Review: The Tsogo Sun Champagne & Hotel Experience

There’s something wonderful about good champagne. No, that’s not even the word. Magical. Delightful. Heavenly. Perhaps those are more like it. So when Tsogo Sun invited me to spend Champagne Day with them a little while ago, I said yes straightaway. But nothing could have adequately prepared me for what lay in store.

See, when I thought Champagne Day I just thought ‘oh, we’ll sit around and drink some MCC’. But Tsogo Sun pulled out all the stops. Literally, ALL of them, and the day we spent with the Tsogo Sun guys has got to be one of my favourite days of the year.

The SunSquare Hotel With Moet & Chandon Brut Rose

We started off with a welcome at the new Tsogo Sun SunSquare hotel. Things were a little awkward as first, as they always are if you’re in a room full of people not knowing anyone. But the champagne came out pretty quickly and soon we were all best friends. Here was the first treat. When Tsogo Sun says champagne, they mean champagne. Our first bubbly of the day was the Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial. Not opened casually, I may add, but sabrage style. Because if you’re at the top of a building in the Cape Town CBD, why the hell not? The Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial is a delight. Obviously. It’s Moet. And it went down particularly well in classic champagne glasses, which certainly made me feel like a princess stuck in a different era. Add in a few wonderful dishes prepared by the SunSquare kitchen, and, voila, instant princess-dom.

View from the Tsogo Sun SunSquare

Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial

Prawn deliciousness

Mushroom risotto – one of the best I’ve ever had!

The Cape Sun Hotel With Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial

But we couldn’t stay at the SunSquare all afternoon. Ok, we could, but Tsogo Sun had different plans for us. So we all hopped in a shuttle (no drinking and driving for the responsible adults we all are) and drove down to the Cape Sun. The Tsogo Sun Cape Sun is one of the oldest grand hotels in Cape Town but refurbishments have kept is sleek and modern. We all squeezed into one of their glass elevators and shuttled up to their Presidential Suite.

I did a little happy dance when I spotted the champagne awaiting us here: The Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial. I first tried this champagne at a wedding a few weeks back and the first sip I had of this was literally a sip of love. And I’m pleased to announce that every sip I’ve had since has been a sip of love. The Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial is one of the only champagnes that I know of that is meant to be served on ice, and it can be enjoyed pure or mixed with a variety of flavours to bring out the most delectable flavours. I had one glass pure and the next topped with raspberries, blueberries, and fresh cucumber slices.

We also got to enjoy a lovely buffet of fresh fruit and veggies and some salmon that paired excellently with the Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial. Unfortunately the Ice Imperial is far beyond my budget and I don’t think ol’ writer me could actually afford to drink this regularly, but if any of you have any unopened bottles lying around that you really don’t want, I’m happy to take them off your hands #HintHint.

The Cape Sun

Cape Sun Presidential Suite

Ocean view from Cape Sun

Mountain view from Cape Sun

Cape Sun buffet

My love

Cocktail mixers

Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial

The Tsogo Sun Waterfront With Graham Beck

I didn’t need anything else after the Cape Sun. But the Tsogo Sun experience continued. We hopped back into our shuttle and shot off to the Tsogo Sun Southern Sun Waterfront. Here we were greeted by a blind tasting and presented with four glasses of something delicious. Turns out all of our noses (and taste buds) were quite good and we could tell the Moet & Chandon apart from the Graham Beck. Both, of course, are excellent, but there are slight differences between the champagne and the MCC that become quite notable when you know what you’re looking for (one hint: the key is in the bubbles).

We then moved on to a buffet of oysters and sushi, all while continuing to sip on Graham Beck deliciousness. I took the drinking a little easy here as I still had a casting to go to after all these daytime shenanigans, but the sushi and the oysters went down real well.

Blind tasting

Beautiful fruit carvings

Oysters in an ice dish

Sushi buffet

The Southern Sun Cullinan With Veuve Clicquot

From there we moved on to the flagship hotel, the Tsogo Sun Southern Sun Cullinan. This is an absolute beaut of a hotel, and certainly one of my favourites in the city. This was the “dessert” stop on our tour, and we enjoyed some Veuve Clicquot and chocolate-covered strawberries. And, of course, there was a little massage station to relieve our shoulders from the stressful day.

Veuve Cliquot merchandise. No, I couldn’t keep it.

Strawberries dipped in chocolate at Stella Bar

The Cullinan Sleep-Over

The Tsogo Sun Cullinan was not only our last stop of the tour but also our overnight stop. To prevent us all from hopping back into our cars and driving off, the Tsogo Sun made us stay over. Torturous, right?

After chit-chatting for sundowners, I went upstairs to enjoy a quiet night by myself – something I’ve been wanting to do for ages! But Tsogo Sun wouldn’t let us just go off and be sad. Walking into my room, I had one of those movie-moment-happy-dance experiences. See, I was not only greeted by a bottle of Moet & Chandon, but also a little tray of chocolates and nuts with an “Eat Me Tonight” sign and the laid-out ingredients for a Bloody Mary with the “Drink Me Tomorrow” sign.

So I had a quick shower (kudos to the lack of bath plugs and the cautionary notes on water crisis restrictions in the bathroom), cuddled up in bed, and spent the rest of the night watching movies and eating chocolate. It was heavenly.

The next morning I decided to try the Bloody Mary – something I’ve never had before – and it was more delicious than I could have ever imagined. From there I headed down for the ultimate buffet breakfast, enjoying coffee and bacon and fresh fruit and gorgeous waffles … Heaven. Absolute heaven.

Cullinan hotel room

Eat Me Tonight

Drink Me Tomorrow

My first Bloody Mary

Breakfast buffet at the Cullinan

How cool is this?????

Yes, I had waffles.

The Cullinan #StellaSessions

Tsogo Sun, you have rocked my world. I am so tremendously grateful to have had this mind-blowing experience. Words alone cannot explain how happy this day has made me, and I wish everyone in the world could experience something like this. Of course, Tsogo Sun has opened up their doors with some pretty epic champagne specials to make this all a little more possible.

My favourite is the #StellaSessions at the Southern Sun Cullinan,  where every Friday afternoon from 17:00 to 19:00 guests can enjoy bottomless bubbly for  R195 at the Stella Café and Bar. The Stella Café and Bar has some gorgeous food as well (read all about it in our review here) and the bore-hole-filled pool is also open to the public.

Southern Sun Cullinan entrance foyer

The iconic Cullinan pool

For more information on everything the Tsogo Sun group has to offer in Cape Town and the rest of the world, check out their official website here. We will DEFINITELY be back to check back in with their happenings.

Lots of (champagne) love!

Written by Benike Palfi
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Article Date: November 2017