Accommodations don't come cheap in Cape Town. The closer to the beach, the more you pay. Best bets are City Bowl guesthouses, which are cute, pleasant, and well-priced. Rates exclude 14% VAT. and 1% Tourism Levy. Breakfast included, unless otherwise indicated.
CITY An African Villa
19 Carstens St., Tamboerskloof, 011-27/21-423-2162, capetowncity.co.za/villa
Wall-mounted Zulu hats and giant proteas adorn the 12-room Afro-Zen guesthouse with colorful, comfortable rooms. There's a splash pool, and A/C in all rooms. From $100. CITY De Tafelberg Guesthouse 68 Molteno Rd., Oranjezicht, 011-27/21-424-9159, detafelberg.com A well-appointed guesthouse suspended above the city on the upper slopes of Table Mountain. Earthy African tones, platform beds, and stone basins inside; pristine pool and Jacuzzi outside. Breakfast is served on the outdoor deck. Amazing views. From $114.
CITY Dunkley House
3b Gordon St., Gardens, 011-27/21-462-7650, dunkleyhouse.com
A small guesthouse that's a hidden haven in a gentrified neighborhood of narrow one-way streets and Victorian homes. The decor is classic with art deco details. Homemade cookies and fresh fruit are delivered to rooms daily. There's a big pool, too. From $114, includes full breakfast and taxes.
CITY Metropole Hotel
38 Long St., 011-27/21-424-7247, metropolehotel.co.za
Cape Town's first inner-city boutique hotel, and its sleekest. Chic lighting and minimalist luxury reign in what was once a dumpy hotel. The handsome rooms feature neutral tones and dark furniture. The white-on-white Veranda restaurant serves modern South African dishes like seared shrimp with watermelon and chili, and the red-hot M-Bar pours stiff drinks. Both attract a well-heeled crowd. From $162 in low season, $211 in high season.
CITY Table Mountain Lodge
10A Tamboerskloof Rd., Tamboerskloof, 011-27/21-423-0042, tablemountainlodge.co.za
Once a farmhouse, the blue-and-white lodge built in 1885 has antique furniture and modern bathrooms. The kitschy Scottish bar has tartan-covered stools. Its plunge pool and lovely veranda are surrounded by a slightly overgrown Cape garden with yellow hibiscus and creeping vines. A quick stroll to many restaurants. From $126.
CITY The Village Lodge
49 Napier St., De Waterkant, 011-27/21-421-1106, thevillagelodge.com
High-style digs in the superfashionable De Waterkant area. The sexy chocolate-walled rooms come with slate showers, and there's a private pool/bar and sundeck on the roof. The Soho Restaurant downstairs serves breakfast, sandwiches, and salads for lunch, and Thai food for dinner. Want to hit the neighborhood clubs? Check out Opium (6 Dixon St., 011-27/ 21-438-8315), a couple of blocks away. From $106 in low season, $196 in high season.
BEACH La Splendida
121 Beach Rd., Mouille Pt., 011-27/21-439-5119, lasplendida.co.za
Comfortable new all-suite hotel with a fantastic seaside location across from the Promenade, close to the V&A Waterfront and beaches. Rooms are corporate African in style with Big Five animal-print upholstery on the chairs and some sofas. Most rooms have sea or mountain views. From $107.
BEACH Rosedene Lodge
3 Rosedene Rd., Sea Pt., 011-27/21-439-7037, rosedenelodge.com
A small guesthouse on a quiet lane behind Sea Point's busy main road, just a couple of blocks from the water. It oozes good taste with its minimalist decor, crisp linens, artwork, and personal service. Details such as mosaic-tiled or slate bathrooms, outside reading lights on private terraces, and movie night twice a month, with a big screen in the pool area, make it a standout. The staff can even arrange car rentals at good rates. From $92 in low season, $180 in high season.
WINELANDS Résidence Klein Oliphants Hoek
14 Academie St., Franschhoek, 011-27/21-876-2566, kleinoliphantshoek.co.za
Once called Oliphants Hoek for the elephants that freely roamed the valley. The guesthouse is in an 1888 missionary station on a quiet back street, and looks out over mountains and a landscaped garden with flowers and herbs. Depending on how full the guesthouse is, the chef/owners prepare extraordinary five-course gourmet meals ($48) on a wood-burning stove, and serve such dishes as scallops with cucumber and yogurt. The restaurant is open to the public, but guests get first preference for dinner reservations. From $84 in low season, $98 in high season, includes breakfast.
SPLURGE Winchester Mansions Hotel
221 Beach Rd., Sea Pt., 011-27/21-434-2351, winchester.co.za
Gracious colonial-style hotel built in 1922 across from Sea Point Promenade. Palm trees, bougainvillea, and a tranquil, shady colonnaded courtyard blend with warm South African hospitality. There are numerous affordable treatments at the on-site Gingko Health and Wellness Spa, such as the Gingko De-Stress Express ($77). Quote these special rates offered to BudgetTravelOnline: Colonial-style doubles from $126 in low season, $270 in high season. Modern doubles from $143 in low season, $302 in high season. Some suites for under $240.