Tag Archives: self catering in cape town

Modern and Stylish Places to Stay in Africa

It’s not all thatched cottages and safari tents in Africa you know. There are plenty of uber-cool modern and stylish hotels for those of you looking for something a little less colonial and a little more 21st century.


Namibia is home to some of the most unique landscapes in the world. With plunging gorges, towering sand dunes, vast salt pans and a truly dramatic coastline this is the country for unusual scenery. It is also home to some unusual and unique accommodation. The modernist architecture really fits in with the sometime harsh and dramatic landscape around it where as something quaint and cosy would stick out like a sore thumb. A great place to stay if you like modern architecture is the Fish River Lodge. Set right on the edge of the famous Fish River Gorge (the second largest in the world after the Grand Canyon) the hotel is made up of 20 individual square shaped single level lodges offering both privacy and fantastic views to the guests. The rooms are furnished in a modern style with beds angled to view the gorge and its incredible sunsets. The main building is also modern in style with a large viewing deck and swimming pool all making the most of the breath-taking view.


In the forests and mountains of Rwanda you can find the wonderful Shamwari Nyungwe Forest Lodge. This stunning luxury lodge, built to blend in with the surrounding environment, is situated in a tea plantation on the edge of the Nyungwe closed canopy rain forest. The decor is stylish and modern with all the comforts of an international hotel. The views from its elevated position are to die for including from the plentiful terraces and the fabulous infinity pool. This hotel makes an excellent base for hiking into the mountains to see the monkeys, chimps and mountain gorillas that live in this lush, green wilderness.


Another place where you would not expect modern style accommodation is on an island in Mozambique.The White Pearl Resort Ponta Mamoli is a stylish, luxury, modern hotel. Nestled in a sheltered bay on Mozambique’s Lagoon Coast, poised amongst the dunes on timber stilts, their luxurious suites have been sensitively designed to take advantage of their beautiful natural setting. Cool, clean lines, contemporary furniture and a palette inspired by the surrounding coastal landscape, make for a stylish but relaxing beach retreat. This hotel really is for those looking for incredible contempory design in a stunning beach location.

South Africa – Cape Town:

And of course in the upbeat, exciting city of Cape Town there are plenty of modern options and even across South Africa you find wonderful modern places to stay. Hand-picked by our South Africa Manager we have several stylish and modern places to stay. In Cape Town you can stay in the Sugar Hotel and Spa which is centrally located in the heart of this vibrant city. A sophisticated mix of raw brick, woods, stainless steel, porcelain tiles and glass creates a modernist vibe at the hotel.

If you are looking for somewhere self-catering in Cape Town then are plenty of options including the sleek Lawhill Apartments. These are located right on the V&A Waterfront and every luxury apartment is designed for comfort offering the freedom of self-catering with the service of a hotel including a reception desk. All the apartments have their own balcony with luxurious outdoor furniture from which to enjoy the views of the marina, the canal and the One & Only Hotel. The communal pool and gymnasium are also made available for the enjoyment of all guests.

South Africa – Garden Route:

Further along the beautiful Garden Route you can find the stylish Quarters Hermanus (see photo at bottom)right on the historic harbour of the whale watching town of Hermanus. The hotel is white and clean lined with a lovely restaurant overlooking the waterfront and the guest rooms all have mountain or sea views. The hotel is located right in the centre of Hermanus which itself is the centre of the whale watching tourism industry and is a very pleasant and lively resort.

And further along the Garden Route is the stunning Robberg in Plettenburg Bay (see the top photo). The Robberg offers a variety of different accommodation including self-catering apartments and villas all built in a white clean lined modern style. Ideally located just five minutes from the bustling restaurants, galleries, coffee shops and bars of Plett’s Main Street, the Robberg is a tranquil beachside haven. This understated, private retreat boasts 5-star luxury accommodation, and is ideally situated, right on the Robberg’s beautiful Blue Flag Beach.

