From five-star pamper palaces and designer-chic guesthouses to creatively imagined backpackers, Cape Town's stock of sleeping options caters to all wallets. Choose your base carefully depending on your priorities – not everywhere is close to a beach or major sights.
Reserve well in advance, especially if visiting during school holidays (from mid-December to the end of January); most places slash their rates in the quiet winter season from May to October.
Rates usually include VAT of 14% and, often, the 1% tourism promotion levy. Check whether secure parking is included in your hotel rate, otherwise you could be charged anything up to R150 extra per day to park your car.
As always, you get what you pay for, but you may be pleasantly surprised at the quality of what you get. Among the few things to watch out for are the following:
- Internet access Wi-fi is common and often complimentary, but service may be slow, unsecure and with download limits; if you need a reliable connection, make detailed enquiries beforehand and check additional costs carefully.
- Swimming pools Often more accurately described as plunge pools, particularly when found in guesthouses, though some top hotels have tiny pools, too.
- Secure parking Not everywhere has it; some places that do, particularly in the City Bowl area, will slap on an extra daily charge of anything up to R150.
If there’s somewhere you particularly want to stay, make reservations well in advance, especially if visiting during school holidays (from mid-December to the end of January and at Easter). The best budget stays especially fill up quickly.
Self-Catering & Serviced Apartments
For longer-term stays, a self-catering or serviced apartment or villa can be a good deal. Reliable agencies include the following:
African Elite Properties Agency handling rental of luxury apartments atop the Cape Quarter.
Cape Stay (www.capestay.co.za) Accommodation across the Cape.
De Waterkant Cottages Classy villas and apartments in De Waterkant, sleeping from two to eight people.
In Awe Stays Stylish studios and cottages in Gardens and Fresnaye, with doubles from R1600.
Village & Life Focused mainly on properties in De Waterkant and Camps Bay.
Sleeping in Table Mountain National Park
Private camping is banned here, but Table Mountain National Park does have places to stay.
Partly constructed from materials gathered from the park – so as to blend with nature – these camps are made up of canvas, army-camp type tents, protected by wooden structures and housing comfortable beds. The bathroom facilities at all are excellent, as are the fully equipped communal kitchen and braai (barbecue) areas. You can drive to within relatively easy hiking reach of each. Bring your own bedding and towels.
Bookings can be made online (www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain) or by phone (021-428 9111).
- Orange Kloof Perhaps the best, tucked away in a beautiful area near Constantia Nek and providing direct access to the last strand of Afromontane forest in the park.
- Slangkop Near the lighthouse at Kommetjie, beneath a forest of rare, indigenous milkwood trees and decorated with the bones of a whale that washed up on the beach in 2006.
- Smitswinkel The only camp to offer en suite bathrooms in its tents, this location is steps from the entrance to the Cape of Good Hope section of the park. Note that it does get windy here.
Need to Know
Online booking discounts are often available, particularly for longer stays, with rates dropping by anything up to 50% from May to October (during the slow winter season).
Available at most places.
If a hotel is within easy walking distance of a MyCiTi bus stop or a train station, details are listed.
Check-in & Check-out Times
Check-in: after 3pm
Check-out: before noon
Most accommodation prices in Cape Town includes breakfast, although this can vary from simple toast and coffee or tea to a full-range buffet.
Tip housekeeping staff around R50 per night.