The President Hotel in Bantry Bay – The Atlantic Seaboard’s favourite lady.


They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. To that, I add: the better they get. The President Hotel in Bantry Bay is an example of an institution that has changed and improved. Back in the day when I used to go through the night on New Year’s Eve, after watching the sunrise from Signal Hill, or the beach, breakfast was at The President. Whenever he wanted to treat his family to something special, my late uncle Max used to take all of us, now long-departed aunts, uncles and grandparents for Sunday lunches at The President. It was that sort of place. It had history and majesty.

It closed and was demolished. I was upset. Then, it was rebuilt.  I heard that over the past couple of years The President had upped its game. A lot. So I visited again and was blown away by what I saw and experienced.

They have one of the better drinks offerings, with at last count 10 local gins available, and that number is increasing all the time. I sat at the infinity pool, sipped on a G & T, a cloudless sky above and thought about visiting the hotel gym. Maybe the next day.

President Hotel

The President is a property that offers world-class…everything. It has all that one needs and wants for any occasion: after work drinks, a haven after the heat of the beach and noise of shopping malls, a choice of great restaurants, pampering, exercise, and a place to rest your head at night. Except on New Year’s Eve. Then you can stay awake and join me for breakfast.

Here is some info from The President.

President hotel

Look no further than the President Hotel

Cape Town is globally renowned on the business and tourist map for its beauty, its kaleidoscope of cultural events and its efficient modernity that contrasts so strikingly with the weight of its historic heritage. So it’s vital that your choice of accommodation in exploring all it has to offer enriches your experience and puts a glow on your memories. You need to be where the buzz is, yet relaxing in an oasis of comfort and peace. You must have access to all the business facilities and amenities without the stress and pressure of ensuring that the nitty-gritty and nagging details are covered. You need to know where the action is, without the sweat and frustration of tracking down people, transport and events.

That is why you should look no further than the President Hotel.

“People call it ‘iconic’” says Nikki Vardan, sales and marketing manager of the President Hotel, “And it is, in the sense that it represents the best, most gracious, most beautiful and most fulfilling of what Cape Town lays out for the visitor – but it is an icon not to be admired at a distance, as something remote and impersonal. It is a Hotel to be experienced, embraced and appreciated first-hand – a haven of harmony in the vortex of vibrant city life, where professionals are on hand to meet every need and want in order to ensure a relaxing holiday or business stay.”

Beautifully designed for maximum light and a sense of space and tranquillity, the President Hotel offers an enticing selection of restaurants, bars, lounges and gardens to suit your changing moods and desires.

“Few hotels have so expertly combined the often contrasting requirements of business and tourism,” comments Jeremy Clayton, general manager. “Conference and event facilities lend themselves to an almost inexhaustible range of adaptations to suit varying requisites, and the in-house events team is on hand to smooth organisation and preparation.” This month, the hotel will be launching their newly refurbished, state-of-the-art conference centre, making it the perfect location for your conferencing needs. Their superior facilities include 200Mbs Wi-Fi, cutting edge AV technology, exciting food and beverage menus, as well as a professional onsite team. On top of this, they have recently launched the latest in intelligent Wi-Fi technology, offering the fastest hotel speeds available in the country. The President’s 200Mbs fibre link means that guests can enjoy the fastest Wi-Fi in the comfort of the hotel, with no restrictions. With the superior conferencing facilities consisting of the dedicated fibre speeds, the hotel is the perfect location for online content driven product launches or high-end media events with specially designed packages providing an uninhibited internet experience.

And all of this convenience and sophistication is situated in a spectacular setting, where guests enjoy breathtaking views of endless ocean horizons set against the backdrop of the infamous Lion’s Head and Table Mountain, enjoying the sea aromas and within minutes can slip down to the Sea Point promenade to stroll along the edge of the Atlantic ocean.

The most recent delight the President Hotel is now providing is the newly renovated deli. The Botany Café is a burst of freshness and innovation in the deli scene, and is becoming increasingly popular not only with guests, but with growing numbers of Capetonians who are quickly discovering its culinary pleasures.

The focus is on all things fresh out the garden and farm: organic, artisanal, seasonal and bursting with flavour. The menu is a delight to explore, brimming with enticing options that range from light and healthy to hearty and filling. There is a fantasy of mouth-watering wraps, constantly varied salads that rock with the season and juices that positively sparkle with newly-squeezed flavour. And the coffee lover will think he has arrived in the preliminary stages of Paradise! The warm roasted aroma fills the atmosphere with that sense of well-being and satisfaction that only select blends of coffee can provide.

Armed with a choice of these tantalising dishes, guests can stroll out to the terrace overlooking the infinity pool and the limitless reaches of the Atlantic ocean, enjoy a variation of drinks from their newly launched cocktail menu, or relax inside and savour the experience.

“The Botany Café is not the only menu from which guests can make their selections,” Vardan points out. “There is also a new terrace menu, a revamped à la carte menu and of course, the upgraded room service menu. We have also changed the buffet menus to add spice and variety to the dishes. However, while we have focussed on the healthier options, we have definitely not banished those sinful treats that lead us all astray – we all need to indulge from time to time! So you can still sneak an ice cream or chocolate sundae – and then make up for your guilty conscience with some raw juice or a smoothie!”

“The inspiration behind this culinary effervescence is Craig Paterson, our highly renowned new executive chef, who comes to us with a weight and depth of expertise that adds incredible value to our brand,” explains Clayton.

Paterson has made an indelible imprint in the industry, starting his career at the prestigious Haute Cabriere estate in Franschhoek and garnering further dimensions of knowledge and expertise at such prominent establishments as Cape Grace, where he was executive chef, Beluga Restaurant where he was operating partner, and Londolozi and Newmark Hotels where he was executive chef.

His ongoing love affair with food, as he describes it, is “taking a raw ingredient and transforming it into something spectacular. You have to understand how food works,” he points out, “Then you can see the end product and the result you want to achieve. But you must keep things simplistic and fresh. Food is a lot like fashion – so it’s important to stay with the trends.”

There are also several other packages to choose from, not only available for local events but to cater for those never-to-be-forgotten occasions, such as honeymoons. You can browse the website or enquire from the friendly staff at the President Hotel.

So don’t miss out on the opportunities before you – you won’t easily find this combination of pleasure, convenience, professionalism, comfort, luxury, peace yet excitement and fulfilment anywhere else.

“And the next time you come, you will be even further impressed” concludes Clayton. “We move, we adjust, we change, we are constantly improving and each visit must be memorable and unique!”