Cape Town

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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 personal service.

The vineyards just out of the city, the surfing off the golden beaches and the lush green botanical gardens are also reasons to visit. Cape Town is a top place to enjoy the great outdoors.

As well as seeing Table mountain from a distance it's also worth heading up, something which can be easily achieved using the cableway. And while we're listing outdoor highlights, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the Cape of Good Hope National Park, the Lion's Head and Signal Hill - with its noon gun -and the waterfront area are all wonderful places to take in. And from Cape Town the wine regions of Stellenbosch and Constantia - South Africa's very first wine region - are just a short drive.

The Two Oceans Aquarium is a great place for meeting more of the locals. And if you're a qualified diver you're even able to get into the water.

If you have time, and it's the right time of year, it's definitely worth travelling to Hermanus for the whale watching. This 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.

Then there's the rich culture, influenced by traditions coming from all over the world. And given South Africa's challenging history Cape Town's proud multiculturalism is hard won and the cumulation of a thousand different stories - some of which you'll hopefully hear on your visit.

Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, is another site most people will want to visit for themselves. Likewise the District Six Museum, commemorating this no longer existent district.

Most of our picks of the best places to stay in Cape Town are found in the centre of the city, but for those who want to make the most of the views, we have a couple of gems just off the beaten track. Our selection offers something for everyone from cheap and cheerful guesthouses to top notch luxury hotels.

Best Places to Stay in Cape Town

For gorgeous views

  • 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. This is also an excellent choice if you're looking for an attractive, large hotel. And the cheery staff and good food have won it awards.
  • For a city style hotel - but with breathtakingly raw views over Table Mountain, Kensington Place is ideal. This eight room hotel has every technology you could possibly need on holidays - from i-pod docking stations to Skype phones. As you might have guessed the decor is modern, but with colourful African touches.

For wine buffs (and foodies)

  • If you're in Cape Town for the wine, we'd recommend you stay at Cellars-Hohenort. The wine cellars are vast, and there's plenty to taste. The emphasis isn't just on the wine though, as well as having an excellent restaurant, this hotel also runs gourmet events, including activities for foodie kids. The spa is top notch and the gardens are among the finest privately owned gardens in the world.
  • The Vineyard Hotel is a big, luxurious hotel with all the facilities you can imagine - including an award winning restaurant and a fabulous spa. Set within six areas of landscaped garden, this country club style hotel has glorious views of Table Mountain.

On a budget

  • With prices for its 11 rooms starting at £55 per night, the Glen Hotel is easily one of the best places to stay in Cape Town if you're on a budget. It doesn't feel like a budget option though. It's more chic and casual, with comfortable rooms, a large terrace and a pool and spa.
  • 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 Welgelegen, An African Villa has been converted from adjacent Victorian terrace houses into a 12 room guesthouse. The interior is in warm, calm colours with an African edge and each room is different. The location, between the waterfront and the Table Mountain Cableway, is a quiet residential pocket with a village-y feel.

Still not sure? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Cape Town, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.

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The best hotels in Cape Town

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  • Glen Hotel

    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.

    24 rooms from $76
    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.
  • An African Villa

    Cape Town

    A delightful Victorian guesthouse in the central Tamboerskloof District. Some of the 'African Zen' contemporary rooms boast balconies with views of the iconic Table mountain. Walking distance from some of Cape Town's best restaurants and bars. A stylish city escape.

    12 rooms from $114
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Full of character
    Barefoot Luxury  -  For total relaxation.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Frommers
  • Welgelegen

    Cape Town

    Well-located and chic guesthouse in a leafy cul-de-sac of Cape Town. The elegant and comfy rooms are tastefully decorated and adorned with personal charm. An urban sanctuary for families or city visitors near to the best restaurants, bars, and museums.

