Situated on 11 acres of gardens in leafy Constantia, this glamorous boutique hotel was originally an 18th-century Cape Dutch manor house and working farm. It's conveniently located for those exploring Constantia's renowned wine estates, and boasts tasty destination restaurants in its own right. We also particularly like the stripy-curtained day beds by the pool.
Luxurious rooms are in three heritage buildings, all decorated in a bold style that marries the voluptuous excess of velvet and gilt with elegant historical decorum to fantastic effect. Rooms are spacious and bright, and overlook the gardens and a pleasant walking trail.
Bathrooms have rain showers and large baths, and some suites even have his and hers bathrooms. The style continues, with dark tiles, black marble and fancy gilt mirrors.
The attractive lobby really sells itself on the charm and professionalism of the hotel's staff.
A gorgeous pool is set down the steps from the building, on the lawns.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some guests feel the pool could be a little quieter and more secluded (it is overlooked by the bar) but we always found it to be a relaxing space.
There's no gym, but the hotel does have access to the nearby Virgin Active.
An abundant breakfast is a good start, and the La Belle Bistro and Bakery keeps up appearances throughout the day, with lovely cakes and light meals. Blanko is a really stylish modern Italian for lunch or dinner.
Incognito bar overlooks the gardens and is a relaxing place to sample the fantastic cocktail list or one of the local wines showcased.
Try the Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc - it's produced just down the road.
Most of Cape Town requires a car (or an Uber account) to navigate properly, as public transport isn't great and the city is relatively spread out. This hotel is no exception, and its Constantia location in the city's winelands makes it a slightly longer journey (still only around 20 minutes) back into the city center or some of the beaches. Good for those who want to sample the locPal grape, though...
La Colombe (12-minute drive) is a lovely high-end restaurant on a vineyard with great views. Or push the boat out yet further at Greenhouse (4-minute drive), the superlative restaurant at the Cellars-Hohenort hotel.
Hit up the vineyards nearby for wine tastings - try Groot Constantia (6-minute drive) and Buitenverwachting (8-minute drive). The hotel staff can provide more advice about touring the estates.
WHY WE LIKE IT
A cool, feisty hotel with bold style and pleasant public areas, including good restaurants and a lovely pool area, the Alphen is a strong choice for those who want to stay in Cape Town's very own wine area, Constantia.