Thursday, 13 March 2014

How to win at (not) riding the Argus

We went to Cape Town this weekend just past - mainly for Brett to ride the Argus Cycle Race, but also to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. (10 years of being married to the love of my life, how lucky am I!)

Brett had booked at the Tsogo Sun The Cullinan hotel, using their Argus special offer of R1350 for the room. When the hotel found out that it was our anniversary, they upgraded us to a suite for the duration of our stay - how lucky were we! 

Now, apart from the awesomeness of the suite (which was about twice the size of my first apartment, and included a bar, a lounge, a dining room, and the biggest bedroom in the history of ever, with the most comfy bed and dreamy pillows, and a veritable palace of a bathroom), here's what blew me away about our four nights in the hotel:

  • The staff were super, super friendly and helpful - nothing was too much trouble, and any requests were met with a smile and quick delivery. Zuko in the breakfast room deserves a special mention - he was particularly awesome with my boys, and brought kiddie-temperature hot chocolate, rathe than the scalding stuff that they would have to wait for it to cool down. 
  • Ah, yes. Breakfast. The magnificent buffets that have always been synonymous with Tsogo Sun were on finest form, including a whole grana padano cheese, honey on the comb, pastries, charcuterie, sushi, and a full range of hot dishes. 
  • And, getting its own line of special mention: that wonderful breakfast was free for the boys (as was their accommodation - this is true at all Tsogo Sun hotels, I think). Which, considering that Matthew insisted on only eating Pronutro on Monday morning, was a significant win. 
  • We were spoiled with pink bubbles and chocolates in our room, to celebrate our anniversary - along with some sweetie bits for the boys.
  • The hotel goes out of its way for cyclists, from installing a bike mechanic in reception for the whole weekend, to having special storage facilities in the basement for bikes and trailers, and offering condemned linen to help with cleaning the bikes. 
  • On race day, the hotel's reception was filled with energy snacks for the cyclists, with everything from trail mix and fruit to potatoes and energy drinks/and sachets - all there for the taking. 
  • Tsogo Sun has a hospitality suite at the end of the race which we were lucky enough to be invited to. Several hotels in the group each had a food stand, so we got to sample their finest dishes - and drinks, snacks and desserts (SINNFUL!!!) were on tap. 
We're not hotel regulars - we tend to holiday in self-catering accommodation - but we will definitely return to The Cullinan. It offers great value for money, exceptional service from wonderful staff, and they go out of their way for the Argus - and it seems like that race is going to be a regular in the Haggard calendar going forward. 

Thanks so much to Garry, Sheena and Tsogo Sun for making this a memorable weekend, for all the right reasons. 

The money stuff: We paid the standard room rate offered by the hotel for the Argus weekend, and paid our own way with room service, drinks etc. We were very grateful for the extra spoilage for our anniversary etc - that was a special treat.