A BIT ABOUT US
Location, location, location
The President Hotel, in the wind-free Bantry Bay, Cape Town, is the ideal base from which to explore the city’s sights and experiences. The resort-style hotel is situated along the Atlantic Ocean front, just metres from the Sea Point Promenade, with Lion’s Head as a backdrop.
Superior value for money
The hotel has luxurious, spacious rooms and apartments, state-of-the-art conferencing, world-class dining, friendly service and its setting and views will make you forget you’re just minutes from the city.
Cape Town's most loved hotel
With a kids’ play area, on site spa and salon, infinity pool and meeting and event spaces, the hotel is loved by families, couples, solo travellers, business visitors and even pets.
The President Hotel has a long and interesting history that can be traced back to the very beginnings of the areas now known as Bantry Bay and Sea Point. A hotel has stood on the site for some 150 years, and before that, the Society House – the first substantial building in the area – stood on this portion of land that once stretched down to the sea and up the slopes of Lion’s Head to Kloof Road.EXPLORE OUR HISTORY
The first substantial building here was the Society House, built in 1766 (where the President Hotel now stands) for the African Society, a club formed by wealthy burghers Martin Oloff Bergh and Adriaan van Schoor, who wanted a country retreat for recreation, to alleviate boredom (the curse of the rich) and escape the filth and grime of the growing Cape Town (then known as Kaapse Vlek).
The early 19th century (by which time the founders of the Society House had died) saw more expansion from the confines of Cape Town, and in 1808, the Society House acquired its first neighbour when a German botanist, Dr Friedrich Ludwig Liesching, was granted a piece of land behind the house, high up on the granite hill in what is now Bantry Bay. Around that time, the old Society House was acquired by a farmer, Marthinus Keet, who was probably responsible for the planting of barley in the surrounding fields.
Big changes were to come though, when in 1810 another wealthy landowner took possession of the Society House. Englishman Henry Alexander bought the property and added two extensive portions of land measuring 70 morgen (60 hectares) in total. Renamed Sea Point House (supposedly after the rocky outcrop below the homestead), it now became his family’s country escape, and he must have spent a fair amount of money on renovations to make it both habitable and suitably impressive for a man of high status.
It was during his ownership in 1817 that the house was first advertised for accommodation. This began a long history of seaside stayovers that continues to this day.
Following Alexander’s death in 1818, his large estate was subdivided into smaller portions, thus beginning the development of the Sea Point suburb in the process. The portion with the house on it (some 16 hectares) went to Christiaan Erasmus Wentzel, who let it out as a ‘country place’.
In 1835 a senior judge of the Cape Colony, Justice William Menzies, bought Sea Point House from the previous owner Wentzel’s widow. He set about turning the old building into a luxurious villa with 11 bedrooms, adding a central tower and Gothic-style windows and stoepkamers on either side of the veranda.
Although he was a man of high standing, he died insolvent in 1850, and the house went to Samuell Bushell in 1852. By 1860 it was home to Sir William Hodges, Chief Justice of the Cape Supreme Court.
In 1880, it became the Wentworth Hotel when J.H. Munks took ownership – the first major hotel of a long line of others that led to the current President. The Wentworth, which supposedly incorporated the old Society House walls, was demolished in the late 1880s. In its place rose the entirely new Queen’s Hotel, and a fresh chapter began for this more-than-century-old site.
The Queen’s Hotel, named after Queen Victoria, was designed by the architect G.M. Alexander. Completed in 1887 to coincide with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, it was officially opened on 1 October that year.The Queen’s Hotel became a Sea Point landmark, especially after James Cavanagh took it over in 1888.
A new and final chapter in the illustrious hotel’s history began in 1967 when it was renamed. South Africa had left the British Commonwealth in 1961 when it became a republic, and The Queen’s Hotel name was no longer relevant. Rebranded as The President (or Hotel President), it was shorn of its British associations, as memories of the old era faded into obscurity.
It was Nelson Mandela himself who opened the newer, even more impressive, entirely rebuilt, 351-bedroom President Hotel on 3 June 1998. A joint venture between developer (Chaim) Meyer Budow and M2PM, building started in August 1996, taking 18 months to complete. The new President now operates as South Africa’s largest independent hotel, and under the guidance of its trustees and leaders, is once again establishing itself as a place of fine dining and luxurious seaside holidays.
DINING AT THE PRESIDENT
Relaxed resort living meets professional and friendly service at the President Hotel, an urban oasis close to the vibrant city centre. Whether you book a romantic dinner, a sundowner session, a buffet breakfast, casual lunch with your pet or even a kids’ pizza-making experience, the hotel has dining options and facilities to suit all needs.
The hotel can cater for various dietary requirements such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-intolerant needs and has a Crescent Rating of 5 (out of 7) for providing Muslim-friendly facilities and services. Kosher catering can be outsourced.
Conveniently located in Bantry Bay, The President Hotel is perfectly positioned in a windless bay between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. Just 50 metres from the popular Sea Point promenade and 10-minute drive to the Waterfront, The President Hotel has the ideal location from which to Experience Cape Town.
At the President Hotel, we value our guests and their needs
The President Hotel offers an experience suitable for the whole family. A dedicated kids’ play area, kids pool, pizza-making and kiddies menu ensure the little ones are kept happy, while the on-site spa, salon, infinity pool, extensive drinks menu, great food, activities on our doorstep and friendly service will ensure the entire family enjoys their stay.
Our easily accessible rooms are conveniently located near the guest elevators on each floor. They’re specially designed with large entryways, they’re spacious and they have a range of facilities for extra assistance.
- Large doorways
- Wheelchair-accessible showers
- Hand rails in showers and toilets
PUBLIC AREA FEATURES
- Allocated parking bays
- Ramp with easy access from porte cochère to Reception
- Elevators and ramp access to restaurants, café, bar and pool area.
- Universally accessible public restroom on the ground floor
- Easy access to main events and conference rooms
DOGS AT THE PRESIDENT
Bring your pup along with you