The Prettiest Little Boutique Hotels in Central Cape Town

The Prettiest Little Boutique Hotels in Central Cape Town

Downsize into dreamy.

The boutique hotel trend has gathered pace, with many properties slotting themselves into this beguiling category. “Boutique” can mean many things these days. There’s always been cosy inns and owner-run guesthouses, but now it’s a small hotel that’s a little “extra”; a gorgeously dressed guesthouse with a modern sensibility.

We’ve scouted Cape Town’s innercity suburbs for the best of the bunch, places to stay with a distinct personality and a story to tell, with owners you sense are living their own dreams. These lodgings provide more than a place to stay, but rather that priceless sense of being both immersed in the spirit of a city and the fortunate resident of a hidden haven.

Labotessa

Boutique Hotels Labotessa
Labotessa Bedrooms
Labotessa Lounge Dining Areas

Rich heritage meets modern grandeur at this late-17th-century townhouse (one of the oldest buildings in South Africa) lovingly restored and converted into a hotel. Located on historic Church Square, the elegant residence has a decidedly European feel. It’s all very stylish, with a moody-blue colour palette that feels like you’re stepping into a Vermeer painting, but with contemporary-luxe decor. The elevator opens into your suite, there’s newspaper delivery and a terrace café at which to enjoy coffee, wines and seasonal meals. There are just six individually decorated suites over three floors, plus a larger double-storey presidential suite. Urbanites who love being in the heart of the city will be in their element, as it’s a (cobble)stone’s throw from popular shops, top restaurants and cultural landmarks.

The lodgings

  • 6 Signature Suites with king-size beds
  • ensuite with bath and shower and Diptyque products
  • living area with table and seating
  • smart TV with Netflix
  • tea/coffee station with Nespresso machine and Smeg kettle
  • complimentary minibar with drinks and snacks
  • in-room dining

What’s on offer

  • complimentary breakfast (all day)
  • daytime café (open to public)
  • Diptyque fragrance boutique (open to public)
  • access to nearby gym and pool facilities
  • concierge for all bookings
  • in-room spa treatments
  • airport transfers and limo service

Good to know The double-storey Presidential Suite has three ensuite bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, stocked wine fridge, Sonos entertainment system, terraces on both levels and a private plunge pool.
Child friendly? Yes
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 per suite (6 in Presidential Suite)
Cost From R11 700 per night
R1 000 per child (rollaway bed)
Contact 021 010 6600, stay@labotessa.com
Where to find it Church Square, Parliament Street, Cape Town

21 Nettleton

Boutique Hotels 21 Nettleton
21 Nettleton King Room
21 Nettleton Suite Lounge

Hugging the fynbos-dotted slopes of Lion’s Head, 21 Nettleton occupies pride of place at the very top of what might be the most elite avenue in Cape Town. Boasting a palatial Tuscan-style exterior, with 360-degree views over Clifton and Camps Bay and the sparkling ocean beyond, it offers the ultimate trifecta in luxury: unique design, a killer location and superb service. There are two luxury rooms (one with a safari-nomadic theme) and five expansive suites, each with outdoor living spaces; the Queen suite is super-romantic with a feature bath; the Steinway suite has a grand piano and library, and the Penthouse has a drawing room with a fireplace among its many drawcards. The curated collection of quirky artworks and antique furniture throughout provides a truly gorgeous backdrop to living the high life.

The lodgings

  • 2 luxury rooms (King and Lion’s Head), 3 suites (Queen, Emperor and Steinway) and 1 Penthouse suite with 360-degree views
  • king-size beds, plus pull-down/rollaway bed for 2 children (Emperor, Steinway + Penthouse suite)
  • ensuite with freestanding bath and/or shower (Penthouse with 2 bathrooms + steam room)
  • dressing room (Emperor suite), walk-in closet (Queen suite)
  • lounge/seating area with smart TV
  • dining room (Steinway suite + Penthouse)
  • private furnished terrace (except Lions Head room); Penthouse has several balconies
  • tea/coffee station and complimentary stocked minibar (except Lions Head room)
  • personalised in-room concierge iPad
  • air-conditioning

What’s on offer

  • complimentary full breakfast
  • communal lounge and bar
  • swimming pool
  • sauna and steam room
  • gorgeous mountainside garden with koi pond
  • private access to hiking trails on Lion’s Head
  • complimentary all-day snacks, afternoon tea and sunset canapés
  • picnics and outdoor dinners available
  • 24-hour concierge and butler
  • in-house personal trainer
  • wellness treatments
  • VIP airport transfers

