In recent years, Cape Town’s hotel scene has been thriving. A series of new design-driven boutique stays take full advantage of the city’s natural beauty and thriving dining scenes. Meanwhile, some of the city’s old favourites, such as Tintswalo and the Belmond Mount Nelson, have been refreshed or rebuilt. Read on for some of the best places to stay in Cape Town.
What to expect: A city escape to an unexpected place
Unless you are a Cape Town local, chances are you have never ventured past Dorp, located at the top of a steep road at the foot of Signal Hill and above the residential part of BoKaap, known for its colorful houses. Translating to “town” in Afrikaans, Dorp feels like its own little village in Cape Town. Bordered by a wild garden and centered around a main courtyard and café, the rooms are distributed in various buildings that climb the hill and open onto garden paths. Instead of a lobby, there’s a check-in desk next to a large dining room and living room filled with fringe sofas and inviting wingback chairs. Each room is entirely different and ranges from cozy spaces to giant self-contained suites with kitchenettes; some have soaking pools, while others have terraces and steam rooms. One bedroom even overlooks the roof garden, offering the best views of all of the City Bowl and Table Mountain in Dorp.
What to expect: A chic stay in Cape Town’s revitalized city center
Neighborhood: Central Business District
A few years ago, Labotessa’s location on Church Square in downtown Cape Town, long a nondescript business district, would have been less than desirable. But recently creative investment has turned it into a bustling and more leisure-oriented center, invigorating the area’s attractive heritage buildings with internationally acclaimed restaurants (including the Japanese and South African-inspired restaurant). Funen) and local stores. When it opened in 2019, Labotessa was the area’s first boutique hotel, and the property’s six beautiful suites are outfitted with heavy draped curtains and artwork by artists like Emma Aspeling. On-site, there’s also a perfume shop and a restaurant serving uplifting meals like bobotie (a Cape Malay curry dish).
What to expect: A slice of France in the middle of one of the city’s liveliest neighborhoods
Step into La Grenadine’s courtyard, shaded by pomegranate, guava, avocado and olive trees, and it’s as if you’ve been transported to a farmhouse in Provence. This is particularly surprising as the hotel is close to one of Cape Town’s busiest strips, Kloof Street, allowing guests to walk to local creative businesses such as Ashanti design. Owned by a French couple who fell in love with Cape Town, La Grenadine is set in a 19th-century farmhouse building with five bedrooms and a two-bedroom cottage, all centered around the main courtyard. Homey, simple rooms are adorned with hand-embroidered white linens, vintage furniture, and clawfoot tubs. Even the breakfast of fresh croissants, pain au chocolat, baguette and homemade jams will transport you to a French country house.
What to expect: A low-key hideaway with world-class artwork and stunning views
Neighbourhood: Bantry Bay
Lucky guests staying at Ellerman House between July and September may spot southern right whales swimming off the sparkling coastline from Ellerman House’s pink and white terrace. Inside this Edwardian mansion, tucked away behind an unassuming wall on a busy road along the city’s Atlantic coast, lies another wonderful surprise: the property is home to one of the world’s largest art collections. private homes in the country with works by South African artists such as William Kentridge and Sam Nhlengethwa. There is also a wine cellar with over 9,500 South African wines to try. The 13 rooms and suites all have wingback chairs and chandeliers; both modern villas have private pools. Although every space is different, there is one thing they all have in common: a great vantage point from which to watch the sun go down.
Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel
What to expect: Old-school charmer near downtown
Known to many as ‘The Pink Lady’ for its blush colored exterior, Mount Nelson is a Cape Town institution. Affluent locals have frequented its terrace and manicured lawns for high tea and fancy picnics for decades, and the Librisa Spa has long been a favorite spot for massages or manicures. Those lucky enough to stay at this grand palace can spend time in the long pool lined with daybeds and the 198 rooms and suites lined with patterned curtains and windows opening onto the garden. Some of the best rooms are the Victorian Garden Cottages, along a rose-lined path in the garden. (Be sure to have breakfast on your private terrace.) At the hotel’s doorstep is the Jardin de la Compagnie, the green space and heritage site that houses cultural institutions like the Iziko Museums from South Africa.
