I always love a hotel that finds a home in a repurposed building, and the Protea Cape Town Waterfront Breakwater Lodge is located in an old 19th-century prison right near the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa.

This property sits conveniently in the heart of the city, right between the marina and the foot of Signal Hill. This hotel is mostly geared toward business travelers but has special deals for families and couples. It’s ideal for folks in search of a comfortable, quiet stay in a convenient neighborhood.

If you’re coming to Cape Town on business or just need a pleasant home base, the Protea Breakwater Lodge is an ideal spot for you.

Protea Cape Town Waterfront Breakwater Lodge

Photo courtesy of Marriott

How I Booked Protea Breakwater Lodge

I have a friend who works with Marriott, so I have access to Marriott’s Friends and Family rate. I was able to book a week-long stay at the Protea Breakwater Lodge for about $503.

Even during peak season, the hotel is almost always under 20,000 Marriott points per night, or around $115. This makes it possible to use the Marriott free night certificates from the credit cards mentioned below, but it also means you’d get a pretty low valuation for your Marriott points—paying cash might be more reasonable. Always do the math for your personal stay to see what makes the most sense.

It’s also possible to book this hotel with Marriott points, which can be earned through the following credit cards:

  • Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

Protea Breakwater Lodge Location

This hotel sits favorably just steps from the V&A Waterfront, and with it the Two Oceans Aquarium, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art and the Cape Town Diamond Museum. If you wish, you may also take the ferry to Robben Island via the Nelson Mandela Gateway. Look the other way and head to the hills instead as this property is just a short drive away from Signal Hill, Lion’s Head and Table Mountain hiking trails.

If you’d rather stay in the neighborhood, there are plenty of shopping and dining opportunities within just a few blocks. Check out the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, shop for flowers at Oranjezicht City Farm Market, book a gin tasting at The Gin Emporium or watch the ferries go by while enjoying mussels and prawns at Life Grand Cafe Waterfront.

The hotel is easy to access from Cape Town International Airport by car. There are 250 parking spaces available with 24-hour security for travelers driving in, and otherwise, an Uber or Bolt is just a few taps away.

Best Parts of Protea Breakwater Lodge

I really can’t praise the location enough. While Cape Town is buzzing with entertainment around the clock, I appreciated having a restful haven awaiting me after enjoying myself out on the town. It’s a sophisticated neighborhood with easy access to the city center as well as Cape Town’s famous Table Mountain National Park.

I also appreciated the simplicity of the property. It’s an old building, so my expectations were calibrated in terms of potential noise or wear and tear. However, I didn’t have any issues, and everything was comfortable and easy.

Protea Breakwater Lodge Drawbacks

Again, it’s an old building. If you’re easily bothered by things that aren’t completely up-to-date or 100% soundproof, you may have a less-than-ideal stay at this property.

While an excellent location with respect to waterfront activities, it’s not within walking distance to the Long Street clubs. If you’d rather stay in Cape Town for the more famous nightlife circuit, then I’d suggest staying closer to (or on) Long Street.

Getting to Protea Breakwater Lodge

Getting to this property is spectacularly easy via Uber or Bolt, and it’s accessible by car as well. It’s also a few minutes’ walk from several bus stops, so if you’d like to take public transportation, it’s possible and the hotel staff can help you figure out those details.

I would always recommend taking an Uber or Bolt to the hotel because it’s easy and reliable, and the prices are reasonable enough. It’s common to use these services in South Africa, and they’re generally the safest options. Just make sure that your windows aren’t rolled down enough for a hand to fit through, and keep a tight hold on your belongings at all times.

I had previously spent a week at the Protea Fire & Ice Cape Town, just a few minutes drive away.


Check-in was easy at Protea Breakwater Lodge. I was greeted with a smile and plenty of information regarding my stay. The property was easy to recognize with its castle-like corner towers, and I thought the slightly dated decor was charming. I arrived just after check-in time to a prepared room, a friendly face and even more assistance than I needed.

