South Africa

Best Hotels in South Africa

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About South Africa

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 or that South Africa is a great place to spot the Big Five - plus whales. 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.

Some of our South Africa Collections:

What not to Miss

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. Also for wine, whales and Table Mountain. The Kirstenboscåh National Botanical Garden sits on the Eastern slopes of Table Mountain and is renowned for being one of the most magnificent botanical gardens in the world and this reputation is well-earned. Rare and endangered species live in this vibrant paradise and there are also a few restaurants for when your legs need a break! Robberg Nature Reserve is a fantastic coastal park through which you can hike whilst keeping the sea in sight! A great place for some gentle exercise. The beautiful bay of Knysna Heads is best visited by boat as this opens up the possibility of whale spotting depending on the season. Stunning scenery and a terrific place for a day trip.
  • The Eastern Cape has the Tsitsikamma National Park which marks the end of the Garden Route, the Addo Elephant National Park, fantastic beaches at Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys Bay and the best surfing.
  • The Northern Cape is famous for diamonds and the Kalahari desert.
  • The KwaZulu-Natal region is where you’ll find seaside the city of Durban, plus the Drakesberg Mountain Range and the Tugela Falls, the world’s second highest waterfall.
  • Mpumalanga has part of the Kruger National Park and the Blyde River Canyon.
  • Limpopo has the rest of the Kruger National Park and is where you leave South Africa to enter Zimbabwe.

South Africa's Colourful Cities

South Africa is still a country in flux. Apartheid has only just been quashed - and many current citizens have experienced this change first hand. While this is still a country of huge inequalities it is changing. To put what you see in South Africa’s cities into context it’s really useful to visit museums charting the revolution against apartheid - not just Robben Island.

  • 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 extremely photogenic. On top of the beauty, the city has a reputation for being laid back and friendly and many of the best places 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 - especially at the traffic lights. 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. Though it looks historic and has some of South Africa's best museums it's actually very multicultural.
  • Durban is very much a coastal city and Africa’s busiest port. The waterfront is a great place to be, it is freshly revamped as there’s quite a bit of development going on in Durban. The Golden Mile, the name for the stretch of wide golden sand close to downtown Durban is well-loved by surfers and there are play pools and playgrounds as well as cafes and bars. There are lots of purpose designed visitor attractions too - like aquariums and marine parks because Durban is a popular holiday destination for South Africans.

South Africa's Stunning Coastline

With golden beaches on the eastern coastline, warmed by the Indian Ocean, and the semi-arid west coast painted by the ice Atlantic, there’s a lot of choice even once you’ve decided you want to see the coast!

  • 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.
  • Cape Town is well know for its its beautiful, golden beaches, ideal for surfing and windsurfing. 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. We'd recommend you stay in Franschhoek or Stellenbosch.

With such a variety of places to see and things to do, there will be no shortage of finding one of the best places to stay in South Africa. It just depends what you are going for!

The best places to stay in South Africa

For an Adventure

  • Within the Elandskloof Nature Reserve, the Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse is an elegant, spacious, Victorian guesthouse with rooms, suites and a self-catering house. There’s a pool and six thousand acres of private reserve to explore. Aside from joining in game drives, guests can hike, cycle, row, kayak, fish or windsurf.
  • Close to the Garden Route, the Hlangana Lodge in Oudtshoorn, is an exotic, but homely feeling guesthouse with lovely landscaped gardens and 18 bedrooms. As well as the Garden Route you’re also close to the Cango Caves.

For 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 like 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.
  • Kensington Place is 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 and most have phenomenal views of the city and bay. Check out nearby Kloof Street, Cape Town's hottest spot for restaurants and bars.
  • Alta Bay is a three room townhouse B&B with airy suites and private terraces. The bay views are beautiful and there’s a feeling of relaxed intimacy, perfect for a low-key city break.

