Cape Town’s best hotels are as diverse as its mountain-to-beach landscape. Want to feel like you’re out on safari while in the city? No problem. Looking for a historic estate property off the city’s wine route? You got it. Need the most bang for your buck before checking out the local Airbnbs? Done. The Mother City has everything from chain high rises in the bustling Central Business District to bespoke boutiques along the beachfront, plus great budget-friendly options along the way. The range of rates here stretches wide, with five-star hotels charging anywhere from under $200 to over $1,000 a night. Whatever experience you’re after or whatever budget you’re on, here are the best hotels in Cape Town for you to check out, before you check in.
Best hotels in Cape Town
What is it? The only true beachfront boutique in town, this luxury 10-suite lodge has panoramic ocean views over Hout Bay and an excellent restaurant.
Why go? Location, location, location, and a touch of luxury, give this 5-star spot an exclusive feel. Set at the base of Chapman’s Peak in Table Mountain National Park, Tintswalo’s guests have a private path down to the pebbled beach. The high but justifiable rates include free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and return airport transfers. The restaurant here is a standout with its open kitchen and menu full of locally-sourced and sustainable dishes.
What is it? Modern, mountainside boutique with just seven rooms and a maximum total guest occupancy set at 16 to ensure stellar service.
Why go? You can’t get much closer to Table Mountain than a hotel that has its own gate leading right into the park itself. Convenience continues with free full English breakfasts, in-your-face views of Lion’s Head, a plunge pool, and an excellent rooftop great for drinking sundowners. Rooms and suites come with stocked beach bags, free Wi-Fi, and iPod docking stations.
What is it? An elegant historic hotel with 198 classically styled rooms and suites, plus a quiet location in Gardens that borders the hubbub of the busy city center.
Why go? Opened in 1899 and rocking pink paint since 1918, the Mount Nelson might be the city’s best-known hotel. Its classic look and feel are balanced by upscale amenities, from a spa and heated outdoor pools to beautifully landscaped garden grounds and a fine dining restaurant. Taking afternoon tea at “the Nellie” is practically a rite of passage for locals and worth a sip even if you are just passing through.
What is it? A 5-star Marriott property with hip, contemporary style and a safe and walkable location close to Company Gardens and Long Street.
Why go? African Pride 15 on Orange ticks a lot of boxes for a decent price. Think contemporary rooms with bathtubs and egg swings, a small spa, rooftop pool, restaurants, and a gym. Plus, the location is killer, putting guests within walking distance of the hip bars and restaurants in Tamberskloof, the First Thursday art walk route, and several museums.
What is it? One of Cape Town’s newest, ultra-chic luxury hotels along the V&A Waterfront.
Why go? The Silo Hotel is a super swanky and trendy hotel that occupies a former grain elevator. Six floors of geometric pillowed windows compliment its location on top of the celebrated Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Arts. Rates are high, but breakfast and parking are free. There’s also a sleek glass pool on the roof, a spa, restaurant, and bar.
What is it? Female-owned guesthouse with seven rooms in Gugulethu, a township 20 minutes outside of Cape Town.
Why go? Liziwe Ngcokoto and her husband built their home from donated bricks and then opened it up to the public as a guesthouse in 2005. Staying here gives foreign guests a taste of local life through the guesthouse’s homestay experience, guided Gugulethu walking tours, and home-cooked meals from the restaurant kitchen. Bonus? It’s just a short walk to the famous braai barbecue at Mzoli’s Place.
What is it? Central business district hotel with notable service and 176 rooms and suites outfitted in classic-contemporary decor.
Why go? This bang-for-your-buck hotel gets you five-star features with an affordable price which means you can try a meal at each of the three restaurants, get an Ayurvedic treatment at the spa, or even upgrade to a suite (butler service, anyone?). There’s also free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and a shuttle that goes to/from the V&A Waterfront. Plus, it’s kid-friendly and the location is perfect for exploring the city on foot.
What is it? A restored Victorian mansion that now functions as a social guesthouse and backpackers lodge that’s popular with budget travelers.
Why go? Ashanti Lodge Gardens Backpackers opened in the quiet neighborhood of Gardens nearly 25 years ago and was Cape Town’s first backpackers hostel. The mansion setting has a simple, homey vibe and is stocked with all the fixings. Cook up meals in the kitchen, hop on a tour, take a plunge in the outdoor pool, or just relax on the lawn. Free breakfast and Wi-Fi are included.
What is it? Cape Town’s oldest farm estate with 24 polished and posh rooms and suites located in the southeastern suburbs of Cape Town.
Why go? It’s not every day you get to stay in a National Monument. Established in 1682, the Steenberg farm has been a part of Cape Town for centuries. This peaceful spot has produces its own wine, has an 18-hole golf course, and its restaurant, Bistro Sixteen82 is one of the World’s Top 20 Wine Restaurants. And the affordable rates mean it’s practically a steal.
What is it? An eight-room rustic-chic lodge that manages to bring the vibe of the South African bush into the city.
Why go? Come for the safari scene (which features beds draped in mosquito netting, thatched roofs, zebra skin rugs, and antelope horns) and stay for the free daily English breakfast. Instead of the Big Five, guests can scope sweeping views over Cape Town’s Constantia wine valley, dip in the pool, or go love on a game of tennis.
What is it? Cape Town’s first true high-end luxury hotel with a resort-style feel and features—and a price tag to match.
Why go? This five-star spot has long defined luxury in the Mother City. Stylish rooms with Table Mountain views, Nespresso machines, and private balconies are just a start. Suites add fireplaces, living rooms, kitchens and even butler services, while the hotel touts a Nobu restaurant, swanky spa, and infinity pool. The superb V&A Waterfront location doesn’t hurt either.
What is it? An all-suite tower hotel with trendy interiors and perks designed with Millennials in mind.
Why go? If you were to live onsite at a hip tech company, it might look a lot like the Radisson Red. Rooms have BYOB mini-fridges and picnic table work spaces. The bright café space slings coffees and sustainable street snacks. A rooftop area is decked out with killer views of the V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain, a slim pool, and drinks truck. There’s also meeting room space with a barista menu and games stocked at the ready.