Ellerman House suite with terrace and modern art  looking over the ocean
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Ellerman House

With just eleven rooms and suites and two private villas, Ellerman House is the top choice on Cape Town's Atlantic coast. Read our review.

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bed room with black framed geometric windows, a glass chandelier and a blush colored bed and headboard
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The Silo Hotel

The Silo Hotel in Cape Town is a feat of industrial-meets-Art Deco design that's extremely stylish in the V&A Waterfront district.

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at Bay Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa

Bay Hotel

This unpretentious boutique hotel heralded the beginning of Camps Bay’s transformation from the sleepy seaside suburb of my youth to the waterfront neighborhood of cafés and restaurants that draws loads of tourists. The Bay is still a lovely place to stay, set back from the bustling main road, and directly opposite one of the best beaches on the Atlantic. The rooms are airy and spacious with a relaxed, contemporary feel, and the raised pool deck offers a view of the bay and the palm trees along the beach. The hotel attracts a youngish clientele, and is apparently the rock-star hotel of choice, but in my experience it is a peaceful spot that delivers privacy and seclusion.

pink hotel nestled int he trees with a mountain backdrop

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

This Belmond property is Cape Town’s uncontested grande dame hotel, with an oh-so-British setting and beautiful grounds across nine acres.

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Hearth at Cap Cadogan, Town, South Africa

Cape Cadogan

A good option for value-conscious travelers, the modern Cape Cadogan is a friendly guesthouse in the Gardens neighborhood, near the restaurants and shops of Long and Kloof streets. The elegant, double-storied Georgian mansion, which dates from the early 1900s, houses twelve rooms and a three-bedroom villa also on the premises. Opened in 2004, the bed and breakfast is run by the More family who created Lion Sands Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sand.

The sleek rooms are comfortably spacious with a predominantly white color scheme, beautiful fabrics and king-size beds, including some polished four-posters. Number 4 comes with a small balcony; number 2, on the ground floor, is one of the largest and has a small private patio, and numbers 6 and 7 overlook the street.

There’s WiFi throughout, though, what’s most charming about Cape Cadogan is the homey ambience, in part thanks to the buildings history. The dark wood floors were restored, there’s a large fireplace in one of the sitting rooms, which is also outfitted with overstuffed couches where guests can enjoy afternoon tea, and walls are decorated with framed mirrors and period drawings. Breakfast is served in a contemporary, all-white dining room. During the summer months, there’s also a leafy courtyard where you can sit with coffee.

Cape Cadogan doesn’t allow children under the age of twelve, but the owners also run nine apartments in the area ranging in size from one- to two-bedrooms. They have the same elegant, understated décor as those in the hotel and daily maid service can be arranged, but guests enjoy more independence. The staff is helpful and can help with Cape Town suggestions, whether it’s the new hot spot restaurant or arranging a guide for a city tour.

Exterior View - Cape Grace, Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Grace

The Cape Grace underwent an extensive renovation of all the rooms and common spaces, which was completed in early 2009. The beautifully handcrafted design takes its inspiration from Cape Town's history. Memorable details include sumptuous silk curtains painted with names of old Dutch ships, collections of antique porcelain on display throughout and unique chandeliers designed by a duo of Cape Town-based artisans that are made with a mix of crystal and artifacts. This type of decor continues in the 121 rooms, all of which are unique, with a mix of antiques and reproduction furniture, hand-painted fabrics and whimsical decorations, like large wooden chests and wrought-iron lamp stands (that were made in a nearby atelier).

Occupying what is arguably the best location in the V&A waterfront, on a slender island in the center of the harbor, the Cape Grace looks like an elegant ocean-liner from the outside. Harbor-side bar Bascule is a fabulous spot for a cocktail, and the restaurant Signal is a good place to try Cape Malay-inspired cuisine. The hotel also offers a house car to transport guests off-property.

It has an attractive spa, and a quayside whiskey bar that lures a young and festive crowd, but its courtyard swimming pool and comfortable lounges are low-key and appealing.

View from  Lounge - Cape View Cliffton, Cape Town, South Africa

Cape View Cliffton

Literally just around the bend of the coastal road heading to Camps Bay from our favorite small hotel in Cape Town, Ellerman House, is a new chic retreat that is ideal for young fashionable folk who do not need quite the same polish or pampering as those who want the very best. Cape View Clifton is the passion project of a 28-year-old fashion stylist, Jessica Latimer, who lived and worked in London as a stylist for a few years and when she came back decided to transform a cliffside rental property of her family into a chic boutique hotel. Her idea was to share the beach-house living that her family enjoys on holiday with visitors.