For the Coastline

  • The Abalone House & Spa in Bek Bay, in the coastal village of Paternoster, offers all the luxury you’d associate with its five star rating. It also offers great sea views, has a fantastic restaurant and a hot tub on the roof - perfect for sundowners overlooking the sea.
  • Also in Paternoster, the Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel is a simple, but beautifully designed property with just 14 suites, some of them opening directly onto the beach. The food is good and as this is an adult’s only hotel so you can expect it to be peaceful.
  • Essenwood House in Durban is great value, cosy and comfortable. It’s a short drive from Durban city and a great base from which to organise a safari.
  • The Twelve Apostles Hotel is 'around the corner’ from Cape Town on Camps Bay with views of two oceans and Table Mountain. A classic, comfortable,70 room hotel, this is a great location for enjoying the best of both Cape Town and the coast.

For Wine and Food

  • Cellars-Hohenort is an elegantly converted old manor house on a wine estate at the base 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 in addition to the two award-winning restaurants will make it hard to leave.
  • Majecka House in Stellenbosch is a modern hotel with fun decor and state-of-the-art bathrooms, statement murals and funky wallpapers. There are just 23 rooms, four outdoor pools, plus a spa and hammam. The restaurant is excellent.
  • La Residence, Franschhoek is a visual feast, with impressive antiques, exotic paintings and palatial decoration. Each of the 16 suites is decorated like a Maharajah’s palace - or Versailles and there’s an indulgent looking dining room and award-winning spa.
  • Also in the Franschhoek Valley, the Leeu Estates are in the middle of a beautiful, working vineyard. The hotel has been converted from an elegant, 19th century manor house and the decor is both colonial and African, Both the dining and the wines are fine.
  • The Rickety Bridge Manor House, on the Rickety Bridge Wine Estate, is an intimate, three bedroom manor house in the verdant Franschhoek Valley. The decor is charming and homely and the price is reasonable.
  • Sitting in between the Franschhoek Valley and the Stony Brook River, Holden Manz is a spacious, five room country house with a fantastic kitchen and a spa that we really take you away from it all - though you sort of already are....

For A Rural Retreat

  • Babylonstoren is a restored Cape Dutch farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Simondium. It has 12 elegant rooms with original farmhouse features like fireplaces and stone walls. They have an organic garden where they grow many ingredients for the restaurant.
  • Grand Dedale is a beautifully restored manor house turned seven room boutique-style county house hotel on a 380 hectare estate. Chic and luxurious accommodation is just the start of the offering here, you can also enjoy four course suppers of game and seafood - or even catch your own fish.
  • The Robertson Small Hotel, in off-the-beaten-track Robertson, is a five star property with Victorian design and ten, chic, light-filled rooms, a lovely pool and an extensive wine list.
  • Akademie Street is a collection of boutique-style suites and cottages in charming Franschhoek. Elegant and comfortable, with wonderful views and a choice of pools and hot tubs, this is a great village to stay in surrounded by wine and walking country.

For Families

  • Hawksmoor House is a charming hideaway outside Stellenbosch with views of Table Mountain to the South. Traditional architecture, antique furnishings and a great pool make this an ideal spot for relaxation. Very family friendly.
  • The Arabella Hotel & Spa in Hermanus is a county estate on the coast known for its golf course and award-winning spa. There are 145 rooms, with room rates starting from around £120 per night, and the decor is modern with African accents. The hotel has both indoor and outdoor pools and there’s a fine dining restaurant.

For Honeymooners

  • The Abalone House & Spa in Bek Bay in the coastal village of Paternoster, offers all the luxury you’d associate with its five star rating. It also offers great sea views, has a fantastic restaurant and a hot tub on the roof - perfect for sundowners overlooking the sea.
  • Sitting in between the Franschhoek Valley and the Stony Brook River, Holden Manz is a spacious, five room country house with a fantastic kitchen and a spa that we really take you away from it all - though you sort of already are...
  • Also in the Franschhoek Valley, La Petite Ferme is a gourmet restaurant with rooms in a famous vineyard. The suites have extremely beautiful views, and some have private plunge pools. You’re close to Franschhoek and a range of excellent restaurants.
  • Mont Rochelle is a 26 room hotel in a spectacular vineyard setting. The decor is classical with clean lines and plenty of light. There’s a spoiling spa and a fabulous restaurant.

