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Awesome and Unusual Places to Stay in Cape Town and Surrounds
A selection of quirky and cool accommodation spots in and around the Mother City
Last Update: May 24, 2017
Long gone are the days when your holiday accommodation was merely a place to rest your weary head in between fun-filled activities. Nowadays your lodging can be as much of an event as, say, a scenic hike or trip to a wine farm. And what better way to populate your social media feed with images that make you look ‘unique’, ‘different’ and ‘cool’ than by staying at an unusual, awesome or quirky getaway spot in or around Cape Town.
This is where we come in. We know that one of the most important travel decisions you will ever make is choosing a place to stay, which is why we have selected some of the coolest and downright awesome places to stay in Cape Town and surrounding areas. We’re talking caves, 18th-century style hotels and carriages, tree houses, tents and other interesting choices.
Oh, you’re welcome.
AWESOME AND UNUSUAL PLACES TO STAY IN CAPE TOWN AND SURROUNDS
Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve
Attaching the ‘one-of-a-kind’ tag to Kagga Kamma may well be a bit of an understatement. From sleeping under the stars or in a cave room to discovering rock art and Khoi San paintings on a cultural tour, Kagga Kamma offers more than just a roof over your head. Nestled in the Cederberg area (about 300km outside of Cape Town) where untouched Karoo-like wilderness and beautiful and rare flowers bloom, the lodge offers the chance for guests to sleep in truly unique surroundings For starters, the Bushman Lodge boasts five spacious en-suite, thatched rondavels and ten unique cave suites that are built into the sandstone rock formations. What’s more, beautiful rock art can be seen from these caves. The other winner is the Outcrop Open Air Room, which is pretty much what the name suggests: a luxury suite that allows visitors to sleep under the star-lit skies, which is perfect for a truly unique romantic getaway. Not to mention,Kamma Kagga offers spa treatment facilities as well as some outdoor activities (guided 4x4 and quad bike safaris, hiking trails and star gazing) making it perfect for a well-rounded weekend away.
Kagga Kamma | Ceres | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 872 4343
Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guesthouse
At the top of the green, leafy Akademie Street in Franschhoek lies the quaint cottages of Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guesthouse. With various cottages catering for between two and four guests each, Akademie follows a guest policy of mi casa su casa (my house is your house), which extends far beyond an ethos written on paper. Every vacation need is met by the hands-on staff, including complimentary sunscreen, sun hats, in-room coffee facilities and supplies, a fully stocked fridge of potables, and the privacy of private pools, hot tubs and fireplaces. The guest house has been ranked the top spot on TripAdvisor’s Traveller Choice Awards, for categories such as Top Small Hotel in the World, Top Luxury Hotel in the World, Top 25 Hotels in the World for Romance, and Number One Hotel in Franschhoek for six years in a row - from 2011 all the way through to 2016 - and one can evidently feel the top rated quality in terms of hospitality. The classic boutique hotel also features an antique 1928 Grotrian-Steinweg piano, which is open to all guests, as well as Akademie Street branded bicycles, for a more traditional (did someone say green?) mode of venturing through the picturesque nooks and crannies of Franschhoek. The Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guesthouse also offers a rare round of the French game of petanque, meaning ‘feet fixed’ or ‘feet planted’ at the boulodrome (dedicated facilities where petanque can be played). Switch off from the city life and experience lavish holiday living at the Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guesthouse in Franschhoek.
5 Akademie Street | Franschhoek | +27 (0)82 517 0405
African Relish Culinary School
Lisa Key, co-owner of African Relish cottages in Prince Albert, remembers every detail about the cottages. Like the lush and rich quilt on the bed in Deurdrift 1, the cottage sleeping three. The gorgeous quilt was made by the mother of Hemelhuijs restaurant owner, Jacques Erasmus, she says. Jacques Erasmus helped with the decor There are four cottages at African Relish: the other three are Akkedis which sleeps four; Doringbos and Deurdrift 2 sleep two. Guests who check in have come to the cooking school. The self-catering cottages are restored buildings with a history of their own. Deurdrift 1 opens up to a garden and two outside bathtubs that guests can sink into on a hot day. They are perfect as a couples cocoon or for an intimate group of friends and extended family that needs to stay close but keep their space.