Good to know The King room and Queen suite can interconnect.
The entire house can also be booked as an exclusive-use villa, sleeping 12 adults and 6 children, with a private chef and butler.
Child friendly? Yes
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 per suite
Beds for 2 children in Emperor, Steinway + Penthouse suite
Cost From R13  300 per night
Special upgrade offer Use the code INSIDEGUIDE when enquiring on the link below and you will receive a complimentary room upgrade on confirmation of your reservation. Valid for all bookings made between 20 March and 15 December 2024, subject to availability.
Where to find it 19-23 Nettleton Road, Clifton, Cape Town
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

The Trevoyan Guesthouse

Boutique Hotels Trevoyan Guesthouse
Trevoyan Guesthouse Bedroom Patio
Trevoyan Guesthouse Lounging Areas

Hidden in Tamboerskloof on the slopes of Lion’s Head, this Victorian-era house (built in 1894) is spacious and light-filled, with high ceilings, Oregon-wood floors and plantation shutters, creating an atmosphere of timeless gentility. Modern splashes of colour on the walls, a mix of old and new furnishings, and artworks and decor that speak of this place at the southern tip of Africa make the Trevoyan a very attractive base. The garden, presided over by a century-old oak tree, adds another layer of joy to your stay – whether viewed in gentle morning light over breakfast on the verandah, or from a poolside lounger soaking up some sun, or in the evenings when it’s lit by candles and lanterns. Run by hands-on owners and a small team who take immaculate care of this special place, it truly is a space to “make yourself at home”.

The lodgings

  • 3 Superior Rooms with king, queen or twin beds
  • 1 Garden Room with a four-poster bed
  • 3 suites: Mountain, Patio and Bluemoon, with lounge
  • 2 suites have a kitchenette and lounge area
  • ensuite bathrooms with a walk-in shower
  • tea tray in all rooms

What’s on offer

  • complimentary breakfast
  • communal lounge with honesty bar
  • all-day complimentary barista bar
  • outdoor patio
  • roof terrace with seating
  • pool and deck with loungers
  • Fiat 500 convertible to hire for daytrips
  • short walk to restaurants, cafés and bars
  • private airport transfers (additional cost)

Good to know The guesthouse closes for June and July.
Child friendly? Yes, 12 years and older
Pet friendly? No (service dogs gladly accepted)
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 per room
Cost Superior Room: from R4 200 per night
Garden Room: from R4 600 per night
Suites: from R4 800 per night
Where to find it 12 Gilmour Hill Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town
MAKE A RESERVATION

Dorp

Boutique Hotels Dorp
Dorp Balcony View
Dorp Living Area

Impossible to describe and impossible to forget, this hotel on the upper slopes of Signal Hill has mastered the art of making something new look like it was always meant to be there. The layout – a dizzying variety of rooms, suites, studios and cottages nestled amid beautiful gardens, terraces and courtyards – creates a “mini village” (or dorp) for like minds, which was what the late, great designer-hotelier Gail Behr intended. Her penchant for colour, texture and hyper-personal, quirky touches rather than sleek lines and whitewashed furnishings has resulted in a heartachingly stylish haven with magnificent views of the city. The heart of the property is the Salon, a communal space for dining, drinking, reading, meeting or simply relaxing.

The lodgings

  • 27 rooms: Dorp Rooms, Dorp Suites, Dorp Gallery Suites, Dorp Deluxe Suites, Dorp Family Suites and Rooftop Suites, Rose Cottage with own pool and fireplace
  • ensuite with shower and/or bath and underfloor heating
  • luxury Dorp toiletries and homemade linen dressing gowns
  • private terrace, patio, garden, balcony or courtyard (most suites)
  • pool access (from the Compound’s rooms)
  • tea/coffee station
  • fully equipped kitchen with Smeg appliances (selected rooms and suites)
  • smart TV with full media centre

What’s on offer

  • complimentary breakfast buffet
  • on-site restaurant
  • drawing room/lounge/library with fireplace
  • plunge pool courtyard
  • outdoor seating areas in magnificent gardens
  • roof terrace
  • small shop selling Dorp’s products and other items
  • city centre attractions on the doorstep

