Looking for the best hotels in Cape Town? Here are some of the best of the best in one of our favorite cities in the world. After all, in a city with hundreds of places to stay there has to be somewhere that’s perfect to take in the views of Table Mountain for everyone. Finding the perfect luxury hotel could be a struggle, but after visiting all of the hotels below we can safely say we know which are the best of the best. We’re also not influenced by marketing budgets like CNtraveler or Forbes, hence the reason our top picks won’t be found on their lists.
The Best Hotels In Cape Town
The Tintswalo Atlantic – Best Overall Hotel in Cape Town
Due to its charm, class, level of service, intimacy, character, and stunning location, The Tintswalo Atlantic takes our top accolade. We loved our room so much we never left them except for a quick dip in the heated pool and to have dinner. With only eight individually designed rooms the hotel is charming and intimate. Rooms have features such as tubs with views over the bay and a wood stove for when the winter winds blow.
Evenings at the Tinstwalo feel like a dream with sunsets over in Hout Bay, bubbles, plush bathrobes, and some evening canapés. To give it that final boost to the top it’s the only accommodation in Cape Town that is located inside Table Mountain National Park, how fitting. In the end, though, what separated the Tintswalo from the other hotels on this list is the intimacy.
Cape Grace – Best in Class Hotel in Cape Town
The interiors in the Cape Grace are decadent and stylish making it a clear pick for our best hotels in Cape Town. The rooms are filled with character and unique design elements that hail back to the history of Cape Town. Design elements include Cape-Dutch antiques such as white and blue pottery, striped wallpaper, and the chandeliers with dangling teacups. The food, staff, and amenities on offer at the Cape Grace are all top class and sure to wow guests. The pampering doesn’t stop there with an in-house spa featuring African-inspired treatments.
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel – Best Institution Hotel in Cape Town
Since this hotel dates back to 1899, it’s no surprise that we selected it as the best institution in Cape Town. Originally built by a wealthy shipping magnate to host European aristocrats. It hotel is full of colonial institutional past with canopied four post beds and afternoon high tea being a serious affair. Visitors can take a stroll through the beautiful nine acres of private gardens. The grounds feature lovely fountains, pools, and flowers. The hotel also plays host to all manner of celebrities who frequent Cape Town.
The Capital Mirage – Best Business Hotel in Cape Town
The Capital Mirage is one of the newest hotels in Cape Town. The modern digs are studio apartments and perfect for business travelers. The studio apartment allows for a more like home for those needing to stay a week or more. Amenities like real high-speed internet (our tests got 26mbps), washer and dryer, full kitchen, multiple restaurants on site, and a TV that connects to your laptop set it apart from other hotels.
When finished with the day guests can head to the roof where The Vue bar offers stunning views of Table Mountain and a rooftop pool. In the digital age, this is the hotel that checks off all the best hotel boxes. They also get bonus points for bringing us room service sushi at a good price.
The One&Only – Best For Luxury Hotel in Cape Town
After entrance to the One&Only, you’ll find yourself blown away by the massive 40ft tall providing stunning views of Table Mountain from the cavernous reception. The name of the hotel is rather suiting, as it is the one in Cape Town. The building is advertised as the best address in Cape Town and it’s arguably so. With hi-tech rooms that are lavish and provide magnificent views. Everything about the One&Only is over-stated luxury from the room sizes, to the lobby, and even the three-story wine cellar. Then you have the two fantastic restaurants Nobu and Reuben’s pulling in the locals who come to wine and dine.
The Marly – Best Boutique Hotel in Cape Town
Situated in Camps Bay this hotel is also located in our favorite neighborhood so it’s an easy addition to a list of the best hotels in Cape Town. The interior features modern artists and the ceilings of the rooms are an art piece in and of themselves. It is a beach boutique hotel that is slick and contemporary.
It’s one of the many reasons we love Cape Town, while the class and large-scale luxury in the city center is only 15 minutes away places like The Marly sit in a small beach neighborhood lined with beachfront restaurants and a laid-back atmosphere. All make for the perfect setting to sit back and enjoy a South African sauvignon blanc on a sunny day.
DoubleTree Hilton – Best “All you can need” Hotel in Cape Town
The full name is the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cape Town UpperEastside – it’s a mouthful. Anyways, the hotel makes for a great base around Woodstock area. We needed a place with an extremely comfy bed and all the creature comforts we’ve come to want after a full day of activities. The hotel lobby has a massive chandelier and fancy steps that make you feel famous. It’s a mid-upper range hotel that checked off everything on our list. You can order room service from the full menu of the hotel restaurant and that’s exactly what we did when we got back from adventuring around Cape Town. A tasty prego roll and salad suited the body well.
The hotel may not be in the CBD, but it is in the vibey neighborhood of Woodstock. Woodstock is the happening place in Cape Town these days. Walk outside of the modern hotel and you’ll find a gritty urban cultural neighborhood full of boutique shops, street art, coffee roasters, and one of Africa’s finest restaurants, The Test Kitchen.
Delaire Graff Estate – Best Winelands Hotel near Cape Town
While this hotel is not technically in Cape Town, it is in Stellenbosch. The famous Winelands that are practically a suburb of the city. The famous diamond jeweler and owner Laurence Graff personally oversaw the creation of the meticulous grounds. Rooms here are stylish. We loved the features like a popup TV that arrives via a desk at the foot of the bed and a personal pool that provides stunning views of the vineyards below. The restaurants Indochine and serve up world-class wine and cuisine.
The grounds house one of the best collections of art collections in Africa and are stunning to view. Visitors should request a tour to be explained all of the art on display, including Tretchikoff’s painting Chinese Girl. Our personal favorite piece of art on display was South African artist Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi’s recorded history III.