For more information and to book email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +27 (0) 23 541 1381/ +27 (0) 72 582 8749
Overseers Cottage on Table Mountain
Ever wondered what it would feel like to sleep on top of one of the New7Wonders of Nature? Well, look no further than the Overseers Cottage. Perched on the back of Table Mountain, the lodging affords guests spectacular views that go as far as Stellenbosch and False Bay! Sleeping up to 16 people, this hidden cottage is great for a weekend getaway with friends.The fully furnished stone cottage also comes with an outside braai area, a big fireplace, gas heated showers and comfy beds Worried about how to hike all the way up with your luggage? SanParks has got you sorted – you can arrange for a service that will take your luggage to the top so you don’t have to. If you need more convincing as to why sleeping atop the Table Mountain would be spectacular, have a look at some of the cool facts about the famous peak.
Cape Town | Table Mountain | +27 (0)21 701 8692
Once in Cape Town
Once in Cape Town is one of those cool, hipster- type places that will not only leave you with great memories, but new friends as well. Combining the hotel, backpackers and hostel experience into one, visitors get to choose what vibe they want to go for. Since the Mother City is generally a place with too much to do, Once provides a great way of making it easier for guests by offering free walking tours (to get familiar with surroundings), trips to Signal Hill as well as Sunday outings to one of Cape Town’s coveted braai and chill spot, Mzoli’s. Moreover, Once’s location is quite lovely as Hudson’s burger joint and Long Street are close by. Once also aims to make things extremely easy and fun for guests- think private Skype booths, chill room with movies available and a daily ‘Things to Do’ list and a helpful weather forecast. How’s that for efficiency?
73 Kloof Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 6169
AfriCamps Boutique Camping
If you love the outdoors and the romance of camping but not the inconvenience and discomfort associated with it, you’re probably a ‘glamper’; that is, you like to amplify the glamour aspect of camping. In that case, AfriCamps Boutique Camping is just for you. Offering three campsites in three different locations – AfriCamps Klein Karoo in Oudtshoorn, AfriCamps at Kam’ Bati in Swellendam and AfriCamps at Pat Busch Mountain Reserve in Robertson – AfriCamps provides glampers with a unique accommodation experience in five spacious, privately situated luxury tents. Each lavish five-person tent has two comfortable private bedrooms furnished with queen sized beds and one with an extra bunk bed (all beds are XL length 2m), a private bathroom, a spacious living room, fully equipped kitchen and outdoor deck (not to forget about the cosy fireplace, electric blankets and air conditioning unit), combining the pleasures of camping with the convenience and comfort of plush self-catering. No more endless packing and unpacking, wrestling with tent poles, grovelling on the ground to prepare meals, sharing sleeping bags with unidentifiable critters or traversing great distances in the dark to grimy bathrooms. Glamping with AfriCamps simply requires sweeping in with your supplies, settling in in style, and savouring farm and country life.
AfriCamps | Klein Karoo Oudtshoorn | Kam’ Bati Swellendam | Pat Busch Nature Reserve Robertson | +27 (0)63 170 4222
Zula Self-Catering Beach House and Cottage in Paternoster
Located in one of the West Coast’s oldest fishing towns approximately 160km from the CBD, Zula Beach House and Cottage in Paternoster invites friends, families and loved-ones for a relaxing retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city life. Tucked away from the small, but vibrant white-housed town centre and practically built on the beach – the self-catering house and cottage is only a stone throw (okay, around 15-metres) away from the deserted shoreline truly offering guests the opportunity to unwind and recoup in their beautiful surroundings. Not to mention, the holiday home is also dog friendly so even your pups can enjoy a well-deserved getaway as well as long walks on the secluded beach. What’s more, for those who wish to be a little more active, there are plenty of things to do and places to see in Paternoster and around such as horse riding, the West Coast Fossil Park, the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve as well as various top-notch restaurants and art galleries to visit. Guests can choose to book Zula’s Beach House (sleeps 10) and Cottage (sleeps two) separately or collectively. The beach house is unavailable from 16 December 2016 to 15 January 2017 and the cottage is unavailable from 1 December 2016 to 15 January 2017.
NOTE: Zula does require a R200 fee per dog paid on arrival.
Band Wagon Cape Town Carriage Company Experience
Offering quite a timeless experience, the Cape Town Carriage Company specialises in giving travellers guided tours across different parts of the Western Cape. Led by qualified trail guides, one gets to travel through the scenic Overberg region in a replica band wagon pulled by two horses (don’t worry, the horses get regular water breaks) feeding into the ‘authentic’ style of how people used to travel. The two to four day trek begins in Stanford and makes its way to the final destination, Sandy’s Glen where adventurers get to cook under a fire and sleep either in the wagon (which sleeps two adults) or in a tent, or under the skies. The campsite is fully equipped and guests can swim in lagoons, spot birds, and do other exciting things before they make their way back to Stanford.The Cape Town Carriage Company recommends light luggage (as baggage is moved daily) in order for the trip to be as authentic as possible.
