This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries on earth; from the Garden Route, to Table Mountain, the Kruger National Park, Cape of Good Hope and the wine lands of Stellenbosch, South Africa will take your breath away. You’ll need several weeks to cover a lot of ground in this diverse and expansive nation, but a standalone city break in Cape Town, Durban, Joburg or Pretoria is equally worthwhile. The accommodation in all of these locations is of a very high standard and you can take your pick from uber-modern airy beach hotels, safari camps and traditional grand properties.
Taj Cape Town
Found nestled in the middle of the inner city on St George’s Mall, not far from all the most popular attractions, Taj Cape Town is a truly luxurious place to spend your stay. From the window, you’ll get a beautiful view of Table Mountain and the city skyline. The restaurant has the best Indian food in Cape Town, as well as a renowned buffet breakfast. Taj Cape Town also offers you a library, gym, conference spaces, and an indoor pool with spa.
One & Only Cape Town
One & Only is a high-end option for the distinguished traveller. Located on the busy waterfront with views of Table Mountain, this hotel is only a short walk from the Cape Town Diamond Museum. Every room at The One & Only Cape Town has free WiFi, a flat-screen TV, and a private balcony, and some also offer kitchens, a fireplace and even a butler. One & Only Cape Town features a famed Japanese restaurant and also includes a pool, spa and fitness centre.
Belmont Mount Nelson Hotel
In the vein of a posh villa, this lovely hotel is only 15 minutes away from the middle of Cape Town. With gentle colours and marble fixtures in the bathrooms, the rooms at Belmont Mount Nelson offer a sumptuous experience. With some rooms you can get a view of Table Top Mountain, a balcony, a 4 poster bed, a private kitchen, and even your own little courtyard. Diners can enjoy Mediterranean style dinner, or British style afternoon tea, as well as visit the gym, spa and two outdoor pools.
The Silo is an option for those looking for something a little quirky and different, but equally luxurious: converted from an early 20th-century grain elevator, this hotel sits by the harbour with a panoramic mountain view. Each room offers its own unique decor and antique furniture, as well as a balcony, chandelier and free WiFi. Breakfast is free. Guests can enjoy the in house spa and gym, plus the rooftop restaurant and outdoor pool.
Cape Grace Hotel
Situated on its own separate dock by the waterfront, off Nelson Mandela Blvd, Cape Grace Hotel offers rooms with balconies and antique decor, and beautiful views of the dock and water. Every room has free WiFi and a flat screen TV, and the more premium rooms include a hot tub and a rooftop terrace. The whiskey bar features a cosy fireplace, and the library offers afternoon tea. There’s also a gym, a spa and a heated outdoor swimming pool.
12 Apostles Hotel & Spa
Offering panoramic views of the ocean, 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa is on the edge of Table Mountain National Park, and just next to Oudekraal Beach. Every room has a unique style, and offers a flat screen TV and free WiFi, as well as a balcony and patio. The more premium rooms have an ocean view and a private living room. Parking and breakfast come free for all guests, as does a shuttle to the waterfront, which is 12 km away. Diners can enjoy food at two luxury restaurants, one of which is open 24 hours a day, as well as heading down to the spa, gym, bar, garden, screening room, and outdoor pool.
Converted from an Edwardian era mansion, Ellerman House offers a pristine view of the Atlantic Ocean and littoral. It is right by Clifton beach, and only a few kilometres away from both Cape Town city centre and Table Mountain National Park. Every room offers you heated floors, a flat screen TV and a minibar. The more premium rooms come with a balcony, antique furniture, and an ocean view, as well as private lounge and dining areas. The villas include a private pool and your own staff. Free to every guest is a parking, breakfast and a shuttle, as well as a pantry and cocktails in the evening. The restaurant offers food that comes straight from farm to table. You can also take advantage of the spa, art gallery and outdoor pool.
Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa
Famed as the property in which Nelson Mandela stayed following his release from prison, this was the place in which he put the finishing touches to his autobiography. It was then a private family home, now it’s a boutique hotel with 10 acres of grounds, an infinity pool and a spa. Even after this change in ownership, it was visited by the South African President – a suite has been named and designed in his honour. The hotel and spa have a strong, stylish modern African theme throughout. Guests receive 24-hour butler service and can dine in two restaurants, both serving authentic local cuisine.
Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff
Westcliff village is an affluent district and it’s here that the Four Seasons established their hotel. Set on a hillside and surrounded by gardens, fountains and courtyards, the accommodation is stylish, with classic hints and nods to African culture. The restaurant, Flames, serves fine regionally inspired dishes (including braai food) and has a terrace offering far-reaching views. There’s also an alfresco spa lounge, where guests can order lighter bites and healthy dishes. The spa itself provides harmonising relaxation experiences, with a dreamy 25-metre adults-only lap pool. Families have their own pool area to enjoy, as well as excellent facilities catering to children.
Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa
Found in the Morningside district of the city, Fairlawns (once a manor house) places guests a little further away from the centre, in a leafy, residential area. The 42 suites and large villa make up the guest accommodation, with a homely meets contemporary-grand look. Meanwhile, the spa area has a Balinese theme, with Asian-inspired treatments. Outside, a pool area is flanked by plush loungers and tropical style foliage. And when it comes to dining, guests can choose from the fine dining Amuse-Bouche, Manor House Bistro, Into the Woods and the Muse Champagne Room, the latter created in association with the French Champagne house, Perrier-Jouët.
A popular choice for the business traveller needing a prime city-centre location, this large property offers 326 rooms and suites, as well as an in-house convention centre and direct access into Sandton Mall. Those booking the top tier of room, benefit from split level accommodation with a private Jacuzzi, a bar, and alfresco dining space. The rooftop pool and spa offer an opportunity to relax and unwind, while a rooftop restaurant, Jozi-style fine dining establishment, the Library Lounge and a further bar, provide high-quality food and drinks. Guests at the five-star hotel also have access to a gym, a free Gautrain station shuttle and a three-hour laundry service.
La Residence Franschhoek
Set on 30 acres of private land, this five-star hotel is flanked by majestic mountains, with a backdrop of Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz vineyards, olive groves and plum orchards. The main building houses 11 suites designed for couples, while five further suites for families and groups are accommodated on the grounds. Each has been individually styled by Liz Biden, incorporating grand mirrors, chandeliers hung from beamed ceilings, exotic antiques and velvet and silk textiles. Meals are also lavish at La Residence, and are either formally served in the Great Hall or alfresco at the Persian Alley. The hotel has an award-winning spa too.
Le Quartier Francais
As the name would suggest, this boutique establishment has strong French connections, as seen in the classic, fresh approach to the rooms’ decor. Its restaurant, Protégé, offers an on-trend dining experience, with small plates calling on Asian, French and Italian influences. Diners can watch the chefs at work via the interior’s central show kitchen, or take advantage of the balmy South African evenings with a meal on the terrace. Guests can also enjoy a meal at the intimate Épice. Leeu Spa by Healing Earth provides wellness treatments using local natural resources, such as the Pinotage grape, which contains many therapeutic properties.
Leeu House is a sister hotel to Le Quartier Francais, benefiting from access to the same holistic wellness sanctuary and gym. It’s set in the village centre and has its own relaxed restaurant, The Conservatory – a light-filled, glass-ceilinged construction, with an additional alfresco terrace for mealtimes and drinks. The building looks and feels much like a contemporary country retreat, with a quaint white frontage, a roaring fire in the bar lounge, a convivial pool area and individually styled carpeted bedrooms in natural hues. It has just 12 bedrooms, ensuring a boutique, five-star experience.