One of the world’s most beautiful cities, Cape Town stretches tantalizingly between the mountains and the shimmering waters of Table Bay. Thanks to this glamorous setting on South Africa’s southwestern tip, most of the city’s best areas and hotels offer plenty of gorgeous views to go around. Major tourist attractions are scattered throughout the city, but many first-time visitors choose to stay as close as possible to the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront , home to the Two Oceans Aquarium, as well as many shops and restaurants. For a more peaceful setting, hotels in the foothills of Table Mountainoffer easy access to the national park, and many have spectacular city and mountain views. Foodies also love the eclectic eateries of Kloof Street , a hip strip that connects the city center with the City Bowl neighborhood.
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If you’re planning a sun, sand and sea holiday, Camps Bay , about four miles from the city center, makes a great base. A beautiful mountain-backed beach runs along the shores of this upscale residential area, and chic shops, cafes, and hotels beckon along the beach. Most Cape Town hotels include a cooked breakfast in their prices, and the city is known for its many intimate boutique hotels. Wherever you stay, you’ll find plenty of impressive options to suit every budget, from budget guest houses to family-friendly waterfront apartments and romantic seaside spots.
Where to Stay for Sightseeing
Full of shops and restaurants and safe to walk around, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a hot spot for tourists, with many things to do. Two Oceans Aquarium is right on the waterfront and trips to Robben Island depart from here from the Nelson Mandela Gateway. For easy sightseeing, the hop-on hop-off bus travels from here to Cape Town’s top tourist attractions, such as Table Mountain and Cape Point, so you don’t need a car for your sightseeing adventures. Green Point , with its extensive parks and the Cape Town Stadium are also nearby.
The stylish and elegant Queen Victoria Hotel enjoys a relatively quiet location across the road from all the waterfront action. It has a designer spa and gourmet restaurant, a five-star boutique hotel surrounded by historic buildings. The restful suites and rooms all have quality toiletries and views of Table Mountain or the harbour. The Victoria & Alfred Hotel is located in the heart of the waterfront, its sister hotel. It also features a designer spa and both properties share a small pool at the nearby luxury Dock House Boutique Hotel.
The stylish Villa Zest Boutique Hotel is located in Green Point, about a 15-minute walk from the Victoria & Alfred waterfront and one kilometer from the CBD. It is a more affordable mid-range hotel with an inviting roof terrace and a small swimming pool. It has a striking, sustainable design with a crisp, clean take on 1970s retro, and the individually designed rooms feature open-plan ensuites. Also in Green Point, the stylish contemporary DysArt Boutique Hotel is a little further from the V&A Waterfront but offers great value rooms, two sparkling pools and spacious rooms with balconies or patios.
Located in the heart of the Heritage Square district, the charming Cape Heritage Hotel offers great value and chic décor in an 18th-century building. You can easily walk to great restaurants, designer shops and art galleries.
If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll find plenty of great-value apartment-style accommodation along the V&A Waterfront in our Where to Stay with Families section below.
Where to stay for luxury
Nature lovers who want plush digs in a peaceful neighborhood with easy access to city attractions will love the light-filled, state-of-the-art MannaBay. Bordering Table Mountain National Park, this beautiful boutique hotel offers access to miles of hiking trails from the gates and panoramic views of the entire city. You can enjoy all the beauty of the sun-drenched pool deck. A divine breakfast and high tea are included, and a free evening shuttle takes you to nearby restaurants for dinner.
On the Victoria & Albert Waterfront , the elegant, antique-filled Cape Grace has an African-inspired spa. The spacious rooms and suites feature luxurious fabrics, dressing rooms, carefully selected books and fresh flowers. French doors open onto Juliet balconies overlooking the working harbor or marina.
Also on the V&A Waterfront, the sprawling One&Only Cape Town has a heated infinity edge pool surrounded by palms and cabanas. The decadent spa is located on its own private island in the center of the resort. The rooms are modern in design and the one and two bedroom suites are great for groups and families.
For those seeking more affordable luxury, Andros Boutique Hotel welcomes guests with warm hospitality and plenty of extras. This homely Cape Colonial guest house is set in beautiful gardens in the foothills of Table Mountain , about a five-minute drive from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. The world-class chef prepares delicious culinary creations and amenities such as a spa, swimming pool, gym and sauna.
Where to stay for the best value
In a quiet residential area at the foot of Table Mountain, close to the fantastic Kloof Street restaurants The boutique Derwent House, with a solar heated swimming pool, is a home away from home. The wonderful staff is full of valuable travel tips and the rooms and common areas are decorated in a colorful Afro-chic style. The rooms are compact, but the self-catering apartments are fantastic for families. Thoughtful extras such as pastries, cookies, tea and select evening drinks are complimentary, as are the nearby An African Villa, another boutique hotel with a swimming pool. The hotels are known for their warm, friendly service, and animal lovers enjoy the hosts’ friendly dogs.
