Protea hotels by marriott

You don’t always have to travel far to have great experiences – often the best things to do are right on your doorstep. So, if you’re not planning on leaving Cape Town for one of the April long weekends, why not spoil yourself with some local treats?

You could opt for total indulgence and leave home for the long weekend to stay over in luxurious accommodation elsewhere in the city or surrounds. For those with old-fashioned sensibilities of luxury, there’s the sumptuous high tea at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in the Gardens area of the city. Or, you could join the many foreign tourists who select the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers in Century City for its spectacular views over Table Bay and Table Mountain.

If relaxing on the stunning pool deck at the infinity pool doesn’t keep you occupied all the time, there’s a surprising number of things to do in the area: kitesurf at Blouberg beach, visit the highly-rated Perfume Museum in Table View, take a drive to the nearby Durbanville Wine Route, or enjoy the birdlife in the natural setting of Intaka Island, a pleasant walk away from the Hotel.

Durbanville is another area to consider for a different type of home-away-from-home staycation.  A mere 20 years ago it was still thought of as a country village not far from Cape Town but, today, it has become a suburb of the city – luckily, it’s retained some of the features that made it a lovely country town.

You’ll still see vineyards near the town, and the local rose garden is a treat.  Enjoy a leisurely walk through the village, and stop off at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery which has an extensive collection of South African art and ceramics.  The local wine route offers stunning views, great wine tastings and lots of good food. You might also be able to catch a movie in the open at the Galileo Open-Air Cinema at Hillcrest Quarry. And as for places to stay, consider Schoongezicht Guest House with its wonderful tranquil setting in the farmlands, while Lapa Log Cabins offers quality self-catering accommodation in parklike surroundings.

As for hotels, the Protea Hotel by Marriott Cape Town Durbanville is located in beautiful surroundings, bordered by D’Aria Wine Estate’s award-winning vineyards on one of the Cape’s oldest farms.Another suburban option for a weekend staycation is the so-called Deep South – Fish Hoek, Noordhoek, Kalk Bay, and Simons Town.  All sorts of accommodation abound but it’s a good idea to choose something that will show off the incredible views over the bay – guest houses on the Simons Town mountainside and the Kalk Bay hillside are a good option.

In addition to the obvious attractions of the sea, you can enjoy lovely, leisurely walks along Kalk Bay’s main road, hikes up the mountain at Simons Town, horseback riding in Noordhoek, and lip-smacking fresh fish and chips lunches available in all the towns.

There’s a lot to be said for seeing your own city like a tourist, and we so seldom do the things we see visitors doing, so get out to parts of Cape Town you may not know well and experience what they have to offer.

This article was first published by IOL on 13 April 2017.