Indicator Lodge | Schaapkraal Road | Ottery | Cape Town | +27 (0)82 575 5669
Teniqua Treetops in Sedgefield
What better way to take a break from the fast- paced city life than by arranging a weekend away with nature? Delicately located in the foothills of the ancient Outeniqua Mountains in Sedgefield, Teniqua Treetops comprises eight beautifully handcrafted, self-catering treetop cabins that are placed high up in the canopy of the forest.. This, of course, means that guests get to sleep, eat and shower high up in the gorgeous forest trees. What’s more, tree houses are connected to the Karatara gorge, which is perfect for those wanting to take a dip, and if you’re not too keen on swimming in an actual river, Teniqua has converted farm dams into swimming pools – creating something quite fun for the whole family.
Ruigtevlei turn-off | Sedgefield | Western Cape | +27 (0) 44 356 2868
The Tipi Experience at the Circle T Ranch
The Circle T Ranch could very well be South Africa’s very own version of the ‘Wild Wild West’. If you’re a fan of intensely themed accommodation styles – then this is it. The Tipi Experience makes it possible for visitors to sleep in Native American- style tipis! Located in Philidelphia, a tranquil and beautiful town just 30km north of Cape Town, each tipi is equipped with a fire-pit, a single gas burner, oil, candle, lamp and wood and the site also features eco-friendly ablutions in order to give guests the ultimate authentic experience. Furthermore, the Native American atmosphere is taken to a whole new level as themed beadwork and clothing is available for purchase. Wake up to the sound of roosters crowing, horses neighing, or sleep with the top of tipi open for a unique version of ‘sleeping under the stars’. Do note: It is essential to bring your own towels, food and drinks.
Cape Road | Philidelphia | +27 (0)82 659 9143
The Old Mac Daddy in the Elgin Valley
Befitting a vintage-lovers bucket list item, the Old Mac Daddy is all kinds of cool. Twelve one-of-a-kind, American-style trailers creatively placed along the Elgin Valley offer guests a really cool experience. Each trailer and villa has its own quirky theme going; take the “Secret Life of Plants” trailer for instance, which is decked out with all kinds of paraphernalia that inspires the inner botanist. “Daddy’s Villa”, an exquisitely minimalistic villa, is one that inspires Zen-like tranquillity and is perfect for a group of friends or family wanting a weekend escape. Moreover, The Old Mac Daddy caters to all ages; kids have their very own jungle gym and parents and other visitors have access to a dam, a garden, a communal area and restaurant which are all part of the overall theme that plays out as a small old school town. If you don’t yet think this is special, you’ll be pleased to know that the trailers were actually flown in from the States to give an all-round ‘authentic’ feel to the entire stay.
Elgin Valley | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 844 0241
The Mountain House in Clovelly
In an increasingly enviro-conscious world, getting to stay at a gorgeous house that also doubles up as an eco-warrior is something quite special. Located in Clovelly, a small way away from Kalk Bay, The Mountain House is a contemporary styled venue that features clerestory windows, sliding folding doors that make moving around the house quite a breeze, as well as a rainwater collection and solar heating system that contributes the house’ minimal carbon footprint. Guests also have direct access to Trappieskop (which is practically at the front door) and also great views of Simon’s Town and False Bay. The house itself is beautifully furnished and designed and arranged in a way that encourages seamless movement around the house, as well as exposure of the surroundings. Within close proximity of the Clovelly golf course, Fish Hoek shops, beach as well as the Kalk Bay harbour and market, your itinerary won’t be short of items.
7 Mountain Road | Clovelly | Cape Town | +27 (0)82 850 5038
‘The Stables’ at Fisaasbos
‘The Stables’, a name given to what was once an actual stable and coach house, has now been refurbished into a stunning overnight hideaway in Tulbagh. The interior hides behind a beautiful wooden barn door, and offers just one cosy double bed, making it a perfect evening stop for a pair of travellers. The kitchen opens up to a beautiful backyard garden,which is perfect for picnics- and also houses all sorts of amenities. The location is great for eager explorers who are keen to get into with Tulbagh history, as many monuments of the town rest on Church Street. The dorpie is famous for annual events Christmas in Winter and the Tulbagh Spring Arts Festival so it would be great to pop by then as well. If you want a cute, cosy, beautiful and picturesque accommodation spot, this makes the list. You probably won’t even need any Instagram filters.
Remhoogte | Church Street | Tulbagh | +27 (0)84 777 8487
by Dudu Luthuli
Keen on prepping for the upcoming holiday season by finding affordable accommodation? Have a look at the best budget getaways near Cape Town!
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