The Top Hotels in City Bowl, Cape Town
Belmond Mount Nelson is one of Cape Town's most historic hotels
For the best of Cape Town right on your doorstep, stay in the central City Bowl district with all its cultural attractions, nightlife and world-class hotels – bookable on Culture Trip.
From the sun-drenched beaches of Clifton and the culture-packed V&A Waterfront to the colourful historic buildings and postcard-gracing Table Mountain, Cape Town blends good looks with top-notch sightseeing. And to make the most of its must-visit spots – not to mention the trendy restaurant and shopping scene – it pays to stay central. Here are the best hotels in the Cape Town City Bowl; whether you’re after modern glamour, throwback grandeur or a cool stay on a budget, you’ll find something here to suit.
The Mount Nelson Hotel
4.8/5 (279 Reviews)
Courtesy of the Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel / Expedia.com
For old-world luxury there’s simply no beating the Belmond Mount Nelson, fringed by rambling mature gardens with palms and fragrant roses. You can spend days here stretched out by the pool; taking gourmet afternoon tea in a sunshine-flooded conservatory; or getting jet-lagged muscles massaged in the Librisa Spa, complete with Finnish sauna and steam bath. Rooms are a picture of elegance, with the quaint detached cottage suites – complete with private verandas – a real highlight.
The Taj Cape Town
Suite Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel
4.7/5 (992 Reviews)
Courtesy of the Taj Cape Town / Booking.com
With million-dollar views straight out to Table Mountain, the Taj serves up the best of Cape Town. The location drops you in the thick of city life – you’re within walking distance of some of the city’s hottest restaurants, Heritage Square and the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, showcasing 19th-century local Muslim culture. Stay put and – once you tear your eyes away from the windows – classic luxury awaits with marbled bathrooms, an Indian-inspired spa with fragrant body rubs and a series of chandeliered restaurants and lounges.
Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel
Boutique Hotel, Hotel
4.3/5 (377 Reviews)
Courtesy of Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel / Expedia.com
When Cape Town days turn sweltering, the pool at this boutique stay is heaven-sent. If you can rouse yourself from the loungers, the location is pretty great, too, just steps from some of Cape Town’s finest museums, including the South African National Gallery and the artefact-stuffed Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum. Fortify yourself with an al fresco breakfast at the Eighty-Ate restaurant, then head out for a hike on the majestic Table Mountain. On your return, a chilled glass of fizz will be waiting for you by the pool.
Grand Daddy Hotel
Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Hotel
4.6/5 (272 Reviews)
Courtesy of Grand Daddy Hotel / Expedia.com
Now here’s a stay with real personality. The Grand Daddy, set in Cape Town’s restaurant hub, just a couple of blocks from popular Bree Street, is all heritage from the outside, with tall windows and grand columns. But step inside and you’re in the 21st century, with button-back leather headboards and metallic pendant lights. Want a really memorable stay? Book one of the seven rooftop Airstream trailers, each individually designed to evoke a South African road trip vibe.
Southern Sun Cape Sun
4.4/5 (92 Reviews)
Courtesy of Southern Sun Cape Sun / Expedia.com
If you’re coming to Cape Town to make the most of its nightlife – and you should – this pad puts you right in the thick of the bar and restaurant action. That’s not to say Southern Sun Cape Sun is just a crash pad. In fact, it’s a favourite with corporate travellers, thanks to its conference facilities, next-day dry cleaning and business centre. The sweeping views out to Cape Town’s coastline from the monochrome urban bedrooms will suit nighthawks and businesspeople alike.
Protea Hotel Fire and Ice
4/5 (337 Reviews)
Courtesy of Protea Hotel Fire and Ice / Expedia.com
Cape Town’s coolest strip, Bree Street – with its Instagrammable bars and restaurants – sits just moments away from this Marriott stay. With so much temptation all around, it takes an iron will to stick to self-catering in Protea’s in-room kitchenettes; you’ll fancy heading out for everything from morning coffee to nightcaps. Easier is taking advantage of the fitness centre and pool, and the lobby lounge. With its cushy sofas, it’s a solid co-working space if you’re in Cape Town for business as well as pleasure.
Park Inn by Radisson
4.2/5 (863 Reviews)
Courtesy of Park Inn by Radisson / Expedia.com
Now here’s a pool with a view! When you take a dip in Park Inn’s rooftop plunger, you’ll do it gazing out to Cape Town’s Table Mountain backdrop. Book the right modern bedroom and you can practically see the famed South African peak from your bed or private balcony. For business travellers, there are desks and conference facilities as well as a handy restaurant for burgers and pizzas, ideal if you’re too tired to head out after a long day.
ONOMO Inn on the Square
4/5 (522 Reviews)
Courtesy of ONOMO Inn on the Square / Expedia.com
History geeks will get goosebumps staying here, as the hotel is set in a listed monument where the Slavery Abolition Act was read out in 1834. On the edge of Greenmarket Square – a hotspot for African crafts and art – Inn on the Square still retains some of that 19th-century energy, with soaring ceilings and a generous wine list. But the modern comforts are ticked off, too, with fluffy duvets, business centres, fitness halls and restaurants.
Cape Heritage Hotel
Boutique Hotel, Hotel
4.8/5 (233 Reviews)
Courtesy of Cape Heritage Hotel / Expedia.com
Built in the 1780s, the shell of the Cape Heritage is properly old-school – it’s even fringed by a historic grapevine that’s been soaking up the rays for 240 years. Step inside to echoes of the past via centuries-old floors and beams, in addition to a whole lot of modern-day funk, with quirky contemporary artworks, statement chandeliers and juicy pops of colour. Seeking faithful old-world vibes? Stick to the suites, which have a more traditional feel.
These recommendations were updated on July 8, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.