dollars and euros. Cash is accepted in SA rands, pounds sterling, US dollars and euros.