Renowned Hotels

Cape Town's City Bowl

Cape Town’s City Bowl. Image by Andres de Wet

As anyone who has seen some of the beautiful Lenasia houses for sale, or some of the opulent Sandton or Bishop’s Court properties for sale, South Africa has luxury of world-class standards. Fortunately, this luxury extends beyond private residences into the hotel and tourism industry. Here are selected hotels around South Africa that have exclusive and luxury accommodation fit for royalty and celebrity guests.

The Royal Malewane

If it’s good enough for Elton John, it’s good enough for the most discriminating of customers. The Royal Malewane is like a wilderness retreat located near Cape Town. It’s not easy getting to the Royal Malewane, and a plane is really the only decent way in or out. The minute you land, you are greeted by smiling staff and cold drinks then it’s a short walk to a bridge that leads to the entrance.

If you’ve ever watched any movie about Africa, then you can imagine what Royal Malewane looks like. It’s a grand colonial structure with African décor and impeccable designs. Everything looks rich and opulent and you get the sensation of being among very special people.

The Grootbos Nature Reserve

Getting to Grootbos Nature Reserve is already the start of a fantastic adventure. One has to drive through a beautiful coastal road with views of mountains, farms, sea, animals, and lakes. It’s like a trip through large virgin territory where modern skyscrapers are mere figments of imagination. Once you arrive at Grootbos you find yourself in the middle of the Unique Floral Kingdom. The term luxury is not as lavish as it is well-appointed. As a guest you will have an authentic eco-tourism experience that almost seems to border on the stark appeal. The lodges are well planned but not excessively designed like a suite in a 5 star hotel. It’s not excessive but it has everything you need to feel comfortable and well cared for. In short, it’s a world class true African adventure without the trapping of a New York hotel or a resort in the Maldives.

Mount Nelson Hotel

Mount Nelson Hotel is in the midst of Cape Town near the foot of the fabulous Table Mountain. It’s your typical 5 star hotel within a modern city where shopping, dining, and entertainment are not far from the hotel. What makes Mount Nelson Hotel special is that it is part of the Orient Express network which means you can travel to the hotel via the Orient Express and when you leave, you can also use it to your next destination.

Mount Nelson has beautiful garden, a rich history having been the home of many very special guests like royalty, celebrities, and the rich and famous. Colin Farrell has been known to enjoy an afternoon tea at Mount Nelson and if that should make you want to visit the hotel, imagine the other VIP guests who have stayed at the hotel at one point or another. They are too many to name but some of them are Oprah Winfrey, Pierce Brosnan, Enrique Iglesias, John Lennon, Billy Joel, Alicia keys, Paris Hilton, Kate Moss, Tiger Woods, Lewis Hamilton, the Dalai Lama, Al Gore, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Prince Andrew, and Prince Philip.

The hotel was opened in 1899, which means that it has been operating for more than a decade. Over the span of more than 100 years, it has changed colour, design, and even name. It was once known as the “Pink Palace.” This is the kind of hotel where you can waltz in the dining room in shorts and t-shirt. You are required to dress up each night in semi-formal attire, at the very least. Its old school but in a very glamorous, opulent manner that earns respect from every guest who graces its doors.