Just $10,000 per night and you can stay here too
IT'S a luxurious six star resort that saw Mariah Carey flown in to serenade guests, including Nelson Mandela, Sharon Stone, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman and Robert De Niro, at the grand opening in 2009.
The lavish event at the One & Only resort in Cape Town, South Africa, set the bar - likely diamond-encrusted gold - high.
"Just being here is fabulous ... it's an incredible place," Carey said at the event.
But like most things that catch the eye of the global singing sensation, it comes with a hefty price tag.
A night in the Presidential suite - one of the hotel's most expensive - will set guests back about A$10,000-$13,000 per night. Its cheapest room - the one bedroom marina suite - starts from about A$1500 per night.
Sol Kerzner's award-winning resort, is one of several key developments in Cape Town which has helped the city rise from the depths of the nation's shameful history to become a world-class destination in the post-apartheid era.
The 131 room property - rumoured to have cost £90 million to build - sits in the bustling waterfront district, overlooking Cape Town's most iconic landmark, Table Mountain.
It's central location puts it within walking distance of most tourist attractions including ferry wharves, bus stops and eateries. But for many travellers, it's what's on the inside that counts, and it's there guests start to get a feel for what makes the venue so exclusive.
The One & Only Cape Town's ground floor lobby opens to a plush cocktail and lounge-bar with floor-to-ceiling glass which takes in the spectacular views of the marina and mountains. It's where high tea - including cupcakes and other delicious treats - is served for guests every afternoon to the sounds of a grand piano played live under a twinkling chandelir.
The hotel's main suites - said to be the largest in the country - boast balconies with sweeping views of the mountain across the sparkling marina. The site is a breathtakingly defining feature of the hotel and has been incorporated into various experiences for guests, including a 'mountain view' breakfast from Reuben's restaurant below, delivered to private balconies upon request.
DOM PERIGNON SUITE
The hotel's owners haven't rested on their laurels, recently launching the first ever Champagne Suite by Dom Pérignon in Africa on its fifth floor.
The exclusive one bedroom marina suite boasts a private balcony, a large kingsize bed complemented by a 'love-seat' at the foot, a walk-in closet large enough to swing a cat in and an ensuite bathroom with a oversized bath, rain shower, private water closet and dual marble vanity. Prices range from A$2860 - $3390 per night.
The included extras are just as impressive. From a bottle of champagne and oysters on arrival to a 30 minute session with a personal trainer, a bottle of Bulgari parfum for him and her,
a personalised menu at the hotel's exclusive Nobu restaurant, and a reserved daybed by the main pool, it all comes as part of the package.
"We only select the most prized locations globally as home to our exclusive Dom Pérignon Suites," Moët Hennessy Market Manager for South Africa Patrick Madendjian said.
"One & Only Cape Town was the perfect partner for this exclusive one-of-a-kind experience and we believe that this unique luxury offering will help to ensure Cape Town continues to establish itself as one of the most sought-after destinations for luxury travellers in the world."
The hotel is also a culinary destination, bringing trendy Capetonians to dine at its Nobu and Maze outposts. Hollywood actor Robert De Niro and chef Nobuyuki 'Nobu' Matsuhisa opened Nobu, which is their only restaurant in Africa. It was part of the draw card which saw dozens of A-listers file in for the opening.
Today, Nobu gives classical Japanese cuisine a contemporary twist with Peruvian influences. Diners can indulge in fresh South African seafood and indigenous spices in mesmerising dishes such as Sake Roast Whitefish with Jalapeno or the Chocolate Bento Box; a dark chocolate fondant with green tea ice cream and a sesame seed tuile.
But it's not the hotel's only place to dine. Just as fabulous - but with a more tropical vibe - is Isola restaurant, located on one of the hotel's two man-made islands.
The island is also home to grand villas and the largest infinity pool in the southern hemisphere. The second island boasts a high-end day spa that offers massages, wraps, scrubs, therapies and features vitality pools, ice machines, saunas and relaxation rooms. It's one of the country's most exquisite day spas.
The resort is targeted at elite travellers with a penchant for ultra-luxury but it's also unpretentious and within reach for those who have been saving hard and want to splash out on somewhere flash. While the resort's more exclusive suites might be out of reach for the average traveller it's not hard to see why the glamorous destination remains the resort of choice for international film stars, musicians and politicians visiting 'the motherland'.
- Journalist Megan Palin was hosted by the One & Only resort in Cape Town. For more information on One & Only resorts, visit here.