Destination: South Africa: Cape Town
This unpretentious luxury hotel heralded the beginning of Camps Bay’s transformation from the sleepy seaside suburb of my youth to the tourist-filled cafés and restaurants that now line the waterfront. The Bay is still a lovely place to stay, set back from the bustling main road, and directly opposite one of the best beaches on the Atlantic. The rooms are airy and spacious with a relaxed, contemporary feel, and the raised pool deck has a view of the bay and the palm trees along the beach. The hotel draws a youngish clientele, and is apparently the rock-star hotel of choice, but in my experience it is a peaceful spot that offers privacy and seclusion. Rooms from $212.
Until recently, I hadn’t visited this hotel since I was a child, brought here by my parents for tea on the hotel’s sweeping grounds. But I remembered the verdant tranquility of this hotel, somewhat off the beaten track in upscale Constantia, which is home to a large British expat community and several wine estates, just twenty minutes from the city center. The Cellars, in fact, are part of the 18th-century Klaasenbosch wine estate, and the former Hohenort manor house constitutes the main part of the hotel. The guest rooms have an English-country feel, with huge beds and antique dressers, and many have marvelous views of the Constantia Valley. One of the two restaurants on the property, the Greenhouse, has an excellent reputation for modern South African fare. There is also a spa, tennis court, putting green and three pools. Rooms from $430.
Editor’s note: I stayed here more than a decade ago now, but it was a gorgeous Relais & Chateaux property with the kind of charm and cosseting that you might find at one of the best inns in Provence or the Cotswolds. Close enough to Cape Town for easy access but removed enough to feel like a true wine country retreat. -M.B.B.
Located in Fresnaye, the coveted residential suburb just beyond Sea Point, this luxurious guesthouse boasts ten grandly proportioned and beautifully decorated guest rooms and garden suites in the main house, and another ten in a villa up the road. A terrace overlooks a garden and a large pool. Rooms from $113.
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