The five-story house with view of Camps Bay and Clifton has been elegantly transformed from a series of rental units into a seven-suite inn with enormous style. Latimer has brought a lovely beachy aesthetic to the rooms. From the main entry, you are welcomed to a sitting area with spectacular views of Camps Bay and crashing waves below. Down another flight of stairs, there is a little library nook filled with African objects like cowrie shell boxes, tribal sculptures and antler horns and books on Africa. Tucked in another room is a small gym with two treadmills and a Stairmaster facing the sea. The main communal area encompasses a comfy living room, dining area with an open kitchen and a deck with an infinity pool that hangs over the cliff with views to Camps Bay. Those who want to swim at the beach could brave the walk 300 steps down from the road or hail a taxi (as most do). Many just decide to stay up on this perch and enjoy the privacy. Breakfast is served as a feast with hot and cold options, but there is no proper restaurant for lunch and dinner since there are so many great options to choose from in the area.

All of the guest rooms face the sea with balconies of varying sizes. The largest two suites are like mini-apartments, which could work for families; they feature a sitting area, large bedroom and the biggest balconies. The design in all rooms is contemporary beach house chic with neutral palettes, bleached wood accents and all-white bathrooms (only one has a tub). With a former Ellerman House employee running the property, Cape View is already attracting a loyal crowd of regulars who are making this their new Cape Town home.

Exterior View - Cellars Hohenort, Cape Town, South Africa


The first thing guests of this hotel notice are the stunning grounds and verdant tranquility of this property that sits, somewhat off the beaten track, in upscale Constantia. The area is home to a large British expat community and several wine estates, just twenty minutes from the city center.

The Cellars, in fact, are part of the 18th-century Klaasenbosch wine estate, and the former Hohenort manor house constitutes the main part of the hotel. The guest rooms have an English-country feel, with huge beds and antique dressers, and many have marvelous views of the Constantia Valley. One of the two restaurants on the property, the Greenhouse, has an excellent reputation for modern South African fare. There is also a spa, tennis court, putting green and three pools. It’s the kind of property with the charm and cosseting that you might find at one of the best inns in Provence or the Cotswolds.

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bedroom with a patio overlooking the ocean

Compass House

Set along Kloof Road in the suburbs of Cape Town, Compass House is a peaceful oasis with ocean views over the cliffs of Bantry Bay.
Orchid at MannaBay, Cape Town, South Africa


MannaBay, a new boutique hotel in Oranjezicht, brings a whole new dimension of fun and pampering to staying in Cape Town. The multi-million dollar house in one of the city’s toniest suburbs (but only five minutes from downtown) could be a fun-loving tycoon’s mansion with a seriously spoiling staff. However, here you can check in to one of the eight guestrooms and get to call this achingly hip house your home. There’s a living room with a fireplace and crystal chandelier and a floor-to-ceiling black and white photo of Table Mountain. Behind it is a library/media room that looks like a frat boy’s play room with a giant TV screen and enormous blue velour sectionals with Union Jack pillows. It connects to an open kitchen on side and out to the pool on the other. The pool area, complete with a boma for barbecue dining, faces Table Mountain, and features a fire pit and red bean bags for star gazing. There’s even an Arne Jacobson-style egg chair swing hanging from a tree in the backyard.

Each of the eight guest rooms has been designed around a different theme—and bold wallpaper. The hotel’s owner David Ryan, a local entrepreneur who had a previous version of the hotel in another house nearby, worked with local artists to weave odes to South Africa together with a major glam factor. He wanted the rooms to have “a unique connection to the city and its cultures while maintaining an international flair.” One room, for instance, is called the Explorer’s Room and was inspired by legendary adventurer Bartolomeu Dias; its walls feature vintage landscapes and prints of sailing ships. Not surprisingly, the Flamingo Room celebrates its namesake bird on pillows, wallpaper and giant paintings. The Persian room has Persian carpets, paisley wallpaper and pillows and a portrait of a Persian prince. Abundance rules here with loads of whimsy, wit and color (except in the Black and White Room). The Versailles Suite is the largest room, but the Pom Pom Room features its own outdoor plunge pool. Contemporary South African art is scattered throughout the house; some pieces have been commissioned and others are on loan from local galleries.

The staff can arrange for a variety of activities, ranging from winelands tours and tastings to shark diving and township visits.

Front - More Quarters, Cape Town, South Africa

More Quarters

Located on the same street as sister hotel Cape Cadogan, this small hotel offers 18 pied-à-terres (complete with kitchenettes), making it a great place to stay for independent, low-key travelers. It is set just a few blocks away from the bustling Kloof street, and guests can easily walk to some of Cape Town's best restaurants and cafés.

Comprised of a handful of 19th century houses, More Quarters features a chic design with dark-wood floors and cozy furniture. The property lacks the amenities of a larger hotel, but guests can still enjoy the breakfast buffet, which boasts freshly made bread and pastries, or a glass of wine from a nearby vineyard while watching the sun set over the mountains.

Exteriors - One & Only Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

One & Only Cape Town

Located in the V&A Waterfront district, the One & Only has a man-made lake and small island, interiors designed by Adam Tihany, restaurants spearheaded by Nobu and South African star chef Reuben Riffel, and some of the largest—and most expensive—suites in the city.