Good to know A block downhill is the Onderdorp annex, offering 11 self-catering rooms and its own dining and entertainment areas (good for events).
Child friendly? Yes, 12 years or older
Pet friendly? Yes, in certain rooms and on a leash in public areas. Not allowed in main dining area.
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 per room
Two family suites sleep 4
Cost From R3 860 per night
Suites: From R5 010  per night
Onderdorp: From R3 310 per night
Where to find it 273 Longmarket Street, Schotsche Kloof (Bo-Kaap), Cape Town
MAKE A RESERVATION

Camissa House

Boutique Hotels Camissa House
Camissa House Bedroom
Camissa House Foyer

The name (the KhoiSan word for “place of sweet waters”) refers to the streams that flow under the city from Table Mountain, all clean and pure and fresh. And so it is with Camissa House, which sits at the foot of the fynbos-clad mountain, overlooking the peaceful, leafy suburbs of the City Bowl to the sea beyond. This mountainside hideaway is characterised by lofty, contemporary architecture, trickling water features, wooden accents, touches of greenery and breathtaking views. You’ll feel immersed in nature, whether reclining in your luxury bedroom (with decor is inspired by the Cape Floral Kingdom) or gazing at the world wonder that is Table Mountain. Spend time afloat in the rim-flow pool, and dip into the city centre to explore – just a five-minute drive away.

The lodgings

  • 8 rooms (5 Luxury and 3 Terrace) with king-size beds
  • ensuite with shower or bath, with heated floor and towel rails
  • luxury robes and slippers and Africology products
  • private balcony (in Terrace rooms)
  • smart TV and bluetooth speaker
  • air-conditioning
  • 24-hour butler service

What’s on offer

  • complimentary breakfast (in bed if you like)
  • complimentary afternoon tea in the atrium
  • rim-flow swimming pool
  • library-lounge with fireplace
  • cocktail bar with complimentary drinks
  • rooftop relaxation area
  • dinner transfers to city restaurants
  • concierge service

Good to know There are “stay for 4, pay for 3 nights” specials.
Child friendly? Yes, 12 years and older
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 per room
Cost From R8 100 per night
Terrace Room: From R9 335 per night
Where to find it 28 Bridle Road, Oranjezicht, Cape Town
MAKE A RESERVATION

Noah House

Boutique Hotels Noah House
Noah House Bedroom
Noah House Lounge

An 1860s farmhouse transformed into a grand home, it was recently taken under the wing of a Dutch couple who fell in love with it – and Cape Town. They’ve created an elegant small hotel and European-style pavement café in one of the innercity’s most sought-after neighbourhoods. The style is “modern Victorian Zen” – a serene palette of desert hues, crisp white and wood, with light-filled spaces, gentle-on-the-eye artworks and curvaceous furnishings (there are almost no sharp edges and angles here, unless it’s made of marble or tiles). It simply oozes luxury, a wonderfully tranquil urban oasis in which to start and end your day. Book the Balcony Suite, and you’ll wake up to views of Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, Table Mountain and a palm tree.

The lodgings

  • 10 rooms and suites (Boutique or Superior)
  • king-size beds (or twins) or queen beds, with luxury linen
  • ensuite with shower and Charlotte Rhys amenities
  • tea/coffee station and bottled water
  • smart TV
  • air-conditioning, heating and ceiling fans
  • twice-daily housekeeping with evening turndown
  • room service

What’s on offer

  • complimentary breakfast
  • speciality coffee bar
  • communal lounge with pantry treats
  • cosy Blue Room bar for aperitivos (Friday + Saturday)
  • Land Rover and driver for excursions
  • private tours of Peninsula and Winelands
  • concierge service
  • close to restaurants, bars and shops

Good to know Flowers, a bottle of bubbly and chocolate-dipped strawberries can be prebooked for a special romantic stay.
Child friendly? 14 years and older
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 per room
Cost From R3 699 per night
Suite: From R5 599 per night
Where to find it 6 Tamboerskloof Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town
MAKE A RESERVATION

Kensington Place

Boutique Hotels Kensington Place
Kensington Place Exterior
Kensington Place Lounge
Kensington Place Bedroom

From its perch on the slopes of Table Mountain, in leafy best-kept-secret Higgovale, this boutique lodging may be “small” (only eight spacious suites) but it has all the “big hotel” offerings – from a pillow menu and an impeccable service team to all-day-and-evening dining and a barman on hand to mix up your favourite sundowner. Indoors, it’s as calm, cool and sophisticated as an art gallery (filled with artworks and striking wallpaper); outside, the garden oasis with its bougainvillea-draped verandah, pool deck and stunning views of the mountain and city is the perfect spot for some sunshine and R&R. It’s slightly removed from the vibey streets of Gardens and the CBD, but close enough to easily dip in and out of the scene.