The Silo Hotel
What to expect: Bright, lively interiors in a brutalist building
Neighbourhood: V&A Waterfront
Positioned above the Thomas Heatherwick-designed Zeitz MOCAA Museum in a former V&A Waterfront grain silo, the silo might have Cape Town’s most spectacular location. The hotel offers 360 degree views of the city, with Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill and the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. Naturally, the place to have a drink at sunset is on the open roof. The 28 bright rooms, designed by Liz Biden of the Royal Portfolio, showcase those stellar views through multi-faceted geometric windows and feature sofas printed with colorful fabrics, glass chandeliers, and stand-alone bathtubs. The hotel also serves as a mini art gallery; Scattered throughout the property are standout pieces by regional artists like South African-born Zanele Muholi and Jody Paulsen, and Swazi artist Nandipha Mntambo. Continue the artistic immersion at the Zeitz MOCAA Museum – its groundbreaking collection of contemporary works from Africa and its diaspora can be found a few flights below.
What to expect: An ocean-view getaway a short drive from town
Neighborhood: Table Mountain National Park
Tintswalo, which opened 15 years ago, finally reopened following damage from a massive fire in 2019. While it’s always been a low-key hideaway that attracts high-end travelers, it is arguably better than ever. Given the hotel’s secluded and scenic oceanfront location, wedged between Table Mountain National Park and Chapman’s Peak, this spot is a must-see. Spacious suites have private ocean-facing terraces, fireplaces, and chandeliers hanging from exposed wood ceilings. This retreat is a 45-minute drive from Cape Town, but guests need not travel far for a fine dining experience. The hotel is home to a Chef’s Warehouse restaurant run by culinary king Liam Tomlin. Even if you don’t stay here, be sure to book a tapas tasting menu and enjoy ocean treasures such as fresh oysters and seared tuna.
house of noah
What to expect: A restored 19th-century residence in a residential neighborhood
Set in a house dating back to 1860 – typical of many Victorian homes around the residential neighborhood of Tamboerskloof – a stay at Noah House immerses guests in the daily rhythms of the charming neighborhood. The 10 beige and white rooms offer old black marble fireplaces, Malawi-style wicker chairs, and intricately railed terraces. On weekends, locals drop by the cafe for homemade granola and avocado toast served on the terrace overlooking the street. One of the hotel’s best perks is that it’s a short walk to Kloof Street, lined with some of the city’s most exciting restaurants and shops.
What to expect: a designer destination in downtown Cape Town
Neighbourhood: City Bowl
From local designer Tristan du Plessis, a superbly chic downtown hotel filled with pieces from some of the country’s top designers, including a swing set by Porky Hefer and steel tables by Gregor Jenkin. Set between two restored buildings (one Edwardian, one Art Deco) near St. Georges Shopping Center where a weekly market comes to life, the hotel has a warm, contemporary feel, with oak floors, quilted leather sofas and plant-filled corners in public spaces. All 32 rooms have exposed cement ceilings and murals painted by Cape Town artist David Brits. At Gigi, the indoor-outdoor rooftop restaurant with a light-filled veranda, guests can take a dip in the small pool or munch on platters of burrata and fish tartare.
What to expect: A curated group of unique, art-filled homes
Neighborhood: All over town
From creative powerhouse Elana Brundyn, former director of Zeitz MOCCA and CEO of contemporary art-focused Cape Town Norval Foundation, comes a collection of elegant homes filled with the work of notable artists and designers, all available for rent. The portfolio of properties is like an exclusive version of Airbnb for serious aesthetes, with different house styles: six-room mansions, farmhouses in nearby Cape Town vineyards, studios in the city center. A retreat on the Eastern Cape is filled with works by artists such as Nelson Makamo and Marie Sibandewhile an apartment in Cape Town features the acclaimed photography of guy tillim. Capitalizing on Cape Town’s outsized reputation as a center for the arts, the Art House collection team can arrange private tours of museums or galleries and even give presentations to artists.