Hotels of the week: Cape Town

As it’s the first day of the World Cup, I thought it was only right to kick off the first of my “hotels of the week” series with the beautiful city of Cape Town.

I’ve chosen three hotels that cover a range of budgets, all of which I think are ideal for honeymoon stays, dependant, of course, on what you’re looking for.

Cape Town’s spectacular coastal location means that you’re rather spoilt for choice when it comes to places to stay. On this occasion, however, I’ve focused on more central hotels – perfect if it’s your first time in the city, and with the benefit of having a whole host of bars and restaurants right on your doorstep.

Parker Cottage

This is a real find, and just goes to prove that if you’re on a budget you don’t have to sacrifice luxury and comfort. Parker Cottage has just seven rooms and is set in one of Cape Town’s gorgeous heritage buildings in leafy Tamboerskloof, just a stone’s throw from lively Kloof and Long streets.

The rooms are bright and airy – even the “cosy rooms”, the smallest options, appear to be flooded with natural light during the day – and are decorated in a way that perfectly reflects the history of the building, without making them too old-fashioned.

Von Veh (above) would have to be my favourite of the rooms – the quirky four-poster bed is just the kind of romantic feature you want from a honeymoon room, and the bathroom boasts a lovely claw foot bath. At the cheaper end of the scale, the charming Koi Pond Room benefits from a garden view.

What I love about this place is the attention to detail, and the little touches – breakfast served on the verandah, evening drinks in the lounge – that elevate it from being somewhere nice to somewhere really  special.

Rates start from £69.

The Grand Daddy

If you want to be in the thick of things, then Long Street is a great place to stay. With an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and bars, it’s one of Cape Town’s liveliest streets. The Grand Daddys rather imposing exterior belies its contemporary, playful interior – rooms are modern and elegant, with a definite nod to South African style.

For something really quirky, however, pick one of the trailers, situated in the “Airstream Penthouse Trailer Park”, where you can also enjoy fantastic views of the city from the adjacent roof-top bar. Each trailer is themed – from the 1950s-style “Pleasantville” to the unabashedly pink “Love of Lace”. The best, in my opinion, is “Afro-Funk” (see below), which combines 1960s style and African fabrics with surprising aplomb.

Despite all of Cape Town’s hotels, there aren’t many places that have the energy and youthfulness that the Grand Daddy does – if you’re looking for something that is a bit different, and is stumbling distance from countless bars and restaurants* (not to mention a fabulously cool one on-site), then this is a fantastic choice.

Rates start from £133.

Mount Nelson Hotel

There’s something rather magical about walking up the drive to this beautiful old pink building with Table Mountain in the distance, so picturesque that you could almost be fooled into thinking it was a backdrop. The grande dame of Cape Town hotels, Mount Nelson exudes exactly the kind of old-world glamour that you would expect from somewhere owned by Orient-Express.

The lush grounds are a real bonus, especially for somewhere this central, and it’d be hard to drag yourself away from the swimming pool – except perhaps to check out the spa.

The rooms have been decorated in a rather classic style – though modern touches stop them from being too fussy. If you can really push the boat out, go for one of the Garden Cottage Suites (below), housed in restored historic cottages and boasting four-poster beds, mini-libraries and their own private rose gardens.

Of course, luxury like this doesn’t come cheap – this is a definite blow-out option. However, the hotel’s afternoon tea has been called one of the best in the world – we tried it out last year and can definitely attest to that fact – so even if you can’t stretch to a room here, you can soak up the ambience by sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the gorgeous conservatory. It’s also worth considering that often a travel agent will have access to better rates with luxury hotels than you could get from the hotel’s own website.

Rates start from £291.

*including our favourite Cape Town find, Boo Radley’s. Think New York meets Paris, with an effortlessly stylish monochrome dining room and bar, fabulous cocktails, brilliant staff and melt-in-the-mouth steaks.

Photos 2 and 3 courtesy of Parker Cottage; Photos 4 and 5 courtesy of The Grand Daddy; Photos 6 and 7 courtesy of Orient Express Images.

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