Luxury travel writer, brian berkman, searches out the fabulous and often affordable options available to you and your pets. Julie, his rescued mixed-breed doggie-daughter, insists on joining them.
Home Suite Hotels Station House: Unveiling the Ultimate Pet-Friendly Hotel with an Ultra Pooch Pad and Facial Recognition Access!
It is great news that increasing numbers of hotels and restaurants know we don’t want to leave our pets at home. But, in what may be a first, Home Suite Hotels Station House, a recently completed property in Sea Point, Cape Town has a dedicated Ultra Pooch Pad with a third-floor balcony, doghouse and green turf “lawn”.
More impressive though is the hotel’s security system which uses lightning-fast facial recognition software to open doors as you approach. And, this handy all-access extends to the underground parking where your vehicle number-plate opens secured parking for you.
The Apart Hotel concept is no longer new but it continues to deliver a blended experience that, I think, beats either exclusive hotels or exclusive apartments.
At Home Suite Hotels Station House, if breakfast is included in your room rate, it will be at the exceedingly fabulous Sonny and Irene, part of The Kove Collection of hotels and restaurants. The interior is a glamorous Miami Beach Art Deco vibe with palm-tree and flamingo bas-relief adorning the columns. The colour scheme, other than the black and white herringboned tiles, is pinks. Tablecloths, waiters’ aprons, nifty table lamps and cosy throws on the chairs are all in lovely pinks – some hot, other dusty. And, the breakfast menu is as exciting as the interior is with many options not usually found on a breakfast menu. The best news for pet-lovers, is that Julie, our doggie-daughter, and your pet, are welcome at Sonny and Irene too. Although we didn’t get to The Nines, the restaurant and cocktail bar on the ninth floor of Station House, The Nines, also by The Kove Collection, is by many accounts, highly desirable.
For people who live in Station House there are many well-placed amenities which really add value to the building. And, for guests in the Home Suite Hotels Aparthotel in Station House, all these amenities are available too.
A weigh-and-pay laundry kiosk at basement level, a well-appointed gym and, on the floor below but connected via an internal staircase, a yoga studio. On the third floor there is a business-styled lounging area with a sound-booth pod for private phone calls.
Perhaps the most alluring however, is the roof-top which, 12 floors into the sky, delivers 360-degree views of mountains, city, sea and coastline along with perfect sunsets. A lap pool and sculptural loungers are there too in addition to a custom timber-made seating/lounging area that riffs on a mashup of a station waiting area and a skate park. Did I mention that, on the first floor not only is there a mega lounging area with the hugest TV set for group hangs, but outside there is also an outdoor gym area with equipment, gas Braais and large tables for seating? And, a dedicated dog-walking turf patch too if reaching the beachfront for walks is a tiny stretch too far.
At street level there is a Pick n Pay convenience store and a day-time only pastry and juice bar, also by Sonny and Irene.
The Home Suite Hotels Station House, Home Ultra Pooch Pad comes with an expanding dog bed, dog food and water bowls, toys and some delicious dog treats. And, so that humans are not outdone by our beloved four-legged family, there is a sitting room with TV streaming Netflix, a mini kitchen with espresso machine, sink, microwave and fridge and shower room with loo. For “bleisure” (business and leisure – get it?) travellers there’s a work area with desk and task lamp.
Despite the roomy 53m2 accommodations, the bedroom is disappointedly small with the king-size bed taking up most of the available floor area. This is a minor niggle, however, as X and Y axis sliding doors open to reveal the generous balcony and open the bedroom entirely to the balcony. The L-shaped balcony has the kennel on one side with two chairs and a cocktail table. On the other side is a dining table that can comfortably accommodate four people. Although you can’t see the sea from your balcony, it has wonderful Lion’s Head and cityscape views.
If you are considering booking here – and I think you should – do so well in advance. For good reason the Home Ultra Pooch Pad is in great demand. In December this year, for example, there are only a few open days according to their website.
Pricing is based on the best available rate which is demand driven so can fluctuate but peaking at R3 840 for two people in December this year. However, mid-winter rates are almost half that.
Sea Point’s beachfront-promenade is a walkers’ and dog-walkers’ paradise and Sunset Beach, nearby, is a free-running area for dogs.
There are countless restaurants in easy walking proximity to Station House and the recommended Vagabond Kitchens even invited us to eat inside the restaurant with Julie.