Care for another glass of champagne? Always. I’m an amenity focused traveler. Of course I love a nice, clean, well appointed, functional and generally “modern” room, but it’s the service and amenities that make a stay for me. It’s for this reason I generally try my best to stay at boutique, non chain hotels offering unique services and experiences. For my honeymoon, needless to say the pressure was on to find something exceptional. Fortunately I did. 

MannaBay is a boutique hotel, akin to a glamorous mansion on the foothills of Table Mountain. The joys of looking out the front of the property to Cape Town harbor and surrounding waterfront and back, directly up Table Mountain never faded. From the minute we arrived the hotel’s staff made it very clear that our holiday, not just our stay was their priority. Nolu and Mitch, the property managers were ready at any beckoning call to help arrange tours, tricky dinner reservations and suggest a flow to maximize our Cape Town experience. In fact, they proactively inquired about anything they could assist with while we sipped our welcome champagne at check in! I’ve never been somewhere where I felt my happiness was so important to someone else in a non “i’m waiting for my tip” way. It was tremendous. The place? Equally so. The property features eight individually appointed rooms with unique design inspiration. There’s the Versailles room, which hopefully, is fairly self explanatory; the Persian room featuring, you guessed it, Persian rugs, pictures of conquerors and six other rooms with similarly unique stories. We stayed in the Explorer room which was styled with, well I’ll show you. You’ll get it.

The Room

I just loved the unique design of each room. I found our “Explorer” room particularly neat complete with fabulous views of Cape Town.

You’re not wrong! Those are the sky scrapers of Cape Town Harbor in the distance! What a view!

I enjoyed the little touches like old typewriters and magnifying glasses, “explorer things” could be found throughout the room.

Clean, beautiful, large TV and a really nifty bathroom to the left of the view (above). Check, check check. 

Shower with a view! It was an incredible feeling looking over Cape Town Harbor and the V&A Waterfront while showering. 


One of the best things about MannaBay was that it featured eight guest rooms, but also seemed to feature nearly eight individual common spaces so that you could chat with other guests or have nothing to do with them. Your call with a space fit for all…

Yet another tranquil sitting area. We never felt crowded or too close to anyone. 

The hotel offered a complimentary “high tea” every afternoon (including champagne) which rivaled the best spreads in the world. On one particular occasion there was an incredible lounge piano player keying up modern and classic hits in fantastic form. We were hooked! The room offered quite a lot on its own….

What’s a hotel without a pool? Can’t imagine too many have a view from the pool of table mountain though! Spectacular!

Or if a pool seems too daunting, a bean bag and a bar with another view of Table Mountain isn’t a bad call either!

Japanese stroll garden anyone? This place was an oasis and it was set at the highest residential point before the foothills of Table Mountain with views to the water. Beat that!

Food & Service

Many hotels offer complimentary buffet breakfast. Few offer made to order breakfast with an additional buffet on your schedule, with a chef who comes to your table! Nothing seemed to be too much to ask and the cappuccino’s were fantastic! 

I briefly mentioned high tea. Good lord, this was a highlight. The spread featured savory and sweet options including tea sandwiches, mini Yorkshire puddings with filet mignon, smoked salmon, salted caramel cheesecake, passion fruit tartlets, brownies and more. Not to mention all the champagne you wished….

One of at least three to ten helpings I had on this particular afternoon. We loved the tea because it was complimentary and usually meant that with the grand complimentary breakfast, we could skip lunch, have the complimentary afternoon tea and really only buy one meal per day at dinner. It meant having some extra nice dinners!

You can’t go to South Africa without experiencing their wine. It’s one of the greatest wine regions of the world with unique varietals. MannaBay had a very accessible cellar and well priced wine menu. Each afternoon we selected a bottle and they were happy to provide glasses and serve us in the beautiful dining room overlooking the harbor. 

Any Meerlust fans out there? One exceptional bottle!

And again, gorgeous place to watch the sun go down. 

No point to this picture, ok well maybe the American flag. They had a British and American flag carpet which I found very fitting on our US/UK union. 

A real highlight was that the hotel had a relationship with a particularly venerable tour company and we had an absolute blast exploring the Cape Point with our new buddy Marius who provided exceptional service and insights along the tour. We even saw zebras!

The Experience

This was a trip which featured only five star stays, just the way we like it. What I found most unique about MannaBay was their ability to provide five star service and beyond without it feeling pretentious or without us feeling like old world royalty. We like to feel important and cared for but left to feel at home. The staff and the property made life absolutely fantastic and left us with a deep desire to return to Cape Town without a question of where to stay. Five Stars PLUS.

As Always, Get In Touch:

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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