    13 rooms from $144
    Families  -  Perfect location for checking out Cape Town with all the family - plus the nearby De Waal Park will keep the kids happy!
    Local markets  -  Visit the Pan African Market and Greenmarket Square for great souvenir shopping.
    Great walks  -  Under 13 km to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
    Sights nearby  -  The Iziko South African Museum is just minutes away.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
  • Steenberg Hotel

    Cape Town (Tokai)

    South Africa's first registered farm, built in 1682, this sumptuous hotel is all about infusing the old with the new. The rooms are tastefully modern while remaining an obvious part of the traditional farmhouses. Located in the Constantia Valley, unmissable views and lots of wine tasting!

    24 rooms from $173
    Historic  -  The farmhouses are now a national monument - built in 1682, the first registered farm in SA
    Wine tasting  -  In the Constantia Valley - home to a great deal of award-winning wines
    Golf  -  World-championship golf course on the Steenberg Estate
    Good wine list  -  Exceptional cellar.
  • Vineyard Hotel

    Cape Town (Colinton Road, Newlands)

    A Cape Country house on six acres of stunning gardens, in Newlands. The sleek and chic decor exudes calm, with white on white and clean lines. A one of a kind retreat with phenomenal spa facilities and gourmet cuisine. A oasis of clam, ten minutes from the center of Cape Town.

    178 rooms from $198
    Spa breaks  -  The international Banyan Tree Resort’s Angsana Spa offers unique experiences from highly trained therapists.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and Outdoor interlinked Pool
    Restaurant  -  Award-winning Myoga restaurant.
    Spa  -  Award-winning spa.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
  • Kensington Place

    Cape Town

    A small stylish hotel in Higgovale, on the Table Mountain foothills. This intimate spot puts emphasis on peace and tranquility, each room comes with private balcony, most with phenomenal views of the city and bay. Check out nearby Kloof Street, Capetown's hottest spot for restaurants and bars.

    8 rooms from $163
    City Style  -  An elegant hotel within range of all the trendy sites of Capetown.
    Views  -  Fantastic views over Table Bay.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Robben Island - the former prison where Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 years of imprisonment
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under the age of 12 are accepted.
  • Cellars-Hohenort

    Cape Town (Constantia)

    An elegantly converted old manor house on a wine estate, on the slopes of Table Mountain. The sleek rooms are white on white with splashes of bold fabric, utterly chic! Spectacular views, award winning gardens, spa services and an extensive wine cellar will make it hard to leave. Blissful.

    48 rooms from $239
    Wine tasting  -  As a restored winery-estate manor house they of course still have their own vineyards and hold tastings.
    Foodies  -  With two award winning restaurants and their own vineyard this is foodie heaven!
    Child friendly  -  All children are welcome. Babysitting services available.
    Garden  -  One of the finest privately owned gardens in the world.
  • Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa

    Cape Town (Camps Bay)

    Named after the mountains that surround it this hotel has two restaurants serving modern European and seafood menus, plus a bar. There is an award winning spa, two pools and cinema. The rooms are decorated in a chic, Capetonian style with nautical hues of blue and white. A honeymooners' heaven!

    70 rooms from $525
    Great walks  -  Through the viridescent Kirtenbosch Botanical Gardens or enjoy one of their sunset concerts.
    Sights nearby  -  Get the cable car up Table Mountain for views across the city and coastline.
    Diving  -  Explore the Two Oceans or if you are feeling brave experience a shark dive.
    Surfing  -  Muizenberg Beach is considered one of the best surf spots in the world.
  • Cape Grace Hotel

    Cape Town

    A beautiful hotel in the centre of Cape Town’s vibrant V&A Waterfront. Excellent service, sumptuous classic interiors, a great restaurant, trendy bar and its own spa. There are magnificent views of Table Mountain and the marina which can be enjoyed from the privacy of your own balcony.

    120 rooms from $509169
    Romantic Break  -  Enjoy a couple's massage followed by drinks and dinner on your penthouse patio with Jacuzzi to boot!
    City Style  -  A perfect blend of African and European influnces, old and new, in a prime location.
    Spa  -  A great variety of treatments available in the in-house spa
    Views  -  Panoramic views of Table Mountain and the marina
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Fodors, Frommers, Kiwi Collection
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