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South Africa

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Best Hotels in South Africa

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About South Africa

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With its epic beauty South Africa can feel like many countries in one. It's not just that there are 11 official languages and that the scenery includes everything from empty deserts, to savannah, to lush river systems, to a gorgeous coastline. It's also that the South African way of life varies from modern first world standards in the big cities, to a much more traditional way of living in the smaller towns and villages. Most travellers come to South Africa hoping to see something of all of these worlds, so choosing the best places to stay in South Africa is all about deciding what you really can't miss from a list of un-missable attractions.

The Wilds of South Arica

From the empty openness of the Kalahari to the verdant deltas of the Limpopo River, and from the incredible biodiversity of the KwaZulu-Natal to the Kruger National Park's big-game-rich savannah, South Africa is one of the world's most epic destinations when it comes to flora, fauna and scenery.

It's also big. Really big. So choose your jumping off points carefully!

  • The Western Cape is known for the Garden Route, which is an easy way to see quite a bit of countryside, and for wine and whales.
  • The Eastern Cape has the Tsitsikamma National Park and the best surfing.
  • The Northern Cape is famous for diamonds and the Kalahari desert.
  • And Limpopo is a good jumping off point for the Kruger National Park and entry into Zimbabwe.

South Africa's Colourful Cities

With the spectacular backdrop of Table Mountain in one direction and the glittering expanse of Table Bay in the other, Cape Town has a reputation for being one of the world's most beautiful cities. It's both rugged and delicate, and rough and pristine, and photogenic as heck. On top of the beauty, the city has a reputation for being laid back and friendly and many of the best places to stay in Cape Town reflect this attitude with their great service.

Johannesburg is where most people enter South Africa, and is arguably the economic heart of the whole continent. As well as the commerce you're familiar with, you'll also see a lot of business being done on the streets in Johannesburg - especially at the traffic lights. But this city is fast modernising and smartening up.

Pretoria, the administrative capital, feels more like an old Afrikaner city than South Africa's other major centres. Elegant and gracious, the old administrative buildings are now where people of all backgrounds work, so though it looks historic - and has some of South Africa's best museums - it's actually very multicultural.

South Africa's Stunning Coastline

Hermanus is one of the best places in the world (on land) to whale watch - a key spot on the migration route of the Southern Right whales.

And Cape Town is well know for its its beautiful, golden beaches, ideal for surfing and windsurfing. But if you want to get even closer to the inhabitants of these waters visit the Two Oceans Aquarium. If you're a qualified diver you'll even be able to get into the water.

The Eastern Cape is also known for its beaches: Jeffrey's Bay is the country's best known surfing beach, but Port and Elizabeth and East London are probably more aesthetically lovely.

Just south of Cape Town you'll find Simon's Town, a picturesque little village with a colony of penguins.

For Wine Buffs and Foodies

From Cape Town the wine regions of Stellenbosch and Constantia - South Africa's very first wine region - are just a short drive, and there are many tours you can join which will save you having to drive yourself.

  • If you like a big, luxurious hotel with all the facilities you can imagine - including an award winning restaurant and a top spa - try the Vineyard Hotel in six acres of gardens with Table Mountain views.
  • If you're here for the wine, the manor house of Cellars-Hohenort has vast wine cellars. But that's not all, it also runs gourmet events and has an excellent restaurant.

Where to Stay in Cape Town

  • Welgelegen is the Dutch word for 'well situated', which is exactly what this guesthouse is. The 13 bedroom Victorian era property is on a leafy cul-de-sac, right around the corner from the trendy bars and restaurants of Long and Kloof Streets.
  • Similar to Welgelegan, An African Villa has been converted from adjacent Victorian terrace houses into a 12 room guesthouse. The location, between the waterfront and the Table Mountain Cableway, is a quiet residential pocket with a village-y feel.
  • The Cape Grace Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Cape Town if you want to be right on the water. The views, especially from the rooftop spa, are incredible.
  • For a city style hotel - but with breathtakingly raw views over Table Mountain, Kensington Place is ideal.

Still not sure? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in South Africa, or contact, one of our friendly gurus for advice. Alternatively check out our list of recommendations in Cape Town.

See all » 35 hotels in Western Cape

  • Lekkerwijn 10 rooms from $76

    Franschhoek (Groot Drakenstein)

    Lekkerwijn is set in a 17th century country house, nestled in the valleys of Franschhoek. The charming rooms are decorated in a period style with antique furnishings-or you can choose to stay in one of the rustic-chic cottages. Relax in the sun by the pool! A fantastic family retreat.

