City Guide: Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town: a breathtaking city of creativity, surprises and new beginnings. This is an urban jungle like no other. From the skater boys at Sea Point and Long Street's partygoers to the Stellenbosch winemakers and the businesspeople in Gardens, the carefree notion of coastal living and the determined drive of a bustling capital work hand in hand.

A typical commute is accompanied by stunning, panoramic views of the iconic Table Mountain, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Though locals may take it for granted, there's little surprise that it is a popular backdrop for blockbuster films.

There is a glow of excitement that surrounds the mother city. Although South Africa is a country steeped in a history of struggle and turmoil, its warm, friendly people use this as a reason to strive for total modern upheaval. With something to do at each hour of the day or night, every city street offers restaurants, bars and venues of all kinds, providing a plethora of new and unique cultural experiences for all tastes, whether local or foreign.

Whether this is a first visit or a trip to a home from home, Cape Town is like an untamed lioness; you can't keep her down for long.

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The Last Word, Long Beach

Cape Town, South Africa

This intimate hotel with mountain and sea views is a charming outpost worth the additional taxi charge. Far enough out of the city to escape but close enough for sightseeing, The Last Word is surrounded by bleached sands and bathed in sunshine; its vibe is island getaway. With only five double suites, it offers a tranquil and personalised stay.

Address

1 Kirsten Road Kommetjie 7975

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Ellerman House

Cape Town, South Africa

Seated on the slopes of Lion’s Head with an incredible city and sea view, it is a boutique hotel with a history entangled with the ocean.

Address

180 Kloof Road Bantry Bay 8005

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POD

Cape Town, South Africa

Situated in the affluent and scenic area of Camps Bay, POD juxtaposes modern architecture with natural beauty.

Address

3 Argyle St Camps Bay 8005

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Mount Nelson Hotel

Cape Town, South Africa

The oldest hotel in Cape Town has a colonial feel, with exemplary service and the best afternoon tea in town.

Address

76 Orange Street Gardens 8001

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Cape Cadogan

Cape Town, South Africa

A lovely 15-room boutique hotel just off Kloof Street, Cape Cadogan is set inside a Georgian property and also happens to be a national monument.

Address

5 Upper Union St Gardens, 8001, Cape Town

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Cape Grace

Cape Town, South Africa

Inspired by its nautical heritage, Cape Grace has a home-away-from-home feel, each floor representing different moods in their varied colour schemes with bedrooms inspired by deep-sea voyages.

Address

West Quay Road Victoria & Alfred Waterfront 8001

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The One & Only

Cape Town, South Africa

Sitting close to the waterfront and overlooking Table Mountain, The One & Only has an uber-luxurious feel, with individual islands making up sections of the hotel.

Address

Dock Road, 8001, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town

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The Cellars - Hohenhort

Cape Town, South Africa

Cellars reminded us of an English countryside getaway, complete with fireplaces and pastel interiors, and made for a relaxing stay, outside the centre swaddled in vineyards.

Address

93 Brommersvlei Road Constantia 7800

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The Silo

This residents-only rooftop pool is plotted at the apex of some seriously sought-after real estate. Brutalist is the aesthetic here. Grab a bean bag a suitable distance from the stylish (but hazardous) cacti, order some lunch to your sun lounger and chill out.

Address

Silo Square V&A Waterfront 8001 Cape Town South Africa

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Robertson Small Hotel

This hotel is set in Robertson Valley in the winelands just a few hours outside of Cape Town. Although I am a little biased – Studio Ashby did the interiors – the project ensure that refurbishment were completed by 100% African makers, artisans and designers. A very special spot, it’s full of stories and memories from a time when I was lucky enough to go back to my homeland regularly and soak up some contemporary African art and design in the process.

Address

58 Van Reenen Street, 6705 Robertson

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Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

This formidable madam among Cape Town’s colonial-inspired hotels is more widely known for its jaw-dropping afternoon tea – put the pastries down, however, and you’ll discover an altogether more mindful foodie offering. Mount Nelson is one of a handful of Cape Town properties collaborating with Abalimi Bezekhaya, a programme that provides township residents with the tools to grow and sell their own produce. Mount Nelson offers Harvest of Hope tours to the community farm run by Ma Kaba, where guests can hear her story before picking their own fruit and vegetables from her gardens – upon their return, the hotel’s top chefs fashion it into a sumptuous, bespoke salad.

Address

76 Orange St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa