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29. March 2021
by Varun Sharma
South Africa’s second city offers some of the finest restaurants, wine estates, luxury hotels, and touristic & cultural attractions in the country. Shadowed by the magnificent, towering Table Mountain and facing the mighty South Atlantic Ocean, whether you are a thrill-seeker, oenophile, thalassophile, fashionista or epicurean, the fabulous and diverse Cape Town has it all.
The Businessclass.com top ten finest hotels in “The Mother City”.
Opened in 1899, the Mount Nelson is the city’s most enduring luxury hotel. Painted pink in 1918 to celebrate the end of World War 1 – this delightful hue is now synonymous with the hotel. The property features 198 rooms and suites which start at 25 square metres for an entry level guestroom to 51 square metres for a superb Garden Cottage Suite. The hotel is located in the centre of city. Its service, colonial architecture and facilities make this hotel very special. The Librisa spa, two swimming pools, two tennis courts, children’s club and 9 acres of lush, verdant gardens only enhance the Mount Nelson’s polished reputation. The Oasis Bistro is the location for a delicious breakfast, the Planet Bar for a stiff whisky and the Lord Nelson has been the hotel’s centre of haute cuisine for over a century.
Sitting proudly over the V&A Waterfront atop the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the Silo is the city’s hottest property. Featuring just 28 rooms and suites, this boutique hotel – the latest from The Royal Portfolio – has taken Cape Town by storm. With flawless service, stunning vistas of the harbour, city, Table Bay (home to Robben Island) and Table Mountain, a spa, gym, sauna and rooftop swimming pool, the Silo is popular with locals and international visitors alike. The Granary Café offers contemporary local cuisine, and the Willaston Bar serves up cocktails and specialises in local craft gins. The building itself was reclaimed from an industrial site that hosted grain silos. It was repurposed by architect Thomas Heatherwick – a pupil of Sir Terence Conran. The hotel takes up the top 6 floors of the building and utilises every opportunity to look out over the magnificence of Cape Town and the Ocean.
Ellerman House – 9/10
Bantry Bay is an affluent suburb of Cape Town and home to one of the finest boutique hotels in Southern Africa. Ellerman House has only 13 guestrooms and 2, three-bedroom villas, but each was designed and crafted individually – tastefully and with excessive care and attention. The main hotel is an Edwardian mansion that overlooks the ocean – the vistas are breath taking. Service is legendary – discreet, efficient, and genuine. Many of the guestrooms boast ocean-view private balconies but the lawned terraces and gardens afford guests more space to enjoy the scenery. The hotel does have a delightful and sizeable swimming pool – an ideal location to relax and enjoy the surrounds. Ellerman House excels when it comes to keeping its guests fed & watered. The main restaurant serves the finest haute cuisine, and a lovely touch is the complimentary walk-in pantry filled with sweet & savoury delights. The hotel is just 10 minutes’ drive from the V&A Waterfront.
One&Only Cape Town – 9/10
Opened in 2009, the One&Only Cape Town is a spectacular urban resort that sits within the heart of the Mother City. Located at the V&A Waterfront, the resort has 131 guestrooms and suites offering views of Table Mountain and the marina and waterways that feature in the property. The duplex “The One Above” penthouse – at an impressive 1,275 square metres in area – has superb vistas of Cape Town Harbour, the V&A Waterfront, the Lion’s Head, Robben Island, Table Bay and indeed the spectacular Table Mountain. The One&Only Cape Town is home to the only Nobu restaurant in Africa but also boasts Ochre – that serves up local dishes, the Wine Loft – complete with 5,000 bottles and Vista Bar & Lounge, an ideal cocktail locale. The resort features a main swimming pool complete with pool-side restaurant, One&Only Spa, vitality pools, sauna and steam rooms and state of the art gym. One&Only Cape Town offers cooking classes, mixology experiences and yoga lessons. The resort is a short walk from the main V&A Waterfront. One&Only Cape Town is ideal for families and disabled guests.