I have Titanium Status with Marriott and did receive an upgrade to a room with a small living area. The hotel offers a great buffet breakfast that I was able to enjoy every day at no additional cost as a Titanium member.

The Room at Protea Breakwater Lodge

The Room at Protea Breakwater Lodge

Photo courtesy of Marriott

I booked the smallest room at the property, the Smaller Guest Room, which features 10 cozy square meters (108 square feet) of space, a twin bed, a mini fridge, air conditioning, a flatscreen TV and a work desk. The room has a big window with plenty of natural light, and despite the smallness, the layout was well thought through and made perfect sense.

The Room at Protea Breakwater Lodge

Photo courtesy of Marriott

Better yet, when I arrived, I was upgraded to a suite with a king bed and a small living area because of my Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status.

While not every room has a view outside the property, this hotel features a lovely inner courtyard due to its fortress-like architecture. I ended up with a peaceful inner view and didn’t mind that at all.

The bathroom had plenty of counter space for my toiletries plus the complimentary toiletries, and I always appreciate having a combination tub/shower for when I feel like drawing a bath in the evening.

For those of us who have a bit of work to do while away, the work desk and convenient charging outlets were a welcome sight. The property has complimentary high-speed internet, which is always a must, and the coffee maker and mini fridge came in handy for easy access to snacks.

All in all, I had no issues with this room. Small rooms can often feel extra cramped if the layout is haphazardly thrown together or there are too many things crammed into the room, but this one was exactly how it should’ve been.

Food and Drink

Protea Cape Town Breakwater Lodge-Food and Drink

Photo courtesy of Marriott

The on-site restaurant is called Stonebreakers, referencing the building’s slightly sordid history as an old prison. Luckily the decor is far from prison-like—it’s vibrant, geometric and colorful providing a warm, sophisticated invitation to eat, drink and be merry.

Stonebreakers is open for three daily seatings corresponding for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s a casual waterfront restaurant with indoor and outdoor tables, and it features light meals, sandwiches and a full bar. If you’re staying on a Sunday, don’t miss the Sunday buffet between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.—expect a variety of fruits, finger sandwiches and pastries.


Protea Cape Town Breakwater Lodge-Amenities

Photo courtesy of Marriott

Protea Breakwater Lodge features a fitness center equipped with a weight rack and cardio equipment. It also offers a spa with various spa treatments and packages to help you relax and rejuvenate during your trip.

This is especially nice if you’re in town for a conference, as this property hosts 18 conference venues and has a close relationship with the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town. If you’re in need of a conference venue or have a relationship with the business school, then Protea Breakwater Lodge could be an ideal venue for your next meeting.


The staff at Protea Breakwater Lodge is always friendly, courteous and helpful. This is a hotel that still offers turndown service, which I thought was a nice touch, and despite the storied heritage of the building, everything was clean and functional.

During my stay, I made a few friends at the hotel, one of which had some serious dietary concerns that needed extra care. She told me that the chef had personally visited her table to make sure her needs were met, and that impressed me a lot. It shows that this property takes the comfort and safety of its guests to heart, and that attention to detail is important for guest satisfaction.

Protea Breakwater Lodge Family Friendliness

While this hotel is geared mostly towards adult business or solo travelers, there are plenty of things for families to do in the area, such as the aforementioned aquarium, museums and hiking, for example.

Additionally, staff members at the hotel are always glad to recommend family-friendly activities in the area. Even though there aren’t any dedicated areas for kids on site, the location makes up for that. However, if you’re looking for an all-inclusive family resort, this hotel wouldn’t be an ideal choice for a family getaway.

Final Thoughts on Protea Breakwater Lodge

Overall, Protea Breakwater Lodge is a lovely choice for travelers looking for a location close to the water, the city and the natural areas in Cape Town. The vibe is relaxing and sophisticated; its history is tantalizing; and the location couldn’t be better for folks who want to explore several different corners of the city. If you’re looking for a peaceful Cape Town home base in a great neighborhood, then I think you should definitely check out the Protea Breakwater Lodge.