Small Is Beautiful: Our Favorite Boutique Hotels In Cape Town

The boutique hotels in Cape Town are, without exception, like small, beautiful works of art. And who wouldn’t want to stay in a museum! But unlike museums, they are anything but cold and stuffy. Here we’ve picked our eight favorites, where the limited number of rooms translates to privacy, personal service and idiosyncratic design that you’ll fall in love with.

The Alphen, Constantia

The modern baroque interior of this delectable hotel is just the beginning of its appeal. Set in 11.5 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds at the foot of Wynberg Hill, the Alphen marries style, service and history. Owned by the same family for 150 years, this former wine estate offers two outstanding restaurants and a bar (the 5 Rooms is pictured above), just 19 indulgent suites (in three different sizes), and a prime location a stone’s throw from Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden and the vineyards of Constantia.

Read the full review by Karen Elowitt here.

The Last Word, Constantia

The Last Word Constantia manages to live up to its name. Rooms, which are the size of small apartments, offer features like large open showers in front of spectacular garden-scene mosaics, mini-desserts with turndown service, and 300-thread count linens. The attention to detail here really sets The Last Word apart. As can be expected of an establishment that has been a finalist in the category of Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel (World Travel Awards) for the past five years, the service is discreet and attentive. And as the photo above indicates, the setting is serene and relaxing, with lovely artistic flourishes.

Read the full review by Rebekah Kendal here.

The Bay Hotel, Camps Bay

Modern luxury meets fabulous design at The Bay Hotel. Located at the center of the action on the main Camps Bay strip, the too-cool-for-school vibe and hot decor attract a decidedly hip crowd. Whether you get an oceanfront room or one with a view of the mountains, you’ll have little to complain about in terms of scenery. For those looking to soak up the Cape Town sun and watch the parade of beautiful people, there’s not one, but four pools overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. (There are no little kids running around to harsh your mellow, as the hotel only allows children over the age of eight.) The restaurant’s hotel, The Tides, is also top notch and one of the best in Cape Town. The hotel gets super-busy during the summer, when beach-goers from around South Africa and beyond turn it into one of the happening-est hubs in the city.

Read the full review by Dana Sanchez here.

The Marly Hotel, Camps Bay

Also on the Camps Bay strip and adjacent to The Bay hotel, The Marly is equally hip but offers a different type of experience. With just 12 rooms tucked into the second floor of the Promenade complex, The Marly is all about privacy, comfort, and service. The light, bright rooms are minimalist but plush, accented with unique colors and fixtures. It’s hard to choose between the ocean view rooms or the mountain view rooms, because both offer different but equally breathtaking experiences. (Our recommendation: Try one side on your first stay, and the other on your second.) If you just want to stay in your room the whole time, we’ll understand — and don’t worry, you can order room service from any of the four restaurants in the complex. When you’re ready to emerge, sit by the small but gorgeous pool and watch the party below, from the deck.

POD Camps Bay

Like the other two Camps Bay boutiques, POD features breathtaking views of the ocean with the Twelve Apostles as a backdrop. There are only 17 rooms here, allowing the staff to pamper travelers with five-star service and an extremely high attention to detail. The rooms feature ultra-modern, open-plan design, and have bathrooms and showers that seamlessly blend into the rest of the room. The ocean-facing pool offers comfy lounge chairs that are perfect for taking a snooze in the warm summer sun. The bar is also top notch, and serves up some of the best cocktails in the city. You’ll find it busy in the evening with people hanging out before they waltz over to hip nightlife spots in the area.

Read the full review by Joe Kennedy here.

Tintswalo Atlantic, Hout Bay

Literally tucked into the bottom a cliff near Hout Bay, getting to Tinswalo involves a shuttle down a long, winding road, and possible motion sickness. But the payoff is a swank, secluded experience where you are literally surrounded by the sea and swaddled in luxury, from the food to the service to the linens. Despite its upscale appeal, Tintswalo is anything but snooty. The staff are informal and friendly, and after it was partly demolished in a fire in 2015, it was rebuilt and redesigned with whimsical touches like seashell-fringed fittings and carved wooden doors.

Read the hotel review by Kate Liquorish here.

Read the restaurant review by Becca Blond here.

15 On Orange

Courtesy of African Pride Hotels

African Pride 15 On Orange Hotel

This classy hotel gives you the rare combination of big-hotel ease and boutique-hotel good looks. Set on the edge of the city centre, 15 on Orange dishes up stylish and modern accommodation at surprisingly good value. Plus, there’s a rooftop pool and on-site spa that are musts to check out. Suites on the south side of the hotel offer views of Table Mountain that are so gobsmacking you won’t want to drag yourself out of the lounge chairs facing the floor to ceiling picture windows. At sunset, the views get even better. The hotel’s Murano Bar is a great spot for a signature cocktail before hitting the town, and you’ll find a young, hip crowd hanging out most of the time. If you don’t want to hang around the hotel during your stay, some of the city’s best restaurants are right at the doorstep.

Read the full review by Richard Holmes here.

the dock house hotel cape town

Courtesy of Newmark Hotels

The Dock House, V&A Waterfront

The Dock House, which oozes class and style, is a great alternative to the larger hotels on the waterfront. It has only one suite (with a private garden) and five rooms in a charming double-story heritage house adorned with 19th century columns, balustrades and French doors. Cavernous high-ceilinged rooms feature understated elegant furnishings with a modern Victorian look. Request a top-floor room facing the waterfront for the best views. The hotel’s lawn, pool and outdoor bar area are literally meters away from the waterfront: walk out the garden gate, cross the road, and you’re there. You can watch all the action from a poolside lounger.

Read the full review by Sarah Duff here.

Related content on AFKTravel:

The 6 Most Stylish Hotels In Cape Town

15 Fabulous Luxury Cape Town Hotels to Visit in 2016

The Best Boutique Hotels In Durban

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