Best hotels and hostels in Free State

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Eastern Highlands & Southern Free State

    Cranberry Cottage

    The best place to sleep in Ladybrand (and one of the best in Free State) is this rambling stone guesthouse. Spacious rooms have a touch of luxury and the feel of nature. A foliage-decked garden, a grapevine-covered patio and lovely swimming pool, a cosy dining room with crackling log fire and an old-time polished-wood bar all await. Cranberry also offers cheaper self-catering options down the road.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Bloemfontein

    De Akker Guest House

    This stylish offering in a central location has 15 rooms, including some with sink-in-and-smile king beds, and both baths and showers in attached en suites. It’s very friendly and is popular with visiting cricket teams, so book ahead in summer. Breakfast is R70.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Eastern Highlands & Southern Free State

    Fisant Bokmakierie & Hoephoep Guest House

    Amid magnificent bird-attracting gardens are rooms and some luxurious self-catering chalets in three combined guesthouses. The rooms are beautifully appointed and very spacious, some with small kitchens and patios in an annex a couple of minutes' drive away. Rooms combine modern facilities such as power showers with classic polished-wood furniture and sumptuous bedding. It's very friendly, has good security and is well signposted .

  • Lodging in Eastern Highlands & Southern Free State

    Tigress Julie Lodge

    Opened in 2017 to visitors, the two-room lodge at Tiger Canyon is spacious, lavish and tastefully adorned with big cat art. Quarters include king beds and massive windows overlooking a scenic gorge which tigers occasionally strut through. There's also a dining room where delicious and inventive meals, often involving game meats, are taken. Transfers between Bloemfontein Airport and Philippolis (R7000), and Philippolis and Tiger Canyons (R1000) can be arranged.

  • Lodging in Eastern Highlands & Southern Free State

    Karma Backpackers

    Located in Kestell, a small maize-farming village on Rte 57 about 26km north of Phuthaditjhaba, Karma Backpackers is a peaceful, cosy place. The friendly hosts have lots of first-hand knowledge on regional hikes and good regional maps, and there are views of Sentinel Peak and the Maluti Mountains from the gorgeous garden. The hostel offers delicious homemade jams and yoghurt. Excellent overnight hikes and day trips to Lesotho are also offered. Basotho guide Zee takes guests over mountain passes to San rock paintings and a remote village, where you sample local sorghum brew in a shebeen and eat lunch in a home.

  • Lodging in Eastern Highlands & Southern Free State

    Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge

    Perched at the foot of Sentinel Peak, this lodge consists of 76 well-appointed rooms and chalets, as well as an elegant dining room with giant windows overlooking the Drakensberg range. It's ideal for those aiming to pass their days with hikes to awe-inspiring rock formations and tumbling waterfalls. The property also contains a 'vulture restaurant,' where a bearded vulture (or three) comes each day at around 8am to pick up breakfast (cow bone marrow).

  • Lodging in Bloemfontein

    Hobbit Boutique Hotel

    This charming Victorian guesthouse, comprising two 1921 houses, is popular with visiting dignitaries and perfect for literati and romantic types. The cottage-style bedrooms have painted bathtubs, plus a couple of teddy bears apiece. The reading room has a chess table, and a local Tolkien society used to meet here to discuss all things JRR. Check out the pub and lovely outdoor patio. On winter nights, there’s a turn-down service with sherry and chocolate.

  • Lodging in Eastern Highlands & Southern Free State

    Hotel Oranjehof

    Serving up beers since the mid 1800s, this historic hotel and bar is brimming with antique furnishing, glistening hardwood and old-timey adornments. Its three chalets offer en suite bathrooms, and a wing of smaller rooms that were neglected by a previous owner are being refurbished by the new one. The long, wide bar is a main draw, and it even has a trough at its base. In the 1800s men used to pee in this rather than getting up to use the toilet.