For an Apartment or Villa

If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • South Africa has three main international airports: Cape Town International Airport, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and Durban King Shanka International Airport. Durban is smaller, and has fewer direct connections.
  • If you want to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • If you’re here for a beach break you’ll need to fly into Cape Town between November and March or Durban between April and October. If you’re here for a safari you can pretty much travel at any time - though do check carefully as there are some reserves which include floodplains.

Still not sure?

See all » 276 hôtels in Western Cape

  • De Avond Rust Oudtshoorn 5 rooms from £37

    Value chic  -  An excellent value, traditional style stay
    Sights nearby  -  Safari Ostrich Show Farm is just 6km away
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Charming traditional Cape Dutch style house, dating back to 1927. Featuring suite and cottage accommodation (perfect for families) it is walking distance from the little town of Oudtshoorn. Rooms are filled with antiques and there's an inviting garden restaurant, Casa Del Sole. See More

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  • The Muize Cape Town 8 rooms from £38

    Value chic  -  You don't get much better value than this, in such a central location
    Beach Life  -  Muizenberg is a prime surfing beach: get on your board!
    Surfing  -  Muizenberg, your local beach, is all about the surf!
    Fishing  -  Fishing on the Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve
    Air conditioningViewsParkingNo pets

    Cheap and cheerful, this friendly little hotel provides a perfect base to explore Cape Town's rugged coastline. A slap-up full English breakfast is included in the rate, as are those epic views. Perfect for outdoorsy-types there is surfing, fishing, golf, and wine tasting all in the local area. See More

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See all » 77 hôtels in Cape Town

  • The Muize Cape Town 8 rooms from £38

    Value chic  -  You don't get much better value than this, in such a central location
    Beach Life  -  Muizenberg is a prime surfing beach: get on your board!
    Surfing  -  Muizenberg, your local beach, is all about the surf!
    Fishing  -  Fishing on the Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve
    Air conditioningViewsParkingNo pets

    Cheap and cheerful, this friendly little hotel provides a perfect base to explore Cape Town's rugged coastline. A slap-up full English breakfast is included in the rate, as are those epic views. Perfect for outdoorsy-types there is surfing, fishing, golf, and wine tasting all in the local area. See More

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  • Glen Hotel Cape Town 24 rooms from £45

    Views  -  Wonderful views of Lion's Head and the Atlantic Ocean.
    Gay friendly
    Spa  -  The G Spa offers a comprehensive range of massages, treatments and there's a couple of outdoor pools for relaxing.
    Great walks  -  The Glen runs a half day tour of Cape Town's art galleries, trendy bars, museums, restaurants and heritage sights.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    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. See More

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See all » 65 hôtels in Eastern Cape

  • Wild Lubanzi Backpackers Coffee Bay 4 rooms from £21

    Back to Nature  -  Located along a rugged stretch of the Indian Ocean, with nothing else around you other than the great outdoors
    Sights nearby  -  Take a dip in the Indian Ocean (much warmer than the Western Cape's Atlantic!)
    Great walks  -  Excellent rural and coastal walks
    Kayaking  -  Along the Mncwasa River
    RestaurantParkingNo pets

    A unique tented lodge, located overlooking one of the most pristine stretched of The Wild Coast. A true "back to nature"experience, a stay in one of their tents is heaven for lovers of the simple life. Dining is superb: freshly made dishes from locally grown vegetables and freshly baked breads. See More

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  • Terra-Khaya Hogsback 4 rooms from £23

    Eco break  -  The ultimate eco stay - this charming hotel is completely off the grid
    Local markets  -  The Saturday Farm Market is a great place to pick up local produce
    Great walks  -  There are plenty of walks directly from the hotel
    Full of character
    RestaurantPet friendlyParking

    "Not everyone's cup of tea" or so they say themselves, the environmentally conscious traveller will simply adore this hotel. Completely off the grid, there are no plug points, no TVs, no waste. It's an impressive operation. With pristine riding trails and eco-chic interiors its an immersive stay. See More

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See all » 29 hôtels in Mpumalanga

