Conveniently linked to the Cape Town International Convention Centre, this sophisticated business hotel housed in a huge glass box does still cater to vacationers with features like an excellent spa with killer views, indoor and outdoor pools, and a stop for the water taxi that plies the canals to the V&A Waterfront. Everything glides and whirls at the touch of a button, and the general impression is slick and efficient.
Check the best available rate online, as it's likely to be much better value than the rack rate.
The decor is modern minimalist with small touches of African creativity, perhaps in pillowcases or a quirky wall color. Workstations are cleverly partitioned away from the sleeping area, so even if you have to burn the midnight oil, you can do it in comfort and style. Wi-Fi is available for an extra fee.
Bathrooms mostly have baths and showers and are large and comfortable.
The hotel lobby has quite a corporate vibe, with office-like chairs and eye-poppingly bright rugs.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The service is friendly but can be a little inconsistent, with missing items in the tea and coffee stations or guests reporting misunderstandings over the issuing of bills or invoices.
One of only a few Cape Town hotels to have an indoor and oudoor pool, the pools themselves are also pretty spectacular: swimming at night in the indoor infinity pool (adults only) on the 19th floor, as the harbor lights flicker gently, is something special. There's a whirlpool too.
The award-winning spa also offers panoramic city and ocean views from the top of the building, as well as some gorgeous treatments.
The fitness suite, too, is perched on the 19th floor, allowing you to gaze over the city as you exercise.
The hotel restaurant used to be on the 19th floor as well, but has migrated to the ground floor, making way for the executive lounge - a bit of a demotion in terms of views. It's a shame in some ways, but the cuisine at the swanky feeling Thirty7 Show Kitchen (where breakfast is also served) is still fresh and tasty, with daily blackboard specials. Breakfast is great too - including everything from miso soup to local South African options like koesisters (fried dough infused with syrup).
Try the slow-cooked pork belly, with pineapple chutney and smoked apple aioli. Like a lot of Cape Town chefs, the team here know how to cook some good meat.
Louis B's bar and lounge overlooks the canal and has a daily canapé hour. It can have a nice vibe when it's buzzy, but there's a slightly corporate feel hanging over its grey chairs and muted decor. The outdoor terrace is also a pleasant spot, and there's live entertainment in the evenings. Or if you want to feel smugly above it all, head to the glass-walled Raleigh's on the mezzanine level, overlooking both the restaurant and Louis B's.
The hotel is close to the V&A Waterfront and the CBD, but it's best to drive in these areas, particularly at night--there's a frequent shuttle.
Head for the Pot Luck Club (6-minute drive) for inventive cooking - book in advance. Or try the fantastic Portugese-influenced seafood cooking at Baia Seafood Restaurant (9-minute drive) in the V&A Waterfront.
Asoka (10-minute drive) is a hip, attractive cocktail bar with live jazz. Or try the Shimmy Beach Club (7-minute drive) for any of your (admittedly man-made) beach and poolside needs, with a restaurant, club, concert venue and lounge bar.
WHY WE LIKE IT
While there's no denying the business-y feel of the Westin, there are some real pros for holidaymakers too, not least the astonishing views from the spa and rooftop indoor and outdoor pools. Breakfast is pretty darned good too.