Without a doubt, this is one of the finest (and most exclusive) hotels in South Africa. Built in 1906 for shipping magnate Sir John Ellerman, the hotel sits high on a hill in Bantry Bay and has stupendous views of the sea. Broad, terraced lawns fronted by elegant balustrades step down the hillside to a sparkling pool. The drawing and living rooms, decorated in Regency style, are elegant yet not forbiddingly formal. Guest rooms have enormous picture windows, high ceilings,
and exquisite bathrooms. The hotel accommodates only a handful of guests, and a highly trained staff caters to their every whim. In the kitchen chefs prepare whatever guests request—whether it's on the menu or not. All drinks except wine and champagne are included in the rates. If you're traveling with a group, or want absolute privacy, the adjacent Ellerman House Villas is the way to go. Although costly (upwards of R40,000 a night), the villas can sleep up to 10 people. It is fitted out with all the newest media and lighting gizmos, as well as spalike bathrooms that are hard to leave. The views and service are the same as at the main house, but high-profile guests in search of absolute privacy book here. An additional R10,000 a day and the spa and its therapists are yours too.