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6 of the best and most luxurious places to stay in Cape Town

Cape Town, what’s not to Love about this beautiful city? The magic combination of picturesque ocean views and a spectacular mountain backdrop. With its incredible natural beauty and endless places to explore, you could be a tourist in this city 365 days a year. Cape Town has garnered numerous awards and accolades over the years – from being one of Travel & Leisure’s ‘World’s Best Cities’ in 2018, to ‘Favourite City in the World’, ‘Most Loved City’, ‘Best City in Africa’, ‘Best City in the World’, ‘Best Destination in the World’, in publications that include the Telegraph, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveller, and more. This is a city with something for everyone, from perfect white sandy beaches, to being pampered in luxury five star hotels, from action packed days of hiking up Table Mountain to paragliding, penguin viewing, world heritage sites, wine tastings and world class restaurants. Whether you are looking for relaxation, action or entertainment, you will definitely find it all here. Thanks to the city’s unique blend of natural beauty and captivating cultural attractions, it’s easy to see why the city remains at the top of many travellers’ bucket lists. Beautiful, stylish and quirky accommodation options abound all over Cape Town, so where does one start when booking a place to stay? To save you the legwork I’m going to give you the inside scoop on my six favourite places to stay in Cape Town, using the following criteria: great location, fantastic design, great service, inconspicuous luxury and unique personality. The Silo Hotel Where: V&A Waterfront The Silo Hotel, a luxurious combination of art, style, architecture and design, is built in the old grain elevator section of a historic silo complex in the V&A Waterfront. The Silo soars above the surrounding area, occupying the six floors above the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA). The MOCAA, with an exhibition space of almost 2,000 square metres, over 9 floors, with 100 gallery spaces, houses Africa’s largest collection of contemporary art. With its impressive architecture, especially its eye-catching geometric windows, this magical hotel towers over the famous V&A Waterfront and is surrounded on all sides by the natural wonders of Cape Town. It’s not hard to see why it won the award for Best City Hotel in Africa in 2020. The Silo is renowned for its fabulous High Tea, the perfect place to spoil a friend of family member on a special occasion and I’ve celebrated a numerous of friend’s birthday’s here. The rooftop of the hotel has a swimming pool and is the perfect place for sundowners. Aside from sparkling wine on arrival, and delicious eggs benedict for breakfast, one of my favourite things about the hotel is actually the bath! A freestanding bath, in a bathroom with expansive views of Table Mountain, Signal Hill, the V&A Waterfront and out over the ocean – you can spend hours luxuriating in a bath full of bubbles, maybe a glass of champagne in hand, immersed in the views and, depending on the time of day, watching sun rise or sun set. The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel Where: Constantia This small, but perfectly formed hotel, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is only a 15 minute drive from Cape Town’s city centre and the V&A Waterfront. The Cellars-Hohenort boasts 51 elegant guest rooms and suites, all with some pretty breath-taking views of the Table Mountain range and the property’s 3.5 hectares of award winning, gorgeous gardens. The hotel somehow combines both modern luxury with historic charm, with its backdrop of gardens and vineyards this is the perfect place to recharge your batteries after a busy day in Cape Town or out sightseeing. Whilst at home I will usually make myself a singular cup of green tea of an afternoon, on holidays there isn’t anything better than a decadent afternoon tea to really make your day, and High Tea at Cellars-Hohenort is definitely something not to be missed! On a recent visit I’d invited and a friend who I hadn’t seen for two years (thanks covid!) and even though she was late, very late, in fact a whole hour late, nothing could dampen my High Tea experience. A glass of sparkling wine, a pot of jasmine tea, and some amazing food. A Cake stand with three tiers of cakes and sweet temptations, another platter of savoury treats, we ate and drank to our hearts content. We did our best to do it justice,  but simply couldn’t eat it all. The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa Where: Camps Bay At the foot of the Twelve Apostles mountain range is the five-star boutique hotel, the aptly named The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. It’s the location that sets this apart from a lot of the other accommodation options in Cape Town. Nestled below