    Value chic  -  An elegant coutnry house, surrounded by lush gardens at a great price-what more could you ask for?
    Weddings  -  An intimate venue which offers a well organised wedding package
    Country Escape  -  Lekkerwijn enjoys a fantastically peaceful rural location
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Basse Provence Country House 9 rooms from $79

    Franschhoek (Western Cape)

    Quintessential thatched Cape Dutch style building dating back to 1855. Comprised of seven homely suites, some featuring in room bathtubs. In addition there is a two bedroomed cottage - ideal for families. Outside there is a pool with vineyard vistas and plenty of walking trails.

    Sights nearby  -  Franschhoek town is just a scenic walk or short drive away.
    Great walks  -  Along the Franschhoek River.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Check prices

See all » 13 hotels in Cape Town

  • Glen Hotel 24 rooms from $78

    Cape Town

    Our favourite gay-friendly hotel in Cape Town in Sea Point, a wonderful location near all the best restaurants and bars. Charming white on white suites with splashes of colour. Casually chic with fantastic personalised hospitality.

    Views  -  Wonderful views of Lion's Head and the Atlantic Ocean.
    Gay friendly
    Great walks  -  The Glen runs a half day tour of Cape Town's art galleries, trendy bars, museums, restaurants and heritage sights.
    Local markets  -  Check out Main Street for some great shopping.
    Check prices
  • Nova Constantia Boutique Residence 8 rooms from $112

    Cape Town

    An excellent boutique offering located down a leafy residential road in upmarket Constantia. Plush suites are decorated in crushed velvet and feature whirpool baths. The Premier Suite has its own hot tub. Enjoy a game of tennis or an afternoon swim. A scrumptious breakfast is included in the rate.

    Fishing  -  Catch a fish supper in Hout Bay harbour.
    Private Hot Tub
    Spa
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Check prices

See all » 12 hotels in Franschhoek

  • Lekkerwijn 10 rooms from $76

    Franschhoek (Groot Drakenstein)

    Lekkerwijn is set in a 17th century country house, nestled in the valleys of Franschhoek. The charming rooms are decorated in a period style with antique furnishings-or you can choose to stay in one of the rustic-chic cottages. Relax in the sun by the pool! A fantastic family retreat.

    Value chic  -  An elegant coutnry house, surrounded by lush gardens at a great price-what more could you ask for?
    Weddings  -  An intimate venue which offers a well organised wedding package
    Country Escape  -  Lekkerwijn enjoys a fantastically peaceful rural location
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Basse Provence Country House 9 rooms from $79

    Franschhoek (Western Cape)

    Quintessential thatched Cape Dutch style building dating back to 1855. Comprised of seven homely suites, some featuring in room bathtubs. In addition there is a two bedroomed cottage - ideal for families. Outside there is a pool with vineyard vistas and plenty of walking trails.

    Sights nearby  -  Franschhoek town is just a scenic walk or short drive away.
    Great walks  -  Along the Franschhoek River.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Check prices

See all » 2 hotels in Stellenbosch

  • Hawksmoor House 15 rooms from $175

    Stellenbosch (East-Rural)

    Hawksmoor House is set on a farm along the Stellenbosch Wine route. This tranquil property offers chic, elegant accommodation featuring antique furnishings. Relax by the pool soaking up the sun and taking in the views of Table Mountain! A fantastic country retreat offering hearty breakfasts.

    Families  -  The ideal family getaway on this homely working farm offering family suites plenty of space and a lovely pool
    Local exploring  -  Close enough for you to nip into Capetown and explore, right on the edge of the Winelands
    Weddings  -  Hawksmoor House offers a scenic, historic and authentic location for your big day
    Great walks  -  The winelands is home to plenty of stunning hiking trails
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Majeka House 23 rooms from $206

    Stellenbosch (Cape Town)

    Fun, modern hotel featuring beautifully upholstered furnishings, state of the art bathrooms and statement murals and wallpapering. The hotel has a total of four pools plus a relaxing spa and hammam. Its Makaron Restaurant is famed for its superlative cuisine. Prime wine country, foodies will love.

    Local markets  -  tellenbosch Organic Farmers Market has a superb collection of fine foods.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and outdoor.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Spa
    Check prices

See all » 2 hotels in Paternoster

  • Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel 14 rooms from $169

    Paternoster

    A coastal hotel comprising of just 14 secluded suites all boasting spectacular sea views. Design has been kept simple with white washed walls, cleanly designed furniture and luxurious bathrooms. Staff are ever helpful, the cuisine delicious and wine collection excellent. A chic escape.

