Unusual places to stay in Cape Town

From Airstream trailors to tree houses

As a child, you may have imagined yourself as an American Indian, living in a tipi; a wood nymph dusting the windows of her tree house; a cowboy steering his wagon train along the trail; and a fearsome lion lazing on his rocky outcrop. Who says being a grownup means you have to abandon these dreams? Cape Town and surrounds are full of unusual places to rest your head.

Airstream Penthouses at the Grand Daddy Hotel
Taking the ‘trash’ out of trailer park, seven vintage Airstream trailers have been hauled all the way from the USA, and hoisted onto the roof of an urban hotel.
The most unique thing about this establishment: individually designed trailers by local artists.
What you need to bring: “a trilby hat to watch live bands, who perform every Friday night. Some acts include, Hot Water and Little Kings,” says events and marketing manager, Christina Mac Echern.
The best time of year to stay: March.
Top tip: put on your party boots.
38 Long Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 7247

Healing Holidays: the tipi experience
“One of our tipis has a wooden platform and the other is based on lush grass,” explains owner, Deborah Hillairet. Onsite therapies include crystal healing and holistic massage.
The most unique thing about this establishment: living simply, in a vast open space, by the fire.
What you need to bring:
turn up with food, they will provide the rest.
The best time of year to stay:
Top tip:
Leave your phone at home and just be.
R318 (12km after Avalon Hot Water Springs) | Montagu | Western Cape | +27 (0)23 614 2901

Aquila Private Game Reserve
Place your twinkle toes in A-list paw prints, at a romantic, Premier Chalet. ‘Wake up in nature’ rooms feature four poster beds, baths set into rock and outside showers. We enjoyed Aquila’s game lodge comfort.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “one of the Premier Chalets has an outdoor Jacuzzi, so you can bathe under the Karoo night sky,” says media manager, Mandi Jarman.
What you need to bring: bring a camera to capture Big Five memories.
The best time of year to stay:
all year round: a swimming pool for summer and a fire for winter.
Top Tip:
meet their baby rhino.
Touwsrivier | Ceres | +27 (0)21 431 8400

Teniqua Treetops
This tented tree house resort is high in the foothills of the ancient Outeniqua mountain range. Swim in the cola-coloured water of the Karatara River, picnic on its beautiful banks, or relax on a wooden deck by the pool.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “our eight, eco-friendly tree houses are like artworks in the trees,” says owner, Robyn Patz, “They are fully contained and spaced far apart, for privacy.”
What you need to bring:
walking boots, a swimming costume, a waterproof jacket and a torch. Don’t forget your camera.
The best time of year to stay:
Top Tip:
leave the iPod behind and instead, listen to the birds.
N2 | Garden Route | Western Cape | +27 (0)44 356 2868

Dutch Manor Antique Hotel 1812
Unpacking your coat into a genuine Jonkmanskas, or sleeping on an authentic, 19th century, four-poster Stinkwood bed is like taking a step back in time. South Africa’s only registered antique hotel dates back to 1812 and has been tastefully restored and redecorated.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “It’s a home-away-from-home, where you must feel free to nip down to our kitchen and brew yourself a cuppa,” says chef and assistant manager, Helouise Smit.
What you need to bring:
you’ll find everything you need including laundry and concierge services.
The best time of year to stay:
Top tip:
order from your own personal chef.
158 Buitengracht | Bo-Kaap | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 4767

Cape Town Carriage Company
Guided by a qualified trail boss, drive scenic Napier in a re-created wagon train, used by early settlers. Reach the campsite, cook supper over a communal fire and sleep in your wagon.
The most unique thing about this establishment: drive your own wagon.
What you need to bring:
a hat, hiking boots, a warm jacket, waterproofs, insect repellant, sun block, a flash light, a sleeping bag and a camera.
The best time of year to stay:
“during summer, we swim in lagoons and in September you’ll see blue cranes foraging among Protea flowers,” says owner, John Foster.
Top tip:
Pay a visit to Napier Brewery.
Indicator Lodge | Schaapkraal Road | Ottery | Cape Town | +27 (0)82 575 5669

Langebaan Houseboats
Accommodating a minimum of six guests in three cabins, the Larus houseboat consists of a well-equipped, open plan kitchen with a braai, as well as cabins featuring high quality linen and bath towels.
The most unique thing about this establishment:
“Langebaan is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with pristine beaches and turquoise water,” says owner, Tony Drayton.
What you need to bring:
food, a torch and a swimming costume.
The best time of year to stay:
during summer and flower season (August- September).
Top tip:
book early.
70 Alma Road | Rosebank | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 689 9718

Kagga Kamma
Many ancient cave paintings by the Bushmen are visible today. Climb into a bed on a remote and rocky outcrop, in the middle of beautiful and dramatic rock formations.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “guests can sleep under the stars and we also provide picnic baskets with a choice of braai ingredients or cold meat,” says Susan Sykes, from the reservations department.
What you need to bring:
an overnight bag.
The best time of year to stay:
Top tip:
sleep in a cave room, discover rock art and San paintings on a cultural tour, or meet the antelope on a quad biking safari.
Kagga Kamma | Ceres | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 872 4343

Overseers Cottage
On the back of Table Mountain near the water resevoir dams is a fully furnished cottage that you can hike up to. It's right on top of the mountain surrounded by fynbos. The housealso has an outside braai area.
The most unique thing about this establishment:
It's the only place where you can spend the night on Table Mountain.
What you need to bring: You will need to carry your food up as it is self-catering.
The best time of the year to stay: November - February
Top tip: You can arrange to have your bags taken to the house for a fee.
Cape Town | Table Mountain | +27(0)21 701 8692     

By Lisa Nevitt

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