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Beachfront hotels, charming B&Bs, restored Victorian manor houses in the leafy suburbs – there are numerous places to stay in Port Elizabeth. Heading to this South African city? Culture Trip curates your best accommodation options.
Isango Gate Boutique Hotel and Spa, in the quiet beachfront suburb of Summerstrand, promises tranquillity – namely through its spa, which features a jacuzzi and stream room. Other highlights include its infinity pool, cocktail bar and gourmet restaurant, which serves rare wines and classic South African cuisine. The 10 suites, of which nine offer sea views that can be enjoyed from a private balcony, are all finished with a contemporary vibe.
No 5 by Mantis, comprising 10 opulent suites and featuring a private collection of South African art, epitomises luxury. Guests can enjoy a cigar and whiskey salon, viewings at a 15-seat theatre, a dining cellar, champagne lounge, plus a spa and gym. In town for business? There’s even an executive boardroom. As for the location, it’s situated in a secluded landscape – yet a stone’s throw from Port Elizabeth’s heartbeat.
Singa Lodge, a four-star boutique hotel, fuses African and Asian influences to create eclectic rooms. Each suite, complete with a private entrance, offers a spacious open-plan bathroom, as well as a private patio that overlooks the garden featuring a swimming pool and mosaic fountain. The hotel is just a short walk from the beaches of Port Elizabeth, while the popular Boardwalk Entertainment Complex is just around the corner.
Attention to detail sets Manor 38, near Pollock Beach, apart – staff pride themselves on paying close attention to the requirements of their guests. The hotel has a variety of suites and luxury rooms to choose from, some of which feature jacuzzi baths and outdoor patio areas, while breakfast and lunch can be organised in advance. Those looking for a more lively environment can reserve a table at one of the many excellent restaurants in the area.
Hacklewood Hill Country House, surrounded by verdant English gardens in Walmer, is one of the few remaining Victorian manor houses in Port Elizabeth. This five-star hotel features stately stained glass windows and wooden floors, which are rooted in Victoriana. Enjoy classic pastimes, such as croquet on the lawn and a spot of tennis, before dipping in the pool and retiring to your spacious luxury suite. The onsite restaurant, designed around a magnificent chandelier, offers full silver service, crystal goblets and an array of cordon bleu dishes.
Stay at The Windermere, near the city centre in the suburb of Humewood, if you’re after an active break. The hotel boasts a swimming pool plus access to water sports and a golf course. Its 10 suites are spacious yet cosy – complete with fireplaces and extra long beds – and equipped with luxuries like fluffy bathrobes and blackout curtains.
Those looking for a magical forest getaway need not travel far from the city to find one. The Plantation, offering a whimsical and gorgeous escape with four-star accommodation, is located just 10 minutes from Port Elizabeth. The elegant guest suites all consist of a large bedroom, dining area, kitchenette and private balcony, which overlooks the picturesque gardens where bird watching is a popular pastime. The Plantation is also an idyllic and extremely popular wedding venue.
Ibhayi Guest Lodge, offering guests a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of Port Elizabeth’s lively Walmer suburb, is all about catering towards the simple comforts in life – but with a good dash of luxury. Rooms range from single to luxury suites, feature ensuites and are tastefully appointed. There is an onsite restaurant, numerous conference rooms, a swimming pool and scenic outside seating area on the veranda, where you can relax with a drink.
The history of the Beach Hotel goes back almost as far as the origins of Port Elizabeth, and is a landmark that many locals look on with fondness. Its location on the Bay’s beachfront makes it a popular seaside getaway, complimented by great service and quality accommodation that ticks all the boxes for those wanting a relaxed and enjoyable break. The hotel offers a number of ensuite rooms, some with sea views and others opening onto a pretty courtyard as well as a pool and three onsite restaurants.
The Hub Boutique Hotel, just a short drive from the airport and local attractions, in the leafy and well-connected suburb of Walmer, welcomes both business travellers and those on vacation. Book your meetings at the Conference Venue or enjoy relaxation packages and manicures at the spa. There are a number of different ensuite accommodation options, with some rooms offering either a private patio or roof garden, while satellite television comes as standard throughout.
Kim Gregory contributed additional reporting to this article.