Last year I was invited by the Holiday Inn Express group to participate in a blogger’s challenge. Sadly, I didn’t win the competition but they did offer me a consolation prize – a stay at one of their hotels. I had no plans to go to Pretoria or Johannesburg in the foreseeable future which lead to my hotel voucher rapidly running out. This weekend was my last chance to stay so I booked in at the Holiday Inn Express Cape Town – even though I live really close to town. None the less, I thought it’d be a fun thing to do since it was a long weekend.
Location, Location, Location
We arrived at the hotel on Sunday afternoon which was a bit tricky as the military police were practicing for the state of the nation and had blocked half the roads in town. What a drag! Luckily, one of the Holiday Inn Express cooks was working by and we asked him where the entrance was. We parked on the street and arrived at reception whereby we met numerous guests, including a Dutch visitor, who was being pretty rude. We could hear her counterparts were complaining because they windows only opened a little bit (a VERY common practice for hotels with high floors), that this room was wrong, smoking was mentioned and the driver that, what a pain. After listening to her attitude for 15 minutes, I was rather glad when it was my turn and although I was annoyed, the receptionist couldn’t have been nicer. He acted like I was the first customer of the day! I thought, “What a saint!”
He helped me with our booking and explained how the lift worked (you need to use your key card) but I still got it wrong and ended up on the ground floor where by another Holiday Inn Express employee demonstrated how to use the card and we managed to get to our floor. We found our room and took a little peek around. The last time I stayed in paid accommodation was in London and although the apartment had been “cleaned”, by South African standards, it wasn’t cleaned NEARLY enough. So the first thing I did was went to the basin, no toothpaste marks/whiskers – check. Shower – no hair in the plug, clean – check. Toilet – no stains or floating bits, check. Even the handle had been cleaned down on the shower and toilet handles so I couldn’t see any previous tenants presence. I even checked the cups for lip marks – nothing. THAT’S how you do it London!
We dropped our bags and went out for the evening. Upon return, we climbed into bed which was firm with soft, silky sheets. But my favourite part of hotel rooms are the pitch black curtains. PURE darkness all night (and morning) long. Bliss! The bed was firm (the way I like it), sheets beautifully soft and the room quiet. The only actually “noise” was room service knocking (I forgot to put the sign on the door) but who gracious and quickly said they’d come back after seeing my bed head when I opened the door, HAHA!
Apart from that we slept really well until breakfast. We ventured down with 15 minutes to go (breakfast is until 10:30am on a public holiday) and enjoyed the breakfast spread which was more than I had expected for a 3 star hotel. Again, everything was extremely clean, well prepared and delicious. I even had eggs (which I hate) because the man in front of me had and they looked that good! The hotel had moon windows across the dining room which allows visitors to peek out. There is also a TV (without sound) for those who want to keep an eye on the football.
We easily checked out within 5 minutes. Paid for our parking (R50) which was shown to us by the Holiday Inn Express door hop at 2am. Once we ventured out onto the streets of Cape Town, late Monday morning, it was a wonderful feeling to be in town on a client and gloomy day. Staying in the Holiday Inn Express was a great experience (far better than I had thought it would be to be honest) and I’d certainly go back and recommend others do the same.
Easy Come, Easy Go
The Holiday Inn Express is easily accessed from Adderley street (as long as there isn’t a brigade) with parking off Short Market street. Thank you to the Holiday Inn Express Cape Town for having us. Turns out even locals can feel like a tourist in their own city. So much so that we decided to end the morning at the top of Signal Hill just to keep the vibe going! So thank you 🙂