Attracting more than 23 million visitors a year, it comes as no surprise that Waterfront accommodation is in huge demand for visitors to the Mother City. While the Waterfront that we have all come to know and love was only developed a decade or two ago, the actual harbour has been an important part of Cape Town since 1860. This was when Prince Alfred, the son of Queen Victoria, tipped the very first stones for the breakwater. The port was created as part of the Eastern trade routes, with the Victoria Basin and Alfred Basin developed when the gold and diamond opportunities in South Africa were discovered. These two basins were built between 1860 and 1920, with many heritage buildings built during this era.
During the 1970s, the harbour and its surrounding land were largely unused, due to commercialisation, South Africa’s political isolation and the opening of the Suez Canal. There was however a call for public access and wider use, and in 1988 Transnet Limited established a wholly owned subsidiary company, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront (Pty) Limited. This would become the V&A Waterfront that is so well-known today. Attractions such as the Two Oceans Aquarium, Mineral World and the V&A shopping centre were developed in the early 1990s, drawing locals and visitors to the area. Luxurious Waterfront apartments, hotels, restaurants and bars also began to appear, along with craft markets, the Amphitheatre and many other popular places of interest.
Despite the addition of many new and improved elements, the heritage of the Waterfront has still remained. The Clock Tower was restored, the Robben Island Gateway Museum was developed, the Maritime Museum was developed, Chavonnes Battery was uncovered, and the old parts of the harbour were made accessible to the public.
Why Book Waterfront Accommodation?
The combination of attractions, scenery, culture and history have made the Waterfront one of Cape Town’s most widely known areas, with plenty to see and do. From relaxed lunches alongside the harbour, to seal-spotting, boat cruises, helicopter flips, aquarium visits, semi-precious stone collecting, shopping, live music, cocktails, heritage tours and kid’s activities (not to mention high-end accommodation options), the Waterfront makes for a perfect day out – all-year round. If you’re looking for a central place to stay that is close to the city’s best-loved landmarks, Waterfront accommodation is highly recommended.
Some of the top reasons to book your Waterfront accommodation include the following:
- Diverse accommodation. There is a huge variety of Waterfront apartments to be found, many of which overlook the basin, harbour or water. These apartments range from compact studios all the way to top of the line 5-star apartments that easily cater to up to 10 guests or more. Apartments offer the ideal lock-up-and-go convenience, giving you all the features you need combined with a high level of security and guest services. Many apartment complexes in this area house swimming pools, fitness centres and other exclusive facilities that can be enjoyed by guests. In addition to apartments, you will also find a choice selection of Waterfront hotels that provide a flawless catered experience. Depending on your preferences, you could also try our self catering accommodation in Waterfront that gives you the freedom of fully equipped kitchens and plenty of flexibility, or managed accommodation that gives you the choice of semi catered accommodation.
- Wining and dining. Needless to say, considering that you are on the doorstep of one of the city’s top leisure destinations, you will never be short of wining and dining options. There are many great restaurants, cafes and bars within the main V&A centre. Whether you have a craving for sushi, fine dining, dessert, pizza or just about anything else, you will find plenty of restaurants to try. A short drive or Uber takes you into the City Centre, where more restaurants and bars are found. Head down to trendy Long Street, or try a cosy restaurant in De Waterkant or Bo Kaap. Drive out a bit further, and you will get into Camps Bay, where a strip of cafes and restaurants are found alongside the beach. Also less than half an hour away lies Hout Bay. Head out for the day to take in the Cape Winelands, where fine wines can be savoured.
- Shopping. The Victoria and Alfred mall is one of the best rated shopping centres on the continent. There are many excellent designer stores found here, ranging from Hugo Boss to Gucci. There are also many home décor and furnishing stores, book stores, speciality stores and various facilities on offer. Look out for highlights such as the Watershed craft market. In the City Centre, just 10 minutes away, you will find shopping hotspots such as Greenmarket Square. Camps Bay has a small mall called The Promenade, while the nearby Cape Quarter centre in De Waterkant is a few minutes away, housing art galleries, unique stores and other highlights.
- Entertainment. Some of the city’s top entertainment destinations are found in close reach to most accommodation in Waterfront. Highlights include the legendary Cape Town Comedy Club at the Pump House on Dock Road, Beefcakes in Green Point, Richard’s Supper Stage & Bistro on Main Road in Three Anchor Bay, Shimmy Beach Club in the Waterfront, The Grand beach bar in Mouille Point, Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay, and many others besides. There are also cinemas at the V&A, plus the intimate Labia Theatre in Gardens, which shows independent films.
- Romance ready. Whether you are searching for compact, fully equipped apartments that offer effortless Waterfront self catering, or you prefer the luxury of catered or managed Waterfront accommodation, this area is ideal for romantic breaks. This is the epicentre of the Mother City, with a huge variety of things to see and do. Try a romantic champagne sunset boat cruise along the Atlantic Ocean, savour fine meals and cocktails at some of the area’s exclusive eateries, take in the sights of the CBD and Atlantic Seaboard, and relax in the comfort of your harbourside accommodation.
- Family-friendly. Families are sure to love this area, too. While not every apartment is suitable for very young children, many of our apartments and hotels are family friendly. On your doorstep, you will find some of the city’s most treasured attractions – the Two Oceans Aquarium, Scratch Patch and Mineral World, the Wheel of Excellence and plenty more besides. Mom and dad will enjoy the shopping, restaurants and entertainment, while little ones will adore the boat trips, seals, helicopter flips, kid friendly dining and countless other things to see, do and experience when booking Waterfront self catered accommodation.
Browse Our Featured Waterfront Accommodation
Now that you know a little more about what to expect when visiting this area, we’re here to help you find the perfect place to stay. ComeToCapeTown.com offers an excellent selection of holiday apartments, hotels and self catering properties in Waterfront. Whatever your needs may be, you are sure to find what you are looking for. Our Curated Collection showcases the very best of the best, featuring some of our most sought-after accommodation.
To get started, view our featured accommodation in Waterfront below. From there, you can make an enquiry to check availability, and secure your booking. Got any questions about finding Waterfront accommodation? Contact the ComeToCapeTown.com team right now for assistance!