The lodgings

  • 8 suites (Standard or Superior) with private balconies
  • extra-length king or queen beds and pillow menu
  • ensuite with bath and/or shower, dressing table and luxury toiletries
  • indoor and outdoor seating
  • flatscreen TV with full DStv and DVD player
  • stocked minibar and snacks
  • wireless Marshall speaker
  • air-conditioning and underfloor heating
  • yoga mat, resistance bands and dumbbells
  • room service

What’s on offer

  • complimentary “anytime” breakfast (in room or in bed optional)
  • in-house chef for lunch and dinner
  • dining room and bar area
  • communal lounge-library with fireplace
  • plunge pool with loungers
  • verandah and garden seating
  • in-room spa treatments
  • complimentary voucher for nearby gym
  • concierge and tour services

Child friendly? No
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 per room
Cost From R4 200 per night
Where to find it 83 Kensington Crescent, Higgovale, Cape Town
MAKE A RESERVATION

Gorgeous George

Boutique Hotels Gorgeous George
Gorgeous George Bedroom
Gorgeous George Exterior

Admit it – the name alone makes you want to have a peek inside… One of 300-plus Design Hotels worldwide (“design-forward and culturally rooted”), there’s something incredible to see around every corner at Gorgeous George. Housed in two (carefully renovated) heritage buildings – one Edwardian, one Art Deco – it has been gloriously decorated; design fundis will be in their element spotting works by some of the hottest local and international talent. The exquisite rooms blend plush Victorian-style furniture with chic lighting, industrial tones and hand-painted wall art in the most delightful way – creating the perfect haven to rest your head after a night out on the town… You don’t have to go far – simply head up to the rooftop, with its vibey bar-restaurant in a tropical, greenhouse-style space.

The lodgings

  • 32 rooms (studios and one- or two-bedroom suites)
  • extra-length king-size bed
  • ensuite with rain shower and/or bath
  • bespoke toiletries plus bathrobes and slippers
  • tea/coffee station
  • smart TV with Netflix and bluetooth speakers
  • sitting area and desk (studios) or separate lounge (suites)
  • fully stocked mini bar and snacks cart
  • yoga mat and ball
  • air-conditioning
  • room service/in-room private dining until 10pm

What’s on offer

  • complimentary breakfast
  • dining, drinking and DJs at Gigi Rooftop
  • rooftop pool garden and loungers
  • nearby gym access (complimentary)
  • in-room spa treatments
  • city centre attractions on the doorstep
  • airport transfers available
  • tours

Child friendly? Yes
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 – 4 per room
Cost Studio: from R4 200 per night
One- and two-bedroom suites: from R5 500 – R11 000 per night
Where to find it 118 St Georges Mall, Cape Town
MAKE A RESERVATION

Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotels Cape Cadogan
Cape Cadogan Luxury Room
Cape Cadogan Pool
Cape Cadogan Hotel General Area

This is no regular boutique hotel; it’s a national monument, housed in what was once a townhouse dating back to the early 1800s. With high ceilings, chequered floors, shuttered windows and a deep verandah, it offers a wonderful contrast to the buzz of nearby Kloof Street. Fresh from a recent refurbishment, which dressed it in stylish white, black and emerald, the combination of heritage architecture and contemporary interiors sets the scene for a central stay laced with luxury. There’s an overriding sense of tranquillity here, with warm hospitality, plush lodgings and discretion a given. The leafy pool courtyard is an oasis of relaxation; while at the acclaimed restaurant, Upper Union, chef Amori Burger serves up food for the creative and curious with fine wines and bespoke cocktails.

The lodgings

  • 19 rooms (6 Classic, 7 Luxury, 6 Superior Luxury) with king-size beds or twins
  • ensuite with a shower and/or bath and TheraNaka amenities
  • smart TV with Netflix and DStv
  • seating area (with fireplace in Superior Luxury rooms)
  • tea/coffee station and minibar
  • private balcony or patio (except Classic rooms)
  • room service
  • air-conditioning

What’s on offer

  • complimentary breakfast
  • complimentary afternoon sherry and canapés
  • 2 courtyards with heated swimming pools
  • sunroom-library
  • lounge with a fireplace
  • on-site bar and restaurant
  • spa and fitness centre
  • complimentary transfers to the V&A Waterfront
  • private travel/tour concierge and airport transfers