the mountains, the hotel is surrounded by beautiful native flora, as it almost hovers over the glistening Atlantic Ocean. This is a coastal sanctuary, close enough to the city to be part of it, but removed enough to make it feel you are surrounded by nature. There are four different restaurants and bars to choose from, and the hotel’s terrace is the best location of all in the hotel, with what are some of the best ocean views from a hotel in Cape Town. The terrace is in fact my favourite part of the hotel, jutting out towards to ocean, with spectacular uninterrupted views back along the coastal beaches and out towards the endless sea. Sunset from the terrace is fantastic; a glass of chilled South African wine, or craft beer, in hand and the sky a vivid hue of orange, red, pink and yellow.  Incidentally the hotel enjoys the longest hours of sunshine in Cape Town, ensuring that you’ll see remarkable African sunsets during your stay The Winchester Hotel Where: Sea Point Situated on the 11km long Sea Point Promenade, Cape Town’s ‘platinum mile’ with its stunning views, The Winchester Hotel is set against a backdrop of the mountains and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is an exclusive, privately-owned, 4-star hotel in Cape Town. The hotel has earned its reputation as one of Cape Town’s most iconic hotels, with its original Cape Dutch architecture and professional hospitality and service and I love the hotel’s quiet understated elegance. Recently renovated the Winchester has a fabulous ‘new look’. A crisp, clean, classic black-and-white colour scheme, with white panelled walls and decorative ceilings, and striking geometric floor tiles. The hotel’s collection of quirky décor and antiques really highlights the building’s history and personality.  All the rooms have either sea or mountain views, and the hotel is close to the V&A Waterfront, the beaches and all of Cape Town’s sights and attractions. As a side note, for those, like me, who really enjoy a leisurely breakfast on holidays, the array of choice and the delicious flavours of breakfast at the Winchester Hotel are something to really look forward to. Table Bay Hotel Where: V&A Waterfront The Table Bay Hotel is a Cape Town landmark, sitting in a prime spot at the tip of the V&A Waterfront, with fabulous views over the working harbour, Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. Nelson Mandela opened this hotel in 1997, when he was still president of South Africa. Michael Jackson, the Obamas, Charlize Theron, Sean Connery and many more famous names have spent time in this grand hotel.  Though if you’re looking for funky, cutting-edge style, this hotel probably isn’t for you as it’s much more of a traditional, stately kind of place. The hotel has everything you’d expect, from pool to business centre, smart restaurants and bars, it even has direct entrance to the V&A shopping mall, making it super convenient and good for first-time visitors to Cape Town, or those a little nervous venturing too far afield. The V&A Waterfront itself is the place for restaurants, food stalls, buskers, an impressive aquarium, cinemas and shopping for everything from clothing to curios. Boat trips and helicopter flights can be taken from here, and if it’s a bit of South Africa’s history you are after there’s a museum about Robben Island and the jumping off point for boat trips out to the island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for years. Pineapple House Where: Sea Point Looking for something a little different from the traditional hotel? Looking for something a little stylish and modern? Then check out the quirky, pink-walled Pineapple House. This boutique hotel is warm and welcoming, with colourful décor and deluxe comfort. It’s just a short walk from bars, restaurants, shops and the buzzing Sea Point Promenade. (Running, walking or just strolling slowly along the Promenade is a popular activity with Cape Town locals and tourists alike and I’d strongly recommend you join them). The hotel’s owners have the ethos that pineapples are synonymous with luxury and leisure the world over, and so named their stylish little boutique hotel after them. There are only 9 rooms here, so you are never going to be lost in a crowd of guests, and you are guaranteed personal attention. There are few places in the world that offer so many things to do in one neat, accessible package, stunning nature, beautiful beaches, interesting history, awesome adventure, great food and wine, art, culture and a vibrant night life, but somehow Cape Town manages to do just that. This might be one of the coolest, most cosmopolitan and vibrant cities in the world. No matter what type of traveller you are, a hard-core foodie, art gallery connoisseur, a beach bum or hiking fanatic, or all of the above, there is something in Cape Town for you. And now you know some of my top places to stay when visiting this fantastic city.

