A buzzy art scene, fusion food, great nightlife, pristine beaches, and of course, Table Mountain – there’s plenty of reasons why you should visit Cape Town. Take your experience to the next level with one of these places to stay – including boutique boltholes, luxury waterfront hotels, even an Edwardian mansion.
The Grand Daddy Hotel
Boutique Hotel, Hotel, Independent Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
Experience luxury with a difference at the Grand Daddy Hotel, where it’s all about fun and creative touches – not least the rooftop trailer park. With Table Mountain as your backdrop, you can choose one of seven cool vintage Airstreams for a camping experience that’s like no other. You get your own private outdoor space and the food options include a traditional braai. Alternatively, pick one of the hotel’s air-conditioned ensuite rooms that are spacious and comfortable. Buffet food is the order of the day, or you can go for room service from the onsite café if you don’t feel like going out.
Courtesy of Best Western Fountains Hotel / Expedia
Within walking distance of many attractions, the Fountains Hotel provides all the amenities you’d expect from an upmarket downtown hotel – including a pool, gym, free wifi and restaurant. The ensuite rooms are all air-conditioned, with modern facilities. Fountains Hotel also boasts a conference room that can seat 250 delegates, suitable for business meetings and private functions, and the professional staff are on hand to comply with any requests.
It’s all about location at this upmarket hotel, just a few steps from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, where you’ll find some of the best dining, shopping and entertainment options Cape Town has to offer. The hotel is plush – we’re talking lofty ceilings in the lobby, looming columns around the outdoor heated pool and a beautiful mezzanine balcony. The Peach Tree Restaurant has got you covered for breakfast, serving up a Cape Malay fusion buffet, while snacks and cocktails are available all day at Stella Café & Bar.
If exclusivity is what you’re after – but you don’t want to miss out on all the fun – you could do worse than a stay at the Cape Grace. Occupying its own quay, the hotel sits between the buzzing V&A Waterfront and the marina, so there’s a great backdrop, whatever your mood. Wake up to views of towering Table Mountain and boats bobbing in the harbour. Breakfast is a broad choice of fresh pastries, cheese, charcuterie and smoked salmon. All this precedes a day packed with activity, whether you’re tasting rare whiskies, pampering yourself in the hotel spa, or heading for the beach.
Wake up to sweeping views of the Atlantic and the majestic Table Mountain every morning at this waterfront hotel. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet of fruit, croissants and coffee before joining other guests on a free shuttle tour around town. Or take it easy with a lazy day by the pool. When you’re ready to explore, the bustling V&A Waterfront is right on the doorstep.
The bronze facade of the Taj is a good indication of the luxury that awaits you inside. The vaulted lounge area – formerly a banking hall – arches over marble columns and flooring, while the original Heritage Wing suites maintain neoclassical elements yet all the modern amenities you’d expect from a five-star hotel. You can expect great hospitality too: a fabulous fusion of African and Indian styles, all warm and welcoming. For the ultimate relaxation head to the Jiva spa, and for outstanding Indian cuisine, book a table at the Bombay Brasserie. The hotel also has complimentary walking tours and wine tastings on offer.
This members-only hotel, in the heart of Camps Bay, guarantees chillout vibes in a cool and contemporary setting. There’s a beach right on your doorstep, as well as a trendy bar- and restaurant-lined strip where Capetonians love to hang out. Blend in with a beer or two after a long day lounging by one of the hotel’s four pools – or stay on site and let resident bartender Caamil shake you up one of his signature Cognac or single malt cocktails.
Disappear into the opulent One & Only Cape Town, a five-star retreat within the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Choose from a marina or mountain view at one of the larger-than-normal suites with rainfall showers. Reserve your space at a poolside cabana, fringed with palm trees, or hire a paddleboard to explore the hotel’s private marina. Don’t leave without dining at Nobu, the highly-acclaimed Japanese-Peruvian restaurant and the only one in Africa – the sushi is arguably the best in the city.
If you want the most spectacular view of Table Mountain, then head to the rooftop pool at the five-star Pepperclub Hotel, which combines old-school glamour – think glitzy chandeliers and velvet Chesterfield armchairs alongside plush pillowtop beds – with a top spa and restaurant. Choose from burritos and lamb shakshuka for breakfast at Ruby’s Bakery – plus there’s a retro private cinema if you fancy a cosy night in.
You can’t miss the Mount Nelson Hotel at the foot of Table Mountain: founded in 1899, it was painted bright pink in 1918 to celebrate the end of World War I. John Lennon used to meditate in the gardens here, while Nelson Mandela had a favourite table. Treat yourself to afternoon tea in the lounge, and for cool cocktails head to the Planet Bar, where the signature Pink Lady should be on your list.
Table Mountain has more species of plants than there are in the whole of the British Isles, and this biodiversity is brought indoors at the “urban oasis” hotel, which has 95 different types of indoor plant, giving it an almost conservatory feel. The food at the restaurant, pool bar and pool deck, all with Table Mountain views, is bistronomy style – casual fine dining with an emphasis on good-quality, fresh ingredients, simply prepared.
Known as the QV in Cape Town, this hotel bills itself as “fit for royalty” and it’s not hard to see why. Each of the 32 rooms has a splash of purple, a colour long associated with royalty, and the Premium Mountain Facing Rooms come with a view of Table Mountain. The Presidential Suite has that and a great vista of the harbour too, while the Sanctuary Spa is also accessible for guests.
This boutique base plonks discerning urbanites within strolling distance of the bars on Kloof Street and a breezy drive to some of the most beautiful beaches on the Western Cape. There are only eight rooms: top-floor ones feature a double balcony, while on the ground floor you get access to the private garden and pool. Breakfast is a standout feature here – whether you’re an avid avocado smasher, or a devoted lover of bacon and eggs (made to order, of course) – and when it comes to eating out, owner Gillian is full of first-class recommendations.
Cape Town is the most populous city in South Africa, but it’s still possible to get away from it all — and this remote, luxury lodge in Table Mountain National Park is glorious proof. Tintswalo is accessed via a track through indigenous fynbos that leads down to a pebble beach. Squint through the milkwood trees and you’ll spot a cluster of timber-and-glass cabins by the ocean. Don’t get too excited – you’ll need to check in first – but each offers complete privacy, with its own wooden deck where you can take in views of the Sentinel peak in the distance. No need to worry about where to eat: chef Jeantelle Van Staden offers a four-course menu that rotates nightly.
There’s luxury, and then there’s Ellerman House. This Edwardian mansion is littered with antiques and you’ll feel spoilt with all the pinch-me-I’m-dreaming facilities. You’ll be lucky to snag a room here – there are only 13, and each is all soft-like-marshmallow carpets, king-size beds and gorgeous sea vistas, with South African art spanning two centuries displayed throughout. Let the resident art guide lead you on a tour, or take the interactive version using the hotel iPad. Facilities are top of the range, especially the pool and terrace garden, where breakfast and lunch – both predictably exquisite – are served daily.