These are just a handful of some of the modern and stylish accommodation that can be found across Africa; from the big cities to sleepy towns, from the deepest bush to the highest peaks, from the verdant jungles to the beautiful beaches you can find somewhere modern and stylish to stay.

Posted by Ruth Bolton

Paul’s South Africa Diary : Cape Town

We join Paul and John as they begin  their South African inspection trip in Cape Town.

Monday 13th May

After waking up to gorgeous weather and a stunning view I made my way downstairs for a hearty breakfast before heading out to start my very busy day visiting most of our accommodation in Cape Town. The next place on my schedule to visit was another Real Africa favourite – Leewenvoet House. 

Leewenvoet House

This place may not have the stunning views due to its location in the city centre but it certainly makes up for it in style.  The deluxe/honeymoon rooms are large, spacious and decorated in soft dove grey. The B&B has been expanded and modernised since I was last here a few years ago and I love it’s new look and the space. There is a small but inviting swimming pool with a lovely terrace with views of Table Mountain. I really think this guest house offers exceptional value for money .

Cape Town Waterfront Hotels

Next up was Protea Breakwater Lodge a much larger place which used to be an old prison and has plenty of history. It’s a good place for those on a budget wanting to stay on the waterfront where most other places are a lot more expensive. Then I moved onto the Commodore Hotel which is next door. This is also a large hotel with a spacious reception area with a swimming pool and outdoor dining area. Some of its rooms have excellent views of the harbour and again this is good value for money. Also next door on the waterfront is the Portswood Hotel which I also popped into to view some rooms and their facilities. In contrast to these more budget orientated hotels my next stop was something else – the Queen Victoria Hotel.

The Queen Victoria Hotel

The Queen Victoria Hotel is stunning! The reception area is modern chic with a monochrome palette. All the rooms are situated around a large, airy central atrium with a truly stunning modern curving staircase winding upstairs. All the rooms are stunning with huge beds and great designer bathrooms. There is also a bar and restaurant and guests have use of the pool at their sister hotel the Dock House. This hotel offers a 5 star option for the young, fashionable visitor who is looking for something less formal and traditional that the well known Cape Grace or Mount Nelson. Their sister hotel the Dock House is smaller with 6 rooms in a very similar modern style but is much more intimate and good for a honeymoon. They have a lovely breakfast room and garden with swimming pool.

The Victoria and Alfred Hotel

Then it was onto another great hotel in the stunning Cape Town waterfront – the Victoria and Alfred Hotel. This hotel really does have a superb position and offers three types of room; loft, piazza facing and mountain view rooms. The views over Table Mountain were amazing and these were my favourite rooms with a lovely airy feel to them. This is a lovely 4 star restaurant with a great restaurant overlooking the water and I can highly recommend it.

The Cape Grace

Next up we headed over to one of Cape Town’s most famous luxury hotels, the Cape Grace. I have been here several times and I am pleased to say it was as stunning as ever. The newly updated décor is based around the history of Cape Town and gives the hotel real history and character. There are plenty of facilities with a shop, reception and the Signals Restaurant which serves meals throughout the day. There is even a library for some quiet time out. The rooms themselves are all large and beautifully decorated. I would recommend a superior room as these are very spacious with a balcony with great views over the harbour and yachting marina. The other rooms such as the Rooftop Terrace and the Luxury Table Mountain View rooms are also great. One of my favourite elements of the hotel were the quirky chandeliers made to look like they had come from a shipwreck with a mix of different items such as cups fitted into them. I really do love this hotel!

The Aquarius Luxury Apartments Hotel

Finally last on the day’s itinerary were the Aquarius Luxury Apartments/Hotel. This is a modern building in Bloubergstrand offering aparthotel accommodation. We unpacked our bags and checked out our home for the night. We had a two bed roomed apartment, ideal for a family, with a large living area and a fully fitted kitchen. The hotel/apartments are close to the beach with great views of Table Mountain as well. There are plenty of restaurants nearby if you don’t want to do self catering and we took ourselves off for a well deserved dinner at the Thai place next door. I can recommend that too!

Posted by Paul Hickey-Fry