    Total relaxation  -  A coastal property designed for simply unwinding.
    Great walks  -  Take long walks along the miles of stunning beaches.
    Kayaking  -  Take out a kayak and visit the penguin colony.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only.
    Check prices
  • Abalone House & Spa 10 rooms from $482

    Paternoster (Bek Bay)

    Abalone House & Spa is located in the coastal village of Paternoster, Western Cape. This 5* property offers ten boutique suites with some boasting splendid sea views. Enjoy scrumptious meals at the Reuben restaurant or a bottle of champagne in the rooftop jacuzzi! Wonderfully romantic.

    Romantic Break  -  Abalone House & Spa offers luxurious accommodation, gorgeous sea views and a quiet atmosphere-ideal for a romantic getaway
    Total relaxation  -  Take advantage of their extensive spa treatments and bask in the fresh sea air
    Great walks  -  Wander along Paternoster beach at sunset and take in the incredible views
    Birdwatching  -  There are over 200 species of birds in Abalone House's surounding area!
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices

See all » 1 hotel in Wellington

  • Grand Dedale 7 rooms from $301

    Wellington (PO Box 453)

    Grand Dedale enjoys a splendidly peaceful location nestled in a valley on the 380 hectares of Doolhof Wine Estate. This restored manor house offers chic boutique accommodation, luxurious interiors and lovely bathrooms. Enjoy four course dinners of game and seafood. A top-notch country escape!

    Active Holiday  -  There are a wide array of activities to get you out and about in Grand Dedale's surrounding countryside
    Country Escape  -  Feel a million miles away from all your worries at this tranquil rural spot
    Great walks  -  Head off on the two km River Walk or explore Limietbeg Nature Reserve's nine hiking trails!
    Fishing  -  There are plenty of good trout fishing spots located nearby
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, CN Traveller
    Check prices

See all » 1 hotel in Durban

  • Essenwood House 6 rooms from $87

    Durban (Berea)

    The perfect place to while away a relaxing stay in Durban. With a smart breakfast room, homely living room and cosy bedrooms it makes for a very comfortable stay. Relax on private verandahs, al fresco lounge areas or by the outdoor pool. A perfect little find along the gateway to the safari route.

    Value chic  -  Incredible value for such period charm and great location
    Sights nearby  -  Durban's CBD is an easy drive
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Check prices

See all » 35 hotels in Western Cape

  • Lekkerwijn 10 rooms from $76

    Franschhoek (Groot Drakenstein)

    Lekkerwijn is set in a 17th century country house, nestled in the valleys of Franschhoek. The charming rooms are decorated in a period style with antique furnishings-or you can choose to stay in one of the rustic-chic cottages. Relax in the sun by the pool! A fantastic family retreat.

    Value chic  -  An elegant coutnry house, surrounded by lush gardens at a great price-what more could you ask for?
    Weddings  -  An intimate venue which offers a well organised wedding package
    Country Escape  -  Lekkerwijn enjoys a fantastically peaceful rural location
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Basse Provence Country House 9 rooms from $79

    Franschhoek (Western Cape)

    Quintessential thatched Cape Dutch style building dating back to 1855. Comprised of seven homely suites, some featuring in room bathtubs. In addition there is a two bedroomed cottage - ideal for families. Outside there is a pool with vineyard vistas and plenty of walking trails.

    Sights nearby  -  Franschhoek town is just a scenic walk or short drive away.
    Great walks  -  Along the Franschhoek River.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Check prices

See all » 13 hotels in Cape Town

  • Glen Hotel 24 rooms from $78

    Cape Town

    Our favourite gay-friendly hotel in Cape Town in Sea Point, a wonderful location near all the best restaurants and bars. Charming white on white suites with splashes of colour. Casually chic with fantastic personalised hospitality.

    Views  -  Wonderful views of Lion's Head and the Atlantic Ocean.
    Gay friendly
    Great walks  -  The Glen runs a half day tour of Cape Town's art galleries, trendy bars, museums, restaurants and heritage sights.
    Local markets  -  Check out Main Street for some great shopping.
    Check prices
  • Nova Constantia Boutique Residence 8 rooms from $112

    Cape Town

    An excellent boutique offering located down a leafy residential road in upmarket Constantia. Plush suites are decorated in crushed velvet and feature whirpool baths. The Premier Suite has its own hot tub. Enjoy a game of tennis or an afternoon swim. A scrumptious breakfast is included in the rate.

    Fishing  -  Catch a fish supper in Hout Bay harbour.
    Private Hot Tub
    Spa
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Check prices

See all » 12 hotels in Franschhoek

  • Lekkerwijn 10 rooms from $76

    Franschhoek (Groot Drakenstein)

    Lekkerwijn is set in a 17th century country house, nestled in the valleys of Franschhoek. The charming rooms are decorated in a period style with antique furnishings-or you can choose to stay in one of the rustic-chic cottages. Relax in the sun by the pool! A fantastic family retreat.

