The long history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscape are what make Cape Town a top travel destination. There’s ample to do and see in Cape Town — from antique shopping to beach strolling. If you’re looking to plan a posh vacation to Cape Town, there are a few hotels that are a cut above the rest; we’ve slept in the beds, sampled the food, and relaxed in the spas, all to see how they compare. Take a look at our expert picks for the best luxury hotels in Cape Town.
The POD Camps Bay is a 15-room luxury hotel with a chic, minimalist style employing natural wood, gray stone, and glass. Set in an upscale residential area a few minutes' walk from Camps Bay Beach, the property is a 10-minute drive from the center of Cape Town. Rooms have a natural aesthetic and views of the beach or mountains; most have balconies, and some have private pools. The rooftop pool has ocean views, and there's a bar offering poolside drink service. Breakfast is free and includes daily specials, and minibars are restocked daily with free goodies. This eco-friendly hotel draws younger couples, and is a more modern alternative to the area's Victorian-style B&Bs.
The One&Only Cape Town isn't the only five-pearl hotel on the waterfront, but it may be the most jaw-dropping in terms of amenities and price. It has two acclaimed restaurants with celebrity buzz, Nobu and Reuben's, with the latter treating guests to a free breakfast every morning. Guest rooms are enormous with all the expected bells and whistles, including Nespresso machines and fantastic views of the marina or Table Mountain. The hotel also has suites and a vast spa on a private island that extends out into the waterway.
The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is a 70-room luxury property with incredible views of both the Atlantic Ocean and its namesake mountain range. While set in a 1920s-era gabled farmhouse on a secluded stretch of Victoria Road, the property is within a short drive of central Cape Town and beaches. Guest rooms have balconies and are nicely decorated with understated colors and patterns. There are two restaurants, including one with a lauded wine list, and a bar with plenty of cognacs and ports. The hotel also has two pools, including one with ocean views, a spa with mountaintop gazebo treatment rooms, and a small theater showing classic and new movies.
One of Cape Town's better-known luxury properties, The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel attracts leisure and business travelers alike with its large number of features and elegant ambiance. There are 201 rooms and suites here, all of which feature classical decor, huge bathrooms, and modern features such as free Wi-Fi and big flat-screen TVs. Some suites also have balconies with gorgeous views of the nearby Table Mountain. Amenities include a pool, luxury spa, gym, and two heated outdoor pools, and the on-site fine-dining restaurant, Planet Restaurant and Bar, serves a varied menu of continental fare. While it has an upscale feel, families are welcome; there are even kids' and teen clubs.
A luxury hotel designed to look like a Parisian landmark, the Cape Royale has all the hallmarks of a luxury experience. For an advertised five-star property, however, the spa and fitness center are not quite up to spec and the pool -- while lovely -- is small. The restaurant serves an interesting menu at reasonable prices, but the Wi-Fi and parking fees can add up. The beautiful, contemporary rooms are all suites designed like luxury apartments, but basics such as utensils and dish soap must be requested from a potentially overwhelmed reception staff.
The 329-room Table Bay Hotel is an elegant but practical property that's popular with both business travelers and tourists, owing partially to its convenient location on Cape Town's waterfront. Rooms and suites are simple but elegant, with classic decor and opulent marble bathrooms; some find the look a bit tired, however. Standout features include a free breakfast buffet with around 150 items and a free hotel-run shuttle that ferries guests to various points of interest around town. The hotel also has a pool, small fitness center, bars, and a restaurant, as well as multiple meeting rooms and a business center with private offices.
This Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town is a 177-room luxury hotel with a smart, contemporary vibe and prime setting overlooking the sea. There's not much in the immediate vicinity, but the V&A Waterfront tourist hub is walkable or accessible via a free shuttle. Facilities and service are good, though not perfect, and the pool is a little small -- though views are superb. Ocean vistas from rooms are impressive too, though you have to upgrade for the privilege. Rates unsurprisingly aren't cheap for this high-end hotel and without a sea-view room it might feel too steep, so consider a Superior Room or higher for the full experience.