Dorp Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa

Dorp Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa

Is this the most beautiful hotel in the world? Check in to this grand dame boutique for an unforgettable stay in the Cape Townian hills

perched at the top of Signal Hill in Cape Town’s sleepy
Bo-Kaap neighbourhood, this exquisite boutique property might just
be the international hotel circuit’s best kept secret. Masterminded
by the late Gail Behr, an artist, fashion designer and all-round
creative maverick, the hotel fuses Georgian elegance with quirky
eccentricity in a way that defies categorisation. As travel editors
we’ve been lucky enough to stay in all kinds of hotels – we’ve yet
to find one that matches up to Dorp’s unparalelled style and

Set across a compound of classic Georgian buildings, the hotel
is split into two wings – Dorp and Onderdorp. We stayed in the
latter, reached by a series of outdoor steps that lead down the
hill through Dorp’s beautifully wild courtyard garden. Here you’ll
find a cluster of whitewashed buildings – many of which with their
own private pool – with a games room, beauty parlour and shop. At
Palm House, Onderdorp’s beautifully bohemian lounge and dining
room, antiques that could have been plucked straight from a French
flea market fill the cosy space, with long, family-sized wooden
dining tables, seagrass rugs, button-back armchairs and
sinkably-soft oatmeal sofas providing the perfect setting for a
lazy afternoon. We wouldn’t blame you for spending your entire stay
ensconced in one of its cosy corners.


No detail is spared across Dorp’s fairytale-like bedrooms. We
stayed in one of Onderdorp’s Kitchen Rooms, a self-catering suite
where you can climb straight into a shared plunge pool from your
terrace. Characterful touches like recycled honey tubes that double
as containers for shampoo and conditioner, a pin board sporting
little notes like “check your privilege” on the wall and a “Behr
Necessities” tin complete with all those easily-forgotten
essentials (paracetamol, plasters, notepad and pen) only add to the
hotel’s charm.

Walls are a calming blush-pink colour, offset by intricately
detailed patterned quilts, a huge, trough-like metal bathtub and
cream Smeg fridge and oven, with bean bags and hammocks in the
courtyard outside for uninterrupted sunbathing, to the quiet
soundtrack of trilling birds.

Food and drink

All Onderdorp rooms come with a light breakfast served in the
Games Room, although – thanks to the rooms’ self-catering – your
own homemade breakfast in bed is equally on the menu.

For lunch and dinner, The Salon – the main dining room at Dorp
where all meals are served – is a plant-filled utopia, with
floor-to-ceiling arched glass windows that look out onto killer
views of Table Mountain and the city skyline. On the menu you’ll
find unpretentious, simple home-style dishes cooked to perfection –
the twice-baked cheese soufflé and Dorp House salad were our

Is there anything else I should know?

Don’t miss the hotel’s boutique shop – a homewares haven selling
many goods found across the hotel, including the gorgeous linen
bathrobes that hang in every bathroom. Take the Wes
Anderson-inspired lift up to the second floor for more unique
finds, including clothing from Homework – Behr’s own bespoke
fashion line.

The neighbourhood of Bo Kaap is a devout Muslim community – with
this in mind, no alcohol is for sale on the premises (although
guests are welcome to bring their own, and there is complimentary
wine in all rooms). If you’re a light sleeper, bring earplugs to
avoid being woken by the early morning call to prayer.

The Lowdown

Rooms from £195.