Good to know The Residence alongside is an exclusive-use option with three bedrooms, its own pool, a butler and access to the hotel’s facilities.
Child friendly? Yes, 10 years and older
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 per room
Cost From R8 090 per night
Plus R145 sustainability levy per night
Where to find it 5 Upper Union Street, Gardens, Cape Town
MAKE A RESERVATION

Pineapple House

Boutique Hotels Pineapple House
Pineapple House Swimming Area
Pineapple House Suite Bedroom

Conjuring fantasies of sipping Mai Tais on a beach in Hawaii, pineapples (according to the owners of this pink-walled boutique bolthole) are synonymous with welcoming hospitality the world over. Luxuriate in this discreet urban oasis with its warm atmosphere, eclectic decor, designer furnishings and luxe comfort, just a short walk from bars, restaurants, shops and the buzzing Sea Point Promenade – sunset strolls are a prerequisite. The bedrooms, over three floors, are all individually decorated in playful themes – some with vibrant wallpaper, some with ice-cream-coloured walls or exposed brick, others in more muted natural or pastel tones. It’s an exuberantly elegant style that will transport you to exotic places.

The lodgings

  • 14 rooms (Classic, Superior, Deluxe, Premier or Family)
  • 2 suites: Grand Pineapple and Penthouse
  • custom king-size or queen beds
  • ensuite with rain shower (plus freestanding bath in suites)
  • private balcony or direct pool patio access (selected rooms)
  • private rooftop deck (Penthouse)
  • smart TV with DStv
  • tea/coffee station
  • fridge and minibar (plus kitchenette in selected rooms)
  • room service
  • air-conditioning

What’s on offer

  • complimentary breakfast
  • communal lounge with a fireplace
  • dining room and kitchen area
  • deck with two plunge pools and loungers
  • contemporary art throughout (all for sale)
  • in-house branded sleepwear (for sale)
  • 24-hour concierge
  • airport transfers and city tours on request

Good to know One self-contained section of the property can be rented as an exclusive-use villa with 5 bedrooms; another can be rented as an exclusive-use villa with 9 bedrooms.
Child friendly? Yes; Penthouse Suite with sleeper couch
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 per room
Cost From R3 000 per night
Suite: From R6 000 per night
Family Suite: From R9 000 per night
Where to find it 8 Irwinton Road, Sea Point, Cape Town
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

iGadi House Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotels iGadi House
iGadi House Bedroom
iGadi House Lounge Dining Area

Behind those eye-catching green front doors, this boutique hotel is dressed in the best of local design – and infused with oodles of French flair (thanks to hands-on owner Cecile Bouquillion). The 1850 property has been carefully restored, with its Victorian features intact – from the “broekielace” trim on the balcony and spiral staircase to the sash windows and wooden beams. The attention to detail is wonderful – the swan wallpaper in the breakfast room is based on a 1650s Dutch painting (a nod to the origins of Cape Town); the Kahlo-blue library is filled with African art. The outdoor spaces are equally gorgeous and tranquil – “iGadi” means “the garden” in isiXhosa – with lovely views of the City Bowl’s mountains. The excellent location amid the Gardens buzz is merely the cherry on top.

The lodgings

  • 10 rooms of various sizes (Snugly, Cosy, Cosy+, Roomy, Biggy)
  • extra-length super king (or twins) or queen beds with luxury linen
  • ensuite with rain shower, plus bath in Biggy, and bespoke toiletries
  • desk and chair
  • smart TV
  • tea/coffee station (with Nespresso machine) and minibar fridge
  • balcony or garden access with seating (private in selected rooms)
  • air-conditioning

What’s on offer

  • complimentary à la carte breakfast
  • communal lounge-dining area
  • library with fireplace
  • French courtyard garden with seating and fountain
  • one block from Kloof Street
  • short walk to the city centre

Child friendly? Yes, 10 years and older
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 per room
4 in family room (with pull-out bed)
Cost From R3 200 per night
Where to find it 1 Faure Street, Gardens, Cape Town
MAKE A RESERVATION

Which are your favourites? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 19 March 2024

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2 Responses to “The Prettiest Little Boutique Hotels in Central Cape Town”

  1. PATRICIA UNGER BERGSTEDT

    One word from me” SPECTACULAR” LOVE ALL….AN EXCELLENT VARIETY FOR EVERY PALATE!💯🌹❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  2. Wendy Kieser

    MINDBLOWING!
    MINDBLOWING!
    MINDBLOWING!
    Thanks for showing us the most wonderful spaces to choose from. Just unbelievable!
    Thank you!

    Reply