A Luxury Guide to Cape Town
With its Table Mountain backdrop, Cape Dutch architecture and dramatic Atlantic coastline, Cape Town is one of the world’s most enthralling cities. African cultures and historic neighbourhoods rub shoulders with luxury hotels and vibrant restaurants. Meanwhile, nature and opportunities to explore the great outdoors abound. It’s clear to see why discerning travellers are lured to The Mother City.
Sights & Culture
Walking Tours of Bo-Kaap, formerly known as the Cape Malay Quarter, offer a fascinating insight into South Africa’s multi-cultural population and take visitors through the area’s rainbow-coloured houses and charming cobbled streets.
Luxury Helicopter tours are a fantastic way to gain a sense of Cape Town’s topography with a bird’s eye views over The Twelve Apostles, Lion Head and UNESCO-recognised Table Mountain. Flights depart from Cape Town International Airport, the City Helipad and the V&A Helipad. Routes can include whale watching in Hermanus, picnics in the scenic Winelands and a safari in a Little Karoo nature reserve to see the Big Five.
The V&A Waterfront is a hub of activity and presents the perfect opportunity to soak up Cape Town’s buzzy vibe. Yachts and tall ships fill the marina; seals play in the harbour and buskers and street performers entertain passers-by.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is the largest of its kind in South Africa and is an oasis of native plantlife. It hosts various yoga and art events and live concerts during the summer. The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra joins its list of high profile performers.
The V&A Waterfront is a premier shopping destination with everything from traditional African markets to designer brands. Interesting art shops and boutique brands are found in The Alfred Mall, with personal shopping services also available.
The vast Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre offers high street shopping, specialty shops and a precinct dedicated to top designers such as Gucci and Versace. The Watershed is a vibrant market that houses artisan designers such as Chapel and Ballo.
Kloof Street and Long Street are hotspots for local designers and vintage fashion, with
a handful of chic eateries conveniently located here.
The Woodstock Foundry pulls in the fashionable crowds for boutique fashion and furniture stores such as Vogel and Indigi Designs. Work by cutting edge sculptors such as Stanislaw Trzebinski can sometimes be found alongside esteemed galleries such as Bronze Age.
The well-heeled town of Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands is an excellent place to explore South African art. Galleries such as is art, Sénéchal-Senekal and Ebony Created display everything from contemporary sculptures and ceramics to vibrant paintings of local life. The Stellenbosch Art Gallery, Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery (SMAC) and Cavalli Art & Events Gallery are just a few of the best in nearby Stellenbosch.
The Haas Collective is a delightful coffee shop and design space where visitors can enjoy a range of single origin coffee and peruse artistic masterpieces.
Dapper Coffee Co joins an abundance of trendy shops on Bree Street that serve stylish brunches and expertly-crafted coffee.
The Test Kitchen at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock has earned a multitude of accolades and typically has a three-month waiting list thanks to the innovative cooking by Luke Dale-Roberts.
The Pot Luck Club atop The Old Biscuit Mill is where hip Capetonians meet for tapas, craft beers and deconstructed plates that play on the tastebuds, by The Test Kitchen’s Luke Dale-Roberts and the talented Wesley Randles.
La Colombe is among South Africa’s most lauded fine dining restaurants and appears in the top 100 restaurants in the world. Its setting - at the 120-acre Silvermist Wine Estate in Constantia – is as stunning as the French inspired food.
Foxcroft is the newest venture by La Colombe’s chef Scot Kirton and offers a laid-back yet stylish dining experience, featuring locally sourced ingredients.
Bars & Nightlife
Asoka occupies prime position at the top of trendy Kloof Street. The olive tree that occupies a segment of the room provides a unique setting for sipping on Moksha Martinis.
The Orphanage Cocktail Emporium is a speakeasy style bar on Bree Street where elegant crowds come for inventive artisan cocktails and elixirs.
Zenzero serves a selection of drinks – including grappa - alongside Italian dishes and seafood. Come sunset, it overflows with people admiring Camps Bay’s pink skies.
Tobago’s Bar & Terrace at The Radisson Blu in Mouille Point is a relaxing place to enjoy cosmos and waterfront views.
Bascule, at the Cape Grace Hotel offers extensive wine and spirits menu, whisky tastings and Méthode Cap Classique cocktails enjoyed from Chesterfield-style armchairs.
The Twelve Apostles Hotel is among Cape Town’s most illustrious hotels thanks to sensational views over the Atlantic Ocean and Twelve Apostles Mountain range. Highlights include holistic aromatherapy massages in their mountain gazebos.
The One and Only Hotel boasts an exceptional spa and wide selection of elegant guest rooms including the prestigious Table Mountain Suite which, as the name suggests, boasts breathtaking views. For a touch of glamour, The One Above - their two-storey penthouse – is set to impress.
The Taj is a wonderfully classic hotel from the eponymous Indian hotel group and is perfectly placed in Cape Town’s city centre, a stone’s throw from The Company’s Garden.
South Beach comprises nine Art Deco style suites that would fit right in on Miami Beach and offer a stylish stay in fashionable Camps Bay.
Atlantic View Cape Town Boutique Hotel is a favourite amongst romantics and exudes a boutique feel. Guests can expect personalised rooms with ocean-facing balconies, luxury finishes and stylish hors-d’ouvres.
The Marly is a chic 11-suite boutique hotel named after Chateau de Marly, the 17th Century residence owned by Louis XIV. It’s cool and contemporary with bath-butler service and other five-star frills.
The Cape View Clifton offers a collection of gorgeous colonial-style rooms and apartments with awe-inspiring coastal views.
The Leeu Estates blends Cape Dutch architecture with a contemporary twist and guests are encouraged to sample the award-winning Mullineux & Leeu Family wines from their onsite wine studio. British chef Oliver Cattermole impresses with Cape-inspired dining. At sister property - Le Quartier Français - the team behind La Colombe will soon take the helm.
Babylonstoren is a chic farm hotel set against a staggering Simonsberg backdrop. Suites and cottages boast original gables and fireplaces with Victorian-inspired bathrooms. Babel restaurant serves ravishing plates of farm-to-table cuisine.
The Delaire Graff Estate boasts a small collection of deluxe lodges, a spa and two Relais & Chateaux-recognised restaurants that amaze diners with their artistic dining. Guests can expect delicious wines and crisp Sunrise Brut, with irresistible Simonsberg Mountain views.
Groot Constantia, the oldest wine estate, dates back to the 17th Century and offers cellar tours and opportunities to discover wine-making traditions. The Alphen offers a quirky boutique stay in the heart of Constantia and the Nova Constantia offers a fine collection of five star suites, villas and apartments.