The Cellars-Hohenort – 9/10
The Cellars is one of the most famous hotels on the Cape. Located just 20-minutes’ drive from the city centre in Constantia – wine country. This magnificent 17th century country house was converted into a hotel which opened in 1993. It sits in 9-acres of lush gardens and boasts two huge, heated swimming pools, spa, hair salon and a small boutique. The hotel has 51 impeccably designed rooms & suites offering peaceful mountain or garden views. One of the hotel’s main magnets in the Greenhouse Restaurant which has long had the reputation as one of the finest in the Cape. Guests can expect contemporary dishes with traditional influences paired with sensational wines – local and international. The Martini bar serves sophisticated cocktails, and the Sun Lounge and Conservatory are other dining options. The hotel is extremely pet-friendly, welcomes disabled guests and loves children.
Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa – 8/10
Part of the Red Carnation luxury hotel group, the Twelve Apostles is favoured by international guests looking for an escape from the city centre but just close enough to have easy access. The hotel sits under the shadow of the Twelve Apostles mountain range and faces the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Its location – Camps Bay – on the Cape Peninsula – is just a few minutes’ drive from the centre of Cape Town. The hotel itself has 70 guestrooms and suites. Situated so close to the Ocean, the hotel has decidedly nautical themes through still thoroughly African in feel. Twelve Apostles has a spa, small but perfectly formed cinema, 3 restaurants and The Leopard Bar – which serves an outstanding high tea and craft beer. The Azure Restaurant offers superb local cuisine. Unique to the hotel is the sports buddy program. If a guest needs a cycle, golf, or tennis partner, the 12A will provide (a competent) one.
Cape Cadogan – 8/10
While Cape Town has only a few sizeable luxury hotels, it has a plethora of boutique properties that are world-class. Cape Cadogan is located within a listed national monument in the Gardens district of the city. There are just 15 beautifully appointed rooms & suites in this small but perfectly formed hotel – some boasting wonderful vistas of Table Mountain. While Cape Cadogan only serves breakfast, the area – Kloof Street - where the hotel sits - has many fine restaurants and bars. The hotel does have a swimming pool – an ideal location to settle after a day of sightseeing or shopping. It is a 20-minute walk into the city centre, but the hotel will taxi you there on request. Children over-10 welcome.
Cape Grace – 8/10
Sitting on its own quay on the V&A Waterfront – verging on a working harbour and private yacht marina, the Cape Grace has been a popular luxury hotel in the city since it opened in 1996. The hotel has 120 guestrooms including 17 suites set over 5 floors. Each offers guests views over the city, Harbour or Table Mountain. The hotel boasts a heated swimming pool, spa – complete with Kalahari signature massages, sauna, and gym. Cape Grace has created its own amenity line – Fynbos Collection – a nod to the city’s fantastic collection of botanical species. The Signal restaurant offers hearty local haute-cuisine but the Bascule Whisky, Wine & Cocktail Bar is superb. It boasts over 400 labels of whisky from around the world – one of the largest collections in the southern hemisphere. With its central location, the hotel is an ideal base from where guests can explore the V&A Waterfront, the city, and the Cape.
Taj Cape Town – 8/10
The Taj is located within Cape Town’s historic 19th century Reserve Bank building. The hotel is downtown but in the very centre of the city’s main entertainment, fine dining, and shopping districts – with a plethora of museums also to hand. The Taj Cape Town has 176 rooms & suites offering city or Table Mountain views. The hotel offers regular guests The Taj Club Lounge adding to their privacy. The Jiva Spa is one of the finest in the city with Ayurvedic treatments a popular choice. Being an Indian hotel group, the Taj boasts the finest authentic restaurants in the city. The Bombay Brasserie takes you on a trip to India with tandoori recipes being its speciality. The Twankey Bar and Mint Restaurant serve tapas and great cocktails. It is only a short taxi ride to the V&A Waterfront from the Taj as are the Slave Lodge, Holocaust Museum, National Art Gallery and St. George’s Cathedral.
Table Bay – 8/10
The Table Bay Hotel which was opened in 1997 by President Nelson Mandela is one of the city’s largest luxury hotels with 329 guestrooms including 13 suites. It is located on the V&A Waterfront and boasts the best views of the bay and indeed Robben Island. The Atlantic offers one of the best breakfasts in town, Camissa is the fine-dining restaurant and the Union Bar offers cocktails, beers & spirits in a laid-back setting. The hotel has a spa, gym and 500 square metre pool deck – complete with spectacular swimming pool. The Table Bay Hotel is family-orientated and there are special rooms for disabled guests.
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