Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Westin is a vibrant, Luxury hotel in Cape Town

I’ve stayed at Cape Town's most vibrant Luxury hotel, many times, and  I get there,- even if it means I have to take a 3 hour detour flight. Our Lufthansa flight took us to Johannesburg, but we made it to beautiful Cape Town. Last time we stayed at this hotel it was a Sheraton, but now it has been re-named the Westin Cape Town. The hotel that was previously called the Westin (in Hermanus) is now called the Arabella Hotel & Spa, which is managed by African Pride Hotels a Protea Hotel. It’s a bit confusing, but basically, I was able to earn points for the Cape Town hotel with Starwood, and the Hermanus Hotel earned points with Protea’s loyalty program . The Westin Cape Town has a beautiful pool on the 19th-floor and I love to stand in the pool and just enjoy the amazing view of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. The Arabella Spa at this hotel is just as wonderful as the Arabella Spa in Hermanus, so both have to be experienced.
I’m standing at the entrance to the Barnabas Bar at the Arabella Hotel & Spa.
Elite members can enjoy the Westin Executive Club and experience the panoramic views of the city, V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain. South Africa's whale-watching capital, is Hermanus, --- where the Arabella is located. It’s near the town of Kleinmond and Betty's Bay's penguins. At the Arabella Hotel & Spa, Elite members can enjoy the Westin Executive Club and experience the panoramic views of the city, V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain. The Protea Prokard (Elite) Gold or Silver card gets you free room upgrades and members-only privileges at more than 130 Hotels, Lodges and Country Houses in South Africa and Namibia, as well as selected properties across Africa.

On the way to the Arabella Hotel we stopped for lunch at a vineyard. Blaauwklippen, nestled on the slopes of the Stellenbosch Mountain, is one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa dating back to 1682 and is situated in the picturesque town of Stellenbosch. The name Blaauwklippen comes from the Dutch and Afrikaans word meaning “blue rocks”. The Blue Mountains give Stellenbosch a magical look, many of the mountains in the Cape look blue from a distance. Even Table Mountain, in Cape Town looks blue,  from some vantage points.
For over 300 years, the people of Blaauwklippen have combined traditional values with innovative ideas to create one of South Africa's top wine tourism destinations. Weddings, wine tours and the restaurant are popular venues for both locals and tourists.

We experienced the true taste of South Africa in beautiful surroundings at Barouche Restaurant and enjoyed a glass of wine on the large outdoor Terrace.
The Rev. Barnabas Shaw who arrived in Cape Town in 1816, wrote several books published in England. He was sent to Africa as the founder of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. The first mission that he set up was at Lilyfontein, where he taught Hottentots to cultivate the soil. They had previously, never grown any type of food. Their only source of food was the cattle that they traveled South with, in search of pastures. When Barnabus first arrived in Cape Town, the British Governor did not want him to preach to the black people so he used his own money to buy wagons with 24 oxen and horses, for his wife Jane and his assistants to set up a mission outside the Governors jurisdiction. 
The Arabella Hotel & Spa is, in present times, is only 2 hours away from Cape Town, but at the time that Barnabus traveled there it took about 2 days to travel there. He traveled up the coast by ship once, and when the Captain put him ashore, he walked in the desert for days without finding water, until he found his destination. The farmer that he visited in the Cape lived in such a remote homestead that he had not had visitors for several years.