Sarah Kingdom

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, before moving to Africa at the age of 21, Sarah Kingdom is a mountain climber and guide, travel writer, yoga teacher, trail runner, and mother of two. When she is not climbing or traveling she lives on a cattle ranch in central Zambia. She guides trips regularly in India, Nepal, Tibet, Russia, and Ethiopia, and takes climbers up Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro numerous times a year.

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  1. Thanks for the post, Sarah!

    I feel very fortunate to have visited and stayed in a number of these hotels:

    The Silo Hotel – not yet visited

    The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel – stayed there and had a fantastic dinner at the Greenhouse Restaurant which was truly memorable. On another evening, we also attended a wine-tasting event with vintners from a number of local Constantia vineyards.

    The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa – we once stayed at a lovely guest house (more like a boutique hotel) in Camps Bay and would pass the hotel regularly on foot. Never stayed but may have once set foot in there. It’s a lovely location, just across the road from the beach.

    The Winchester Hotel – haven’t stayed there, but we did have their famous jazz brunch one Sunday. A lovely experience (even if you’re not that into jazz!) as is such a relaxed atmosphere.

    Table Bay Hotel – beautiful hotel in a very safe part of Cape Town (within the V&A waterfront). Excellent access to shops, bars and restaurants. Stayed here on a family trip once, but also called in and had lunch on a short media visit on another trip. Lovely spot.

    Pineapple House – never stayed/visited… yet!


    1. Hi Paul,

      Cape Town is a fabulous place, my kids were at boarding school there and I spent 9 years visiting them and the city as often as I could. It sounds like you have had a good few visits there yourself 😊

      If you get back there again give both the Silo and Pineapple House a try.

      I confess the Silo is my all time favourite.

  2. I can agree that the Silo is indeed worthy to be in this list. Stunning views, architecture and I just love the Royal Portfolio brand.
    I’m missing Belmond Mount Nelson in this list, but then again, there are so many amazing places so one has to make a choice somehow. If you include the wine lands I highly recommend Delaire Graff in Stellenbosch, truly an amazing place to stay or just go for a lovely lunch/dinner.

  3. Hi Kristof,

    I agree with you about the Mt Nelson, especially the High Tea! It’s a lovely spot. I ran out of time to visit the Mt Nelson on my last trip, but it’s definitely down for the next visit.

    Winelands deserves a whole article just for itself I’ll add Delaire Graff in Stellenbosch to my to do list, thanks for the tip.

    I don’t know if you have been to De Hoop Nature Reserve? 3 hrs from Cape Town. That’s another really special destination, more on that in the next few days… so watch this space for 😊

    1. Thanks for pointing that out Paul. Indeed, I know De Hoop Nature reserve and it is stunning.

      A few more tips when you look at places to stay in the winelands: La Residence, Lanzerac, Babylonstoren and Leeu Estates.

    2. Forgot to mention the fact that I missed the Ellerman House in the list. I had my reservation there right when Covid hit so had to cancel last minute. But trust me when I say it might top all of the previous mentioned places, including the ones you mentioned above. Truly a stunning property.

    3. Kristof, I’m with you on La Residence, Lanzerac, and Babylonstoren!

      Ellerman House, yes, you may have a point there. But I still love the Silo the best, there’s something about the combo of the hotel, the location and the incredible gallery downstairs that is just a winner for me.

      But I shall give Ellerman House a go next trip. Which fortunately won’t be too far into the future.

      Thanks for your input.

  4. My experience of Cape Town comes from long hard days watching England play cricket so we didn’t put too much emphasis on the accommodation. Loved Cape Town, next time I’d like to stay in one of these more upmarket establishments.

    1. Hi Rob,

      Hopefully I’ve given you some inspiration for your next visit.

      Good luck for the cricket tomorrow! (I’m an Australian 😊)

  5. It looks as if The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel has very successfully imported the classic English ritual of afternoon tea to Cape Town. Stunning setting for cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off.

    1. Hi Jean, absolutely! Cellars-Hohenort does the English high tea some real justice, though no cucumber sandwiches :) There are actually quite a lot of places that do High Tea in an Cape Town, the Mount Nelson is famous for it (there’s is quite traditional, with the cucumber sandwiches), the Silo do a delicious and modern take on it, and the 12 Apostles have a stunning setting for their high tea also. Lots of wonderful places to check out.

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