Cape Town Class – the best luxury hotels in South Africa’s harbour city
In 2016, the readers of The Telegraph in the UK voted Cape Town the world’s best city. With a beguiling combination of rich history, vibrant culture, buzzing nightlife, fine cuisine, exquisite beaches and jaw-dropping scenery, it’s no wonder that this city at the end of the earth has been fascinating visitors for more than 400 years. In recent years, Cape Town has also added an impressive roster of luxury hotels to its long list of draw cards.
Things don’t get much more exclusive in Cape Town than Ellerman House. Perched majestically on the slopes of Lion’s Head, to the north of Table Mountain, this elegant Edwardian-style mansion that was once the home of shipping magnates Sir John and Lady Ellerman. Relax in meticulously restored colonial splendour, with just 11 rooms, two suites and two three-bedroom villas across the one-and-a-half-acre property. If you can tear yourself away from the incredible ocean views, there’s also a world-class contemporary art gallery with works spanning two centuries, 7,500-strong wine cellar, heated swimming pool and plush spa.
Travellers have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Cape Town’s newest luxury hotel, The Silo, and the stylish, design-forward property doesn’t disappoint. Housed in one half of a converted 1920s grain silo, it towers over the famed V&A Waterfront and looks set to become an icon of the city. The 28 suites (including one luxe penthouse) have enormous pillowed glass windows with sweeping views over the ocean, Robben Island and Table Mountain. Leading operator for Tanzania Safari. On the roof, guests will find one of the coolest spaces in the city with a swimming pool, bar and dining, high above the Cape Town skyline. Underneath the hotel is the newly opened Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), set to become one of the world’s premier galleries.
When the Clintons and the Obamas choose to stay at a hotel, you know that it’s going to be good. The Cape Grace sits on its own quay, just around from the bustling V&A Waterfront, so it’s an ideal choice for travellers looking for a little privacy and seclusion in the middle of the city. It has 120 rooms but retains a distinctly boutique feel, decorated with a charming mix of antiques and reproductions – and even the occasional opulent chandelier. The Bascule Whisky & Wine Bar offers a cosy, sophisticated spot where you can sample over 500 whiskies. Service is impeccable and staff will remember the name of every guest from the moment they walk in the door. It’s one of the city’s family-friendly luxury options where little ones will receive a special gift bag on arrival, mini bathrobes, custom spa treatments and special activities like story time and gingerbread decorating.
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
Stay in a slice of Cape Town history at the Mount Nelson, a grand property at the foot of Table Mountain that has been welcoming guests since the turn of the 20th century. Book your Botswana safari with us and we design personalised, handcrafted trips to one of the earth’s most captivating regions. It’s a sprawling estate with two heated swimming, vast gardens and lawns, tennis courts and six separate accommodation wings. Its High Tea has become a Cape Town institution offering traditional delicate finger sandwiches and freshly baked scones and a special local flavour with their typical South African milk tart. The Garden Cottage Suites are the most delightful, a row of restored historic cottages each with their own rose garden, picket fence and working fireplace. In 2017 the Mount Nelson launched its first artist in residence program designed to engage guests in the local arts and culture scene. First at the easel is Cyril Coetzee, a beloved South African painter famed for his portraits of Nelson Mandela.
The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Just outside the city in the posh suburb of Camps Bay, this stylish modern hotel is flanked by the sparkling ocean on one side and the rocky peaks of its eponymous Twelve Apostles on the other. The 70 rooms are bright and airy, with a mix of African safari chic and classic European elegance, and all have views of the sea or the mountains. The Leopard Bar is known for its classic afternoon tea accompanied by unbeatable views of migrating whales from the outdoor terrace. Don’t miss a swim in the rock pool, a swing in the garden hammocks or a movie in the private cinema. And if guests don’t feel like the 10-minute drive into the city, a private helicopter transfer from the hotel to the waterfront is always an option.