Friday, June 11, 2010

Dreaming of South Africa: My favorites in Cape Town and beyond‏ from Suzanne's Files

June 10, 2010

The FIFA World Cup matches kicked off this week in South Africa, and the sight of all those gorgeous vistas is making me nostalgic for my last trip to this breathtaking country. Games are being held in host cities across the country, but my personal favorite is cosmopolitan Cape Town, known as the Mother City to South Africans.

A mix of unique activities, beautiful climate, and truly fabulous food makes Cape Town one of my top worldwide destinations. I've enjoyed hiking Table Mountain, lingering over dinner at Constantia Utsig, shopping the galleries and crafts markets, and strolling the city's stunning botanical gardens.

Here are a few of my most-recommended Cape Town hotels:

Les Cascades de Bantry Bay: Dramatically perched overlooking the Atlantic, this boutique gem is located in exclusive Bantry Bay. Just six spacious suites are bedecked with unusual Asian and African artifacts, and dark wood furniture.

The Cellars-Hohenort: This charming rural retreat features an 18th century building just minutes away from the Constantia wine route. 53 suites offer views of the surrounding Constantia Valley and the hotel's beautifully landscaped garden.

Tintswalo Atlantic: If you like the sea as much as I do, there's nowhere else I'd recommend staying. Staff will drive you anywhere you'd like to go, so there's no need to rent a car, and the setting at the base of a cliff is this hotel's trump card.

Daily Candy- where to watch the World Cup?

The Weekend Guide
Where to Watch the World Cup in Miami
where to watch the world cup in miami!

Your Cup runneth over.

The World Cup Lounge
What: Amadeus Bar sets up a special screening area with plush sofas, high-top tables, and the games on multiple flat-screens.
Why: Continental breakfast buffets for morning games and pizza and salad in the afternoon ($15/person), bar snacks ($7-$16) reflecting the playing teams’ cuisine, and more than 30 international beers.
When: Fri.-July 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (during World Cup matches).
Where: The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, 3300 SW 27th Ave., Coconut Grove (305-644-4680). Valet is $7 (street parking also available). Map It

Flip Burger Bar
What: The spot for the world’s favorite sports food opens in time for the World Cup, broadcasting the action from South Africa in HD.
Why: The Signature Burger (Gruyere, mushroom, onion marmalade), The Fireman (jalapeno, Jack cheese, chipotle barbecue sauce), plus turkey and veggie patties and chocolate banana shakes.
When: Opens Fri. Daily, 9:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
Where: 1699 NE 123rd St., North Miami (305-741-3547). Map It

Dove® gofresh™ Even Better Sweepstakes
What: Now with NutriumMoisture™ technology, Dove® gofresh™ body wash fuses nourishment and freshness for an even better shower. In the same spirit, win prizes designed to boost your career, style, home, and beyond.
Why: It’s fresh at its best.
When: Now.
Where: Enter online at

Futbolistos Specials at SushiSamba Dromo
What: All matches projected on the big screen, servers wearing team jerseys, a special food menu, and cocktail deals during Brazil games.
Why: South American frittata, churrasco and eggs, and Acarjale (braised short ribs with jalapeno and provolone).
When: Fri.-July 11.
Where: 600 Lincoln Rd. (305-673-5337). Map It

Mia at Biscayne
What: The downtown hotspot opens early to broadcast games on an interactive iWall and thirteen flat-screens.
Why: Chef Gerdy Rodriguez’s lunch menu inspired by top contenders (Spain, Brazil, Argentina, France, and — ahem — the USA).
When: During morning matches (schedule online).
Where: 20 Biscayne Blvd., at Flagler St. (305-642-0032). Map It

Bahia at Four Seasons Hotel
What: The seventh-floor, poolside bar (upholstered teak chairs, wicker daybeds) tunes its televisions in all month long.
Why: Specialty cocktails, like the Footballer’s Wife (champagne, lychee) and Brazilian Kick (Cachaça, strawberries, sugar, lime) for $7 and Olé (Corona, Tobasco, spiced rim) for $4.
When: Thru July 11. Daily, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 1435 Brickell Ave. (305-358-3535). Map It

Don’t know Ronaldo from Messi? Watch our quickie World Cup guide or read the cheat sheet.

Photo: Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images