  • Lodging in Bloemfontein

    Odessa Guesthouse

    For Ukrainian hospitality in the Free State, check out Odessa. The multilingual (Russian, Ukrainian and Afrikaans are spoken along with English) guesthouse has a good rep for its home-away-from-home vibe and friendly hosts. Set in a quiet suburb just off the N1 (take the Nelson Mandela turn-off, towards the city), its rooms are simple but spotless. Breakfast in bed can be arranged.

  • Lodging in Eastern Highlands & Southern Free State

    Camelroc Guest Farm

    About 11km outside Fouriesburg, and just 800m from the Lesotho border, Camelroc sits in a spectacular location against a camel-shaped sandstone outcrop, with fine views over the Maluti Mountains. It’s a great rustic retreat, offering en-suite rooms in the farmhouse hut and fully equipped chalets that range in size and style. Good hiking, mountain-biking and 4WD trails are nearby.

  • Lodging in Northern Free State

    Arcadia Guesthouse

    This smart, four-star guesthouse with classically elegant rooms is in the middle of a large garden scattered with faux-Greek statues. It’s in a peaceful spot on the edge of town, and you’ll need a car to get here (it’s near the entrance to the N1 – follow the signs in town). There's a good restaurant open to the public by reservation (5pm to 9pm Monday to Friday).

  • Lodging in Eastern Highlands & Southern Free State

    Forever Resorts Gariep

    Families will live it up at this pleasant, activity-oriented resort, where amenities include a swimming pool, minigolf course, volleyball court and trampolines. The layout of the well-appointed, 30-plus chalets allows for excellent views of the water, and the manicured grounds offer comfortable camping. There's a decent on-site restaurant as well.

  • Lodging in Eastern Highlands & Southern Free State

    Golden Gate Hotel & Chalets

    In the heart of the park, this stately old lodge with great mountain views offers self-catering chalets and upmarket rooms. Several years ago it underwent an extensive renovation adding more rooms (decorated as African seasons) and modern interiors, and the chalets are due to be updated in 2018. There's also a restaurant, bar and coffee shop.

  • Lodging in Eastern Highlands & Southern Free State

    Platberg Harrismith Backpackers

    This well-run place with safe parking has three dorm rooms, a double and two family units, all in good shape. You can use the braai (barbecue) outside, and there are great views of Platberg Mountain. If you want to explore your spectacular surrounds you can grab a hiking map, and there's shuttle service to nearby hikes.

  • Lodging in Bloemfontein

    aha Bloemfontein Hotel

    Taken over by the aha chain in 2017, this hotel remains a standout mid-range option (though the price has climbed significantly). Rooms are lavish, with lovely bathrooms and super-comfy beds. Try to get an upstairs room near the back. It’s in an excellent location, too, close to the Mimosa mall and waterfront action.

  • Lodging in Bloemfontein


    Small luxuries, such as pure goose-down duvets and a stylish, rustic ambience, set this little B&B apart. There are honesty fridges in the bedrooms, and with only seven rooms there's attention to detail. Your comfort seems a priority to the owners, who will even arrange breakfast in bed. Reservations recommended.

  • Lodging in Eastern Highlands & Southern Free State

    Book House Cottage

    Lovely, spacious self-catering units in a peaceful suburb good for families and couples. The kitchens are well kitted out and the cottages have lovely views of Platberg Mountain. There's also good privacy from the owner's residence. The place is signposted from town.

  • Lodging in Bloemfontein

    Protea Hotel Willow Lake

    Part of a popular national chain, the Protea offers very stylish rooms. Plump bedding and a shower cubicle that looks like it belongs at NASA complete the experience. It's a genuine touch of luxury. Close to the Waterfront, and overlooking the zoo.

  • Lodging in Eastern Highlands & Southern Free State

    La La Nathi Country Guest House

    Just off the N3, 3km from Harrismith (towards Durban), and offering convenience, great value and traditional rondavels (round huts with conical roofs), this is a sure bet – especially if you intend to hit the highway in the morning.

  • Lodging in Bloemfontein

    Abiento Guesthouse

    A restored historic home became this guesthouse in 2017, and its character is defined by vintage French furnishings and original wooden floors and fireplaces. Rooms are cozy and relaxing, and come with an electric blanket.