Hotels in Cape Town are no longer just the resting place for tepid buffets and bland room service meals. In fact, there’s a new breed of hotel restaurants that are not only setting, but exceeding, the high standards in this famously foodie friendly city. Whether you’re overnighting or not, these hotels and their in-house restaurants are must-visit attractions for foodies.
In a city where hotels and restaurants frequently boast panoramic vistas, a hotel within the Airport Industria region seems fairly illogical for anyone but the hurried business traveller. But Hotel Verde, and its in-house Nuovo Restaurant, almost within earshot of Cape Town International Airport, is about more than just convenience. It’s earned praise for its service, ambiance and superb restaurant that uses only the freshest produce sourced no further away than 150 kilometres. Though it takes some seeking out if you’re based in the city, it may be worth your while to leave for the airport a few hours early and pay this popular restaurant a visit, particularly if you’re of vegetarian persuasion.
Set on the slopes of Table Mountain, with panoramic views across the sparkling Atlantic, the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa is without doubt one of the Cape’s most exclusive hotels. Though just a short drive from bustling Camp’s Bay, there’s a palpable sense of tranquility that descends on you from the moment you arrive. Luxurious spa and lavish rooms aside, the hotel’s Azure Restaurant is also a celebrated destination in its own right. Given the ocean-side location it’s hardly surprising that the menu favours fresh seafood, but there’s also a wide selection of quintessentially South African dishes such as Cape Malay curry, various meat dishes and platters of carefully selected Cape cheeses.
The Cape Grace Hotel at the V&A Waterfront is one of the city’s most revered hotels. Though its location in the heart of the city’s most visited tourist attraction means it’s somewhat pricey, the in-house Signal Restaurant still draws in foodies from across the city looking for a special meal out. They serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, and there’s a separate bar perfect for starting, or ending, the evening. The food is local, fresh and innovative, and you’ll a variety of traditional Cape ingredients and flavours interspersed with several classic European alternatives.
The Mount Nelson is one of the country’s oldest hotels, and so it’s hardly surprising that there’s an air of vintage sophistication floating down the wide corridors and out onto the tranquil terraces overlooking the lush green gardens. Luxurious accommodation and facilities aside, the Mount Nelson has also won favour with foodies of all persuasions. During the day there’s an option to have casual drinks and snacks on the terrace, but for many years now people have been flocking there for the opulent high teas, which you can take either indoors or out. And if you’re there after dark, the Planet Restaurant headed up by Chef Rudi Liebenberg offers celebrated classic dishes influenced by local flavours.
The Steenberg Hotel in Cape Town’s Tokai suburb takes many first time visitors by surprise. The farm, which is home to a wine estate, hotel, spa and two restaurants, is just 30 minutes from the Cape Town CBD, and yet it feels like another world altogether. There’s a wide selection of luxurious accommodation to prolong the pleasure, but day visitors can also get in on the action with wine tastings in a dedicated room, and meals at two celebrated restaurants – Catharina’s and Bistro Sixteen82.
The One&Only at the V&A Waterfront may just be Cape Town’s most extravagant hotel. With an idyllic address on Dock Road, and views across the harbour and access to serene canals otherwise hidden from view, it’s no surprise that this one of the Mother City’s premium accommodation options. The dining options at the One&Only are equally impressive. Celebrated local chef Reuben Riffel operates his flagship establishment from this venue in Reuben’s, and the hotel is also home to Africa’s only Nobu restaurant.
This five-star hotel in Cape Town’s Constantia Valley offers some of the best views of the famous wine region. Despite being 15 minutes from Cape Town’s City Centre, it’s an oasis of serenity. The sprawling estate is home to a 52 room hotel, a spa and two of the country’s best restaurants — Greenhouse and The Conservatory. Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef Peter Tempelhoff oversees both restaurants, which regularly feature in global best-of lists.