Having grown up in South Africa, I was lucky enough to get to visit Cape Town on many family vacations. Our family is a bit mixed with our interests – my mom loves a good spa, my dad loves history, my brother loves anything to do with sport and I am the safari/wildlife addict! However, there is one thing we all have in common – and that is our love of good food and wine! Cape Town and the Winelands area are perfect if you are like us, with diverse interests.
If you are looking at visitingCape Townfor the first time, you will need to decide on which area you want to be in. All of the areas have their own pros and cons and there is no right or wrong place to stay – it just comes down to your personal preferences:
Where to stay along the Waterfront: Cape Grace
An area you will hear a lot about is the Waterfront, as it is the main ‘tourist’ area of Cape Town. The hotels here tend to be large and part of bigger hotel chains – ultimately it is the commercial hub of tourist Cape Town. I believe that when you travel you should stay in hotels/lodges that bring you a bit of the culture and heritage of the area, and there is only one hotel in the Waterfront that I feel really offers this – the truly wonderful 5-starCape Grace. The remainder of the properties here tend to lack the personal touch that this city is famous for.
Where to stay at Bantry Bay: The Clarendon at Bantry Bay & Ellerman House
As you move along the Atlantic seaboard – 10 minutes due south – the Waterfront turns into a charming stretch of picturesque bays and the affluent residential areas of Sea Point, Bantry Bay and Camps Bay. Sea Point had a bad reputation in the past, but this area has been cleaned up majorly since the World Cup in 2012 and is now looking great. Sea Point has a cosmopolitan vibe to it, but overall the hotels retain the commercial feel of the Waterfront and it’s rare that I use them.
Personally I love the Bantry Bay area. A good mix of hotels and outstanding guesthouses are located in an area that’s loved by the locals themselves – you can’t go wrong with that nod of approval! Bantry Bay is mostly protected from the winds that can affect parts of Cape Town. It is a popular area of the city especially in the winter months. I’ve always lovedThe Clarendon at Bantry Bayfor great-value luxury guesthouse accommodation...the views here are absolutely superb.
But this is also the home ofEllerman House– Cape Town’s most exclusive and expensive property. Ellerman is quite simply in a league of its own – a stunning boutique property with more space per guest than anywhere else in the city. Ellerman, with views to die for and a service level that’s hard to beat anywhere else in Africa (let alone Cape Town), is one of Cape Town’s most valuable pieces of real estate!
Camps Bay is the perfect area if you are looking to be directly on the beach. There is a combination of hotels, apartments and guesthouses here. I love the vibe of Camps Bay – it’s trendy and very European. Arguably, it’s slightly commercial – but walking on the beach here and going out at night is an attraction in itself.
Where to stay in the City Bowl: Four Rosmead
The last area of the city itself is the Tamboerskloof/City Bowl area. This is where you will find amazing-value guesthouses and B&Bs – the best value in the whole city. You are never more than about 10 minutes’ drive away from the top attractions, so it’s a great location in the heart of it all. To top this off, Long Street and Kloof Street, which are the main roads in the area, are filled with trendy restaurants and bars, so you never have to venture too far in the evenings to be in the thick of it! It is a great area for younger travellers and also the best area for people searching for value. I've always been a huge fan ofFour Rosmeadfor the best 'value' in the city...the best boutique property in town at a good price!
Where else should you consider staying?
Constantia is the final area to mention. Running along the back of Table Mountain Constantia is a suburb of Cape Town; an area that feels a world away from the city itself. Similar in many ways to parts of the Winelands it is a great area for travellers wanting to avoid the busy character of central town. The Vineyard, Constantia Uitsig and Steenberg are the three properties we use in the area but most of our clients choose to stay in Cape Town itself to make the most of the city, with a few days in thewinelandsbetter than options in the Constantia region.
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