  • Country Boutique Hotel Limpopo, Mpumalanga 22 rooms from £45

    Value chic  -  Opulent interiors at a very inviting price
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Kayaking  -  Longmere Dam
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    A very grand country escape with a minute price tag. This charming hotel provides sophisticated interiors within driving distance of the Kruger Park, for those who enjoy their homely comforts. Excellent dining, an outdoor pool, lounge and dining areas, guests will feel very at home here. Charming. See More

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  • White House Lodge White River,, Mpumalanga 9 rooms from £53

    Families  -  Family cottages, plenty of outdoor activities - it's a great family stay
    Great walks  -  Excellent walking routes right from your front door
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Bucolic family lodgings surrounded by some of South Africa's most pristine landscapes. This is a place to come and "get away from it all" with a good book and your nearest and dearest. Cosy family cottages provide a comfortable stay, complete with sitting and dining areas, and a small kitchen. See More

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See all » 26 hôtels in KwaZulu Natal

  • KarMichael Farm Himeville,, KwaZulu Natal 8 rooms from £56

    Back to Nature  -  Stay on a traditional farm - a great family stay
    Great walks  -  Around the property and surrounding vineyards
    Sights nearby  -  Himeville Museum is under 2 km away
    Fishing  -  Fly Fishing - equipment available
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    Delightful traditional farm stay, guests can choose between self-catering and B&B cottages. Tucked away amidst the Drakensberg Mountains, surrounded by vineyards, it's a truly bucolic stay. Rooms are decorated with floral motifs and colourful chintz. It's very homely. A great family stay. See More

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  • aha Avondale Boutique Hotel Durban 17 rooms from £58

    Local exploring  -  A charming hotel within easy reach of Durban's attractions
    Great walks  -  Through Durban Botanic Gardens is just over 1 km away
    Local markets  -  Victoria Street Market
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Delightful hotel, one of our top picks in Durban. Each of its 17 rooms is decorated in a traditional, country casuals style. Dining is superb with your choice of eggs to order, fresh fruits and juices, and great coffee. There's a spa, plus you're walking distance from many attractions. See More

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See all » 25 hôtels in Stellenbosch

  • The Stellenbosch Hotel Stellenbosch 43 rooms from £52

    Local exploring  -  Located right in the heart of historic Stellenbosch, it's perfectly located for exploring on foot
    Local markets  -  Oom Samie se Winkel is a great place to pick up locally made produce
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Air conditioningRestaurantDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Dating back to 1876, this hotel is walking distance from Stellenbosch's charming shops, galleries, and restaurants, with off-street parking, should you bring your car. Spacious accommodation includes rooms with balconies, and living and dining areas. Excellent dining at Stellenbosch Kitchen. See More

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  • Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate Stellenbosch (Bottelary Road,) 50 rooms from £62

    Total relaxation  -  Golf, spa treatments, and surrounded by Cape Town's wine regions
    Sights nearby  -  The historic town of Stellenbosch is a beautiful drive and an excellent lunch spot
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Well-priced golf and wine estate, boasting an excellent spa, provides a long list of ways in which to relax. Rooms are modern with luxurious fittings including private balconies looking out across the picturesque Stellenbosch valley. Chez Shiraz serves fine dining throughout the day. See More

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See all » 25 hôtels in Limpopo

  • Pezulu Treehouse Lodge Limpopo 91 rooms from £85

    Families  -  Excellent value family stay - there's plenty for all ages
    Great walks  -  Excellent guided safari trails
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Full of character
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Home to a family of resident elephants and plenty more wildlife, rooms are spacious, yet simple, with every creature comfort - providing excellent value accommodation for families. Dine on local bush dishes or your choice of continental. There's a large pool to cool down from the African sun. See More

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  • Timbavati Safari Lodge Limpopo 12 rooms from £98

    Families  -  Quirky cottages plus lots of outdoor activities - it's a great family stay
    Value chic  -  Excellent value within easy reach of the Kruger Park
    Great walks  -  Guided safari walks and trails
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolParkingNo pets

    A 20-minute drive from the Kruger Park this quirky lodge is designed in a traditional style. Each of its thatched cottages are painted in local tribal design and provide a characterful stay amidst the African bush that all ages will love. Outdoor dining, outdoor pool, plus cultural programme. See More

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