It’s little wonder that the estate is nicknamed “The Jewel Of The Cape Winelands.”
Travel Tips for South Africa
- Languages Spoken: The most widely spoken language is Zulu, then Xhosa, followed by Afrikaans. However, just about everyone speaks English.
- Capital: South Africa has no legally defined capital city. Instead, there are three South African capitals. They are Pretoria (executive capital), Bloemfontein (judicial), and Cape Town (legislative).
- Currency: South African Rand 4 (ZAR) – $.
- Visa: Some nationalities are issued a 90-day visa on arrival. Check with your embassy for the best information. The visas are consecutive, not concurrent, don’t be like us and get kicked out.
- Weather: Hot and humid especially during the summer months.
- What to Pack: Depends on the season and where you are at. Definitely bring hiking shoes, a bathing suit, and a jacket.
- Malaria: Not a major threat in South Africa. In the rainy season, areas around Kruger and the north are at mild risk of malaria.
- Stay Connected: Vodacom, Telcom, OneCell, and MTN are the cell phone and internet providers. Check here for more information.
- Adaptor: You’ll need this adaptor in Southern Africa.
- Tipping: This is a tipping country and visitors should expect to tip for anything from a lunch out, to gas station attendants, to security guards in parking lots. Tips to car guards can be anything between 2 and 10 ZAR while 10% is the norm for waitstaff.
Book A Safari Near Cape Town
Traditionally if you wanted to book a safari you’d have to go to a travel agent and have them book your safari for you. They made suggestions for camps and lodges then presented you with a large bill. Most of the industry still operates in this fashion.
However, Timbuktu is a new platform that allows you to select the lodges you’d like and see the pricing per day that way you can select the best itinerary for yourself. They will then contact the lodges and help you through booking your safari. With experts on staff, they can also provide suggestions and arrange the little details much like a travel agent.
When is the Best Season to Travel South Africa?
High season (November and March)
This is the high season in South Africa, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the best time to visit South Africa. The weather in South Africa really starts to warm up starting in November, some may say it gets unpleasantly hot in some places. December and January are particularly busy because of the holidays. If you can manage it I would generally try to avoid travel during this time.
Shoulder Season (April-May and September-October)
The weather throughout most of South Africa is pleasant during this time. Not too hot and not too cold. April and May are some of the best times to go on safari in South Africa. Crowds are low, and the wildlife still gathers around the watering hole, which makes for easy viewing.
Low Season (June-September)
This is South Africa’s winter season meaning low numbers of tourists and cooler weather. We traveled around South Africa in August and September and still had a fabulous time. The weather was cool, but only really at night did we need a jacket. Winter means the middle of the dry season making game viewing on safari generally quite good. This is also the time when you’ll be able to score deals across the country!
What Camera Gear Do We Use?
- Fuji X-T3 – Main Travel Camera
- Fuji X Series Lenses
- Sony RX100 V
- Fuji X-T20 – Backup Camera
- GoPro (on B&H)
- DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone // (on B&H)
- Lowe Pro Whistler 450
- Peak Design Camera Sling
- Peak Design Travel Backpack
- For Cinematic Shots: Zhiyun Crane V2
- Peak Designs Tripod
- For Storage: LaCie Rugged 4TB USB-C
- For Editing: Macbook 15″ Pro Retina
What to Pack for Cape Town
Overland Tour in Africa
Traveling Africa on your own can be daunting to many travelers. However, there is no need to fear with overland tour companies who will show the ropes and a great time. You can check out some of them here to compare the different companies and possibly score a discount.
Travel Water Bottle
Plastic pollution is a problem in Africa so it’s best not to contribute to the problem of buying plastic water bottles everywhere. The tap water in Tanzania is generally not safe to drink, but a water purifier, like the Grayl waterbottle, works well!
However, we also love filtered water bottles in areas we’re uncertain of the water supply. Read more about our favorite water bottle for travel in our post.
A good hat is both stylish and functional. In peak dry season there is little to provide shade, UV rays are intense and can easily burn the unsuspecting traveler. Check out our full break down of the best safari hats here!
Lightweight pants that are made from synthetic material are tremendous to have in your pack. It’s what we wear most days when traveling around Africa as they’re comfortable, antibacterial, and protect our legs from mosquitos (malaria).
We recommend neutral-colored pants as they’re great at hiding dirt and can match most shirt colors. What’s great is they’re useful beyond Africa as they are a travel staple and we pack a pair everywhere we travel.
You’ll want a safari shirt while on safari. They are lightweight and keep the bugs away. Plus they look ideal in photos and blend into the environment around you!
Sometimes it’s nice just to have a real book in your hands when traveling. We recommend picking up a Lonely Planet to get you through the wireless nights. Are you going on safari? We always carry our Robert’s Southern Africa Bird Book and a good mammal guide.
- Our Entire Africa Travel Story – What We Never Shared
- How to Plan a Safari in Africa
- Africa’s Best Safari Animals + Where to See Them
- The 11 Best Binoculars for Safari
- 10 Unforgettable Wildlife Experiences To Have In Africa
- 20 Africa Travel Tips to Help You Prepare
- Stop Being Scared To Travel Africa
- The Best Safari Bags to Take to Africa
- The Best Safari Destinations To Sport Wildlife
- Your Guide To Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
- The Magic of Kafue National Park
- A Masai Mara Guide For Safari Goers
- Africa’s Safari Animals And Where To Find Them
- Gorilla Trekking in Uganda – All You Need To Know
- Inside Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve
- A Week in South Luangwa National Park