The Mother City's hotel scene has something for every traveler, from rooftop bars to rural winelands.
Cape Town is one of those exceptional cities that has something for everyone. You can just as easily go for a hike in the mountains to watch the sunrise as you can sample cuisine from all over the world in a bustling night market. Its hotel scene is just as diverse. Whether you prefer old-school elegance or an ultra-modern hot spot, it caters to travelers of all types. Here are seven hotels worth booking when you make your way to South Africa’s (deservedly) most-visited city.
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Ellerman House: For Luxury Vacationers
If a Cape Town-based adaptation of The Great Gatsby were ever made, Ellerman House would be where Jay Gatsby threw his soirées. Originally a private residence, the boutique hotel is set above Bantry Bay and has breathtaking ocean views. It also has a heated outdoor pool and perfectly-manicured lawns. The service is impeccable, and every detail is accounted for, right down to candles for your bath. Even a complimentary gin trolley gets rolled out every evening before sunset. The effect is that you’ll feel very much like you’re staying at the home of an incredibly generous (and wealthy) relative who’s deemed you the guest of honor.
The Silo Hotel: For Design Enthusiasts
The mantra “less is more” is completely ignored at The Silo Hotel, and the result is nothing short of fabulous. Housed in a former grain silo complex on Cape Town’s waterfront, the lavish property has panoramic windows and ultra-high ceilings that overlook the city’s historic harbor and Table Mountain. The interiors make for just as impressive eye candy: crystal chandeliers, plush furniture in jewel tones, and accents in perfectly mismatched prints all have a place here. No two guestrooms look the same, but each has a large en-suite bathroom and a soaking tub with incredible views.
La Residence: For Wine Connoisseurs
If heaven is a place on earth, it’s La Residence. The Silo’s sister property is situated in the lush Franschhoek Valley on a 30-acre estate and has its own Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz vineyards, plus an infinity pool and a working farm. It also makes its own sparkling rosé that guests receive a glass of upon arrival. (The sunny staff goes out of their way to ensure that glass never goes empty during your stay.) The seasonal menu uses produce grown on the estate, but guests can order anything they fancy eating that isn’t on the menu. La Residence is technically about an hour’s drive from Cape Town, but it’s worth every minute.
Gorgeous George: For Playful Creatives
Situated in the heart of Cape Town’s central district, Gorgeous George is as much a place to go as it is to stay. Funky but functional, it boasts a great rooftop bar (Gigi’s) and communal spaces full of books, board games, and high-speed Wi-Fi. The industrial-chic hotel blends the coolness of exposed concrete and steelwork with the warmth of leather sofas, patterned cushions, and plenty of plants. The rooms are similarly decorated and will have you daydreaming about what it’d be like to reside full-time in an artist’s loft in the Mother City. It also doesn’t hurt that the staff always greet you with a smile and the words, “Hello gorgeous.”
The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa: For Sunset Chasers
When it comes to location, The Twelve Apostles has everybody beat. The hotel is perched on a dramatic cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and flanked by Table Mountain’s Twelve Apostles mountain range. There’s no better spot to sip a cocktail and watch the sunset than the terrace of the hotel’s Leopard Bar, which draws as many locals as visitors. It’s also a popular spot for whale watching, and sightings are frequent between July and December. To top it all off, The Twelve Apostles is known for its luxurious spa: It includes two gazebos nestled in the mountains from which you can enjoy one of the most memorable massages of your life.
Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel: For Tea Aficionados
Fondly referred to by locals as “The Pink Lady” for her signature blush exteriors, Mount Nelson opened its doors in 1899 and is one of Cape Town’s best-recognized landmarks. The hotel exudes old-school glam and has welcomed several famous guests over the years, including John Lennon, Nelson Mandela, and the almighty Oprah. Mount Nelson’s afternoon tea is considered the best in the city and features an assortment of 40-plus fine teas and a sumptuous spread of cakes, pastries, and sandwiches. Afterward, guests can take a stroll through the hotel’s gorgeous gardens and enjoy the fragrance of roses.
One&Only Cape Town: For Resort Lovers
One&Only’s biggest claim to fame is that Justin Bieber and his entourage stayed there during a visit to Cape Town. It’s not surprising that the pop superstar would choose the glossy resort to unwind in. One&Only is located on the city’s vibrant waterfront but very much feels like its own world, and guests’ privacy is treated as a top priority. The property is comprised of two private man-made islands and has its own series of channels on which guests can go paddle-boarding and boat-riding. It’s Africa’s only Nobu, and guests can order their favorite Japanese-Peruvian fusion plates to be served poolside.