At Sea Point The boutique Blackheath Lodge feels like an elegant bed-and-breakfast, six minutes’ drive from the V&A Waterfront. Staff lavish guests with plenty of personalized attention, and amenities include beautiful native gardens and a heated pool. Also in Sea Point, the chic Glen Boutique Hotel & Spa is effortlessly elegant. The rooms have super comfortable beds and scented candles, many rooms also have Apple Macs and the apartments are ideal for longer stays. The modern 52 De Wet is also close to the water, in nearby Bantry Bay. It has bright, modern rooms with beautiful sea views.
Where to stay on a budget
Many of the mid-range hotels in Cape Town have budget rates and convenient locations. In the city center The Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel is located a few blocks from Cape Town City Hall and offers affordable 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, ideal for extended stays and families on a budget. One of the rooftops is a pool and yoga deck, and a free shuttle will take you to the V&A Waterfront. The Parliament Hotel is a short walk away, close to cafes and restaurants. It is safe and centrally located, with clean, comfortable rooms in a green, medium-sized building.
If you want to stay in a quieter area a short walk from town, Upperbloem is a good choice. It sits on a hill above town with a nice pool and sundeck. The fresh, modern apartments come with a kitchen and most have beautiful city, sea or mountain views from their balconies. You can also walk to the Kloof Street restaurants from here.
For those who prefer a city center hotel chain , the high-rise Holiday Inn Express Cape Town City Center fits the bill. The hotel is located near numerous restaurants and a rich breakfast is included in the price.
Easy on the budget, the bold and bright Never at Home in Cape Town’s Green Point , within walking distance of the V&A Waterfront, is a hip, high-end hostel offering dormitories and private double and twin rooms. Travelers can mingle in the cozy common areas.
Where to stay for couples
On a shingle beach at the base of Chapman’s Peak , Tintswalo Atlantic is a popular honeymoon and wedding location. This luxury boutique hotel is far from the city, but that’s part of its appeal. The individually decorated suites are inspired by different islands and have romantic features such as free-standing bathtubs with stunning ocean views and private balconies with sea views.
Closer to town, in upscale Bantry Bay , and also with stunning sea views, the art-filled Ellerman House occupies an elegant Cape Edwardian mansion. Understated elegance is the tone here, and with a library, heated pool with sea views, world-class spa and romantic suites, it’s hard to leave the hotel. To maintain the peaceful ambiance, children under 14 are only allowed in one of the separate private villas.
A great-value romantic retreat is the adults-only Four Rosmead, set amid gardens on the slopes of Table Mountain . The property offers peaceful surroundings and beautiful views of the city and Table Mountain. The fabulous restaurants of Kloof Street are just a short walk away.
Where to stay for families
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfron It is an excellent base for families. It is safe, easy to walk and is located near Two Oceans Aquarium.
A five minute walk along the waterfront from this bustling tourist hub, Lawhill Luxury Apartments offers bright, modern one, two and three bedroom apartments with fully equipped kitchens and washing machines and dryers. The apartments have a balcony or patio overlooking the harbor or the neighboring One & Only hotel. Some have private plunge pools, but all guests can splash around in the property’s five pools. The V&A Marina Waterfront nearby offers more dated apartment-style accommodations at a mid-range price.
For a more tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle of the water, the elegant More Quarters Hotel is a boutique hotel with family-friendly one and two-bedroom apartments and the 4-bedroom Redcliffe House with its own pool. Children receive a crayon and pictures to color on arrival, and the rooms are stocked with age-appropriate toys and books. The hotel is within walking distance of restaurants and shops. You can hop aboard the hotel’s free shuttle to the waterfront.
Where to stay near the beach
If you want to stay on the beach but still want easy access to Cape Town’s best tourist attractions, chic Camps Bay , about a 15-minute drive to the center and waterfront, is a convenient base.
Beach bags full of towels and games await in the rooms at the stylish POD Camps Bay, a boutique hotel about five minutes’ walk from Camps Bay Beach. You can enjoy the sea view from the hotel’s swimming pool. Prices include breakfast, parking and in-room snacks and drinks. Rooms with mountain and beach balconies are best.
South Beach Camps Bay is just steps from the beach and has two sparkling pools. It is housed in a fresh, modern building with dreamy sea views. Each apartment’s fully equipped kitchens include free breakfast ingredients and drinks. Fresh bread and croissants are delivered to your door daily. You can work off all that eating with free use of the gym, bikes and other exercise equipment.
On the quiet side of Camps Bay beach, just 20 meters from the sand, the Primi Seacastle Guest House is a bright and cheerful bed and breakfast with ten individually decorated rooms. Some have beautiful sea views, but stairs connect many of the common areas, making this a better choice for guests without mobility issues.