    Value chic  -  An elegant coutnry house, surrounded by lush gardens at a great price-what more could you ask for?
    Weddings  -  An intimate venue which offers a well organised wedding package
    Country Escape  -  Lekkerwijn enjoys a fantastically peaceful rural location
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Basse Provence Country House 9 rooms from $79

    Franschhoek (Western Cape)

    Quintessential thatched Cape Dutch style building dating back to 1855. Comprised of seven homely suites, some featuring in room bathtubs. In addition there is a two bedroomed cottage - ideal for families. Outside there is a pool with vineyard vistas and plenty of walking trails.

    Sights nearby  -  Franschhoek town is just a scenic walk or short drive away.
    Great walks  -  Along the Franschhoek River.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Check prices

See all » 2 hotels in Stellenbosch

  • Hawksmoor House 15 rooms from $175

    Stellenbosch (East-Rural)

    Hawksmoor House is set on a farm along the Stellenbosch Wine route. This tranquil property offers chic, elegant accommodation featuring antique furnishings. Relax by the pool soaking up the sun and taking in the views of Table Mountain! A fantastic country retreat offering hearty breakfasts.

    Families  -  The ideal family getaway on this homely working farm offering family suites plenty of space and a lovely pool
    Local exploring  -  Close enough for you to nip into Capetown and explore, right on the edge of the Winelands
    Weddings  -  Hawksmoor House offers a scenic, historic and authentic location for your big day
    Great walks  -  The winelands is home to plenty of stunning hiking trails
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Majeka House 23 rooms from $206

    Stellenbosch (Cape Town)

    Fun, modern hotel featuring beautifully upholstered furnishings, state of the art bathrooms and statement murals and wallpapering. The hotel has a total of four pools plus a relaxing spa and hammam. Its Makaron Restaurant is famed for its superlative cuisine. Prime wine country, foodies will love.

    Local markets  -  tellenbosch Organic Farmers Market has a superb collection of fine foods.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and outdoor.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Spa
    Check prices

See all » 2 hotels in Paternoster

  • Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel 14 rooms from $169

    Paternoster

    A coastal hotel comprising of just 14 secluded suites all boasting spectacular sea views. Design has been kept simple with white washed walls, cleanly designed furniture and luxurious bathrooms. Staff are ever helpful, the cuisine delicious and wine collection excellent. A chic escape.

    Total relaxation  -  A coastal property designed for simply unwinding.
    Great walks  -  Take long walks along the miles of stunning beaches.
    Kayaking  -  Take out a kayak and visit the penguin colony.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only.
    Check prices
  • Abalone House & Spa 10 rooms from $482

    Paternoster (Bek Bay)

    Abalone House & Spa is located in the coastal village of Paternoster, Western Cape. This 5* property offers ten boutique suites with some boasting splendid sea views. Enjoy scrumptious meals at the Reuben restaurant or a bottle of champagne in the rooftop jacuzzi! Wonderfully romantic.

    Romantic Break  -  Abalone House & Spa offers luxurious accommodation, gorgeous sea views and a quiet atmosphere-ideal for a romantic getaway
    Total relaxation  -  Take advantage of their extensive spa treatments and bask in the fresh sea air
    Great walks  -  Wander along Paternoster beach at sunset and take in the incredible views
    Birdwatching  -  There are over 200 species of birds in Abalone House's surounding area!
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices

See all » 1 hotel in Wellington

  • Grand Dedale 7 rooms from $301

    Wellington (PO Box 453)

    Grand Dedale enjoys a splendidly peaceful location nestled in a valley on the 380 hectares of Doolhof Wine Estate. This restored manor house offers chic boutique accommodation, luxurious interiors and lovely bathrooms. Enjoy four course dinners of game and seafood. A top-notch country escape!

    Active Holiday  -  There are a wide array of activities to get you out and about in Grand Dedale's surrounding countryside
    Country Escape  -  Feel a million miles away from all your worries at this tranquil rural spot
    Great walks  -  Head off on the two km River Walk or explore Limietbeg Nature Reserve's nine hiking trails!
    Fishing  -  There are plenty of good trout fishing spots located nearby
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, CN Traveller
    Check prices

See all » 1 hotel in Durban

  • Essenwood House 6 rooms from $87

    Durban (Berea)

    The perfect place to while away a relaxing stay in Durban. With a smart breakfast room, homely living room and cosy bedrooms it makes for a very comfortable stay. Relax on private verandahs, al fresco lounge areas or by the outdoor pool. A perfect little find along the gateway to the safari route.

    Value chic  -  Incredible value for such period charm and great location
    Sights nearby  -  Durban's CBD is an easy drive
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Check prices