Considering One & Only’s forte in breezy island and beach destinations (Cabo, the Maldives, the Bahamas), it comes as no surprise that the company’s first city project creates a resort within the urban setting. It may not have the enviable location of the Cape Grace, but with seven stories, the main building of the One & Only has beautiful views of the waterfront and Table Mountain that looms in the distance.

The majority of the 131 rooms and suites are housed in the main building and were renovated in 2022 with a fresh, contemporary aesthetic. The room are all relatively spacious (the smallest measures 63 square meters) and are done in a subtle modern African design scheme with dark-wood furniture, colorful fabrics and large bathrooms with rain showers and deep soaking tubs. The most family-friendly accommodations are the forty suites located on the small, man-made island (channeling Dubai) behind the main building, where the spa, complete with twelve treatment rooms, is also housed. For larger groups, the One & Only also has two expansive four-bedroom penthouse suites, equipped with their own rooftop deck and plunge pools.

Throughout the hotel, mini bars are stocked with treats from iconic local gourmet store, Melissa’s, and the bath amenities were created by Cape Town beauty company Charlotte Rys, but beyond these details, there’s very little that is notably destination specific about the interiors. Regardless of whether you stay here, come for a cocktail in the soaring bar and lounge, and watch the setting sun light up Table Mountain.

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Lounge at Royal Portfolio One Above Penthouse, Cape Town, South Africa

One Above Penthouse

When the owners of this penthouse apartment on the top floor of the One & Only Cape Town, bought this two-story, four-bedroom apartment, they set the record for the most expensive piece of residential real estate (per square foot) ever sold in Africa. The apartment includes living and dining rooms with wonderful waterfront view balconies, four master bedrooms, a gym, office, library and a pool with a barbecue area. Guests have access to all of the facilities of the One & Only as well.

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Pool at Private Villa Rentals, Cape Town, South Africa

Private Villa Rentals

For those who want to relax in their own house in Cape Town, Indagare has contacts with special rental companies that focus as much attention on finding superb properties as they do on catering to the people who rent them. Indagare members can contact our Bookings Team for help finding appropriate rentals.

Suite at The Clarendon, Cape Town, South Africa

The Clarendon

Located in Fresnaye, the coveted residential suburb just beyond Sea Point, this luxurious guesthouse boasts ten grandly proportioned and beautifully decorated guest rooms and garden suites in the main house, and another ten in a villa up the road. A terrace overlooks a garden and a large pool.

Bar at The Pod, Cape Town, South Africa

The Pod

Sexy, ultramodern rooms are minimalist in style, with natural color schemes and breathtaking views of land and sea through picture windows. With fifteen guest rooms, this laid-back property is ideal for young couples, who will enjoy the sleek indoor-outdoor bar lounge and easy beach access. Indagare Tip: bartenders will deliver cocktails to you on the beach during sundowners.

Hearth at Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Cape Town, South Africaa

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

The ocean vistas from the guest rooms of this hotel are reminiscent of a ship’s cabin. It sits on a stretch of uninhabited coastline between Camps Bay and Hout Bay, but an in-house cinema and a luxury spa make it a particularly self-contained place to stay. The decor is a mix of conservative (nautical stripes) and quirky (shell-encrusted mirrors), but it works, except in the conservative blue-and-white dining room. The restaurant is nonetheless ambitious and good; and the chef constantly creates destination-specific menus, like the one based around the fynbos (fine bush), using the leaves of many of the medicinal plants that are part of the Cape’s famed floral kingdom. The spa is rightfully acclaimed, especially its two mountain gazebos with incredible views.

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Pool Lounge at  Vineyard Hotel & Spa, Cape Town, South Africa

Vineyard Hotel & Spa

This low-key and comfortable hotel, in a 19th-century mansion in the southern suburb of Newlands, is better known to locals than to tourists, although it has a regular overseas clientele (mostly British) who return year after year. The Vineyard owners are also deeply plugged into the Cape Town local scene, with a strong green policy and support of community projects.

While the hotel has mountain views and a pretty garden, with a spa and swimming pool area, it doesn’t reach the heights of luxury offered at the One & Only, Cape Grace and Ellerman House. But for a mid-range hotel with a destination-specific vibe, this is a good choice. A separate spa wing has more stylish suites and is close to the pool. The restaurant, Au Jardin, is very good, if on the formal side.

Exterior View - Westin Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Westin Cape Town

The glass-tower hotel, at the intersection between the Waterfront and the highways leading to the southern suburbs, was built as part of the ever-expanding Waterfront. The rooms are large and the bed linens are divine, but overall the property feels a bit corporate. The real reason to stay at or visit the Westin is the glorious swimming pool in the sky next to the Arabella Spa on the 19th floor. Free to hotel guests and spa patrons, it’s worth a visit for the sensation of swimming while looking over the city below.

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