By the late 1700s, the Netherlands' resources were strained from the Napoleonic wars, and Britain saw an opportunity. After four battles, the Dutch were forced to concede Cape Town, which became an English colony in 1814. It remained under British rule until 1961.
One of the most crucial parts of modern South African history is Apartheid, a state of racial segregation that lasted from 1948 to 1994. The practice was ended after years of work from activists — including Nelson Mandela, who became the country's first black president and lead the people through desegregation.
Cape Town has always been a diverse country, but not one whose inhabitants have always gotten along. This rawness is still felt in some parts of the city and makes Cape Town a wonderful destination for learning about colonialism, segregation, and the importance of equality. Whether you're looking for a historic education or just want to take in the scenery, you're sure to find a great hotel to suit your stay.
When to Visit Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa is located in the southern hemisphere, which means the dry summer peaks from December to February. As such, it's a popular winter getaway for Europeans trying to escape brutally cold wind and snow. You can expect the beaches to be packed this time of year, and most hotels will be completely booked. If you're planning a winter getaway, it's strongly recommended that you book your accommodation a month or two in advance.
Most locals recommend visiting in the early fall, from late February through April. By this time, much of the summer crowds have left, and the extreme temperatures have cooled. April also kicks off hiking season, where clear skies and cooler weather make for perfect conditions to scale Table Mountain, a flat-topped mountain that's featured on the Cape Town flag and stretches 3,558 feet above the city. February through May are also the best months to find competitive rates on hotels, as the summer inflation has passed.
If you're a fan of spring, consider booking your trip to Cape Town from July to September. Wildflowers start to bloom along the coast, and southern right whales pass through along the coastline. Don't worry about the harsh chill of winter or a spring cold snap: Cape Town temperatures rarely dip below 50 in the winter months, and visitors can enjoy mild temperatures whenever they visit.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Cape Town, South Africa:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs displaying average nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Cape Town, South Africa. Analyze these charts to calculate the best seasons to make a reservation in Cape Town during the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in Cape Town, South Africa
4 Star Average Prices: $165.65
The Cape Grace Hotel oozes luxury from the moment you set foot on the premises. Guests can choose from a Superior Room, a Penthouse Suite, or two- to three-bedroom suites throughout the hotel. Located near the water, guests are right next to the Clock Tower, the South African Maritime Museum, and the Two Oceans Aquarium. If you're traveling beyond walking distance, this hotel has a limo and town car service, as well as babysitting facilities so the adults can have a romantic night out.
Also located near the water, the One & Only Cape Town is known as a luxury resort in the middle of a city. The spa offers massages, body treatments, and facials to make sure the busy city life hasn't taken its toll on your skin. After your spa visit, relax by the pool or charter a yacht through the on-site marina to have a romantic dinner and evening at sea. If you're bringing the whole family, kids will enjoy the Children's Club, which plans games and activities to make their time in Cape Town memorable. When you do decide to sightsee, stop by the front desk for help booking tours and securing tickets to the wonderful museums and galleries that Cape Town has to offer.
Affordable Hotel Options in Cape Town, South Africa
3 Star Average Prices: $131.61
The Cape Milner is another affordable hotel option for visitors in Cape Town. This hotel offers complimentary breakfast and newspapers in the lobby, as well as a restaurant that's open for lunch and dinner if you need a quick bite without venturing too far. For those who plan on sightseeing, this hotel is half a mile away from the Bo Kaap Museum, the Houses of Parliament, and the South African National Gallery. If you bring your walking shoes, then you can leave the car behind and explore Cape Town just by walking down the road. When you return, grab your swimsuit and relax by the outdoor pool. You can even order a drink from the poolside bar.
The Banksia Boutique Hotel is a 4-star guest house located in the heart of Cape Town. Although it's central to everything, including the Castle of Good Hope and Newlands Stadium, it feels like it's tucked far away from the busy streets of South Africa. Guests choose from a selection of suites, many with views of Table Mountain. Those who stay here will feel like they're at a luxury hotel — while only paying guest house prices. They can also save by opting for free breakfast in the morning and free Wi-Fi throughout the facilities.
2 Star Average Prices: $777.79
Cape Town, South Africa Hotels with Discounts
The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cape Town on the Upper Eastside is located less than a mile from the city center, near the Rhodes Memorial and Devil's Peak. While this hotel is pricier than some of the other options, Hilton Honors members can easily find discounts on room upgrades and breakfast when they arrive. This more than makes up for the cost in savings and value. Guests can also take advantage of the fitness facilities and enjoy shuttles to various locations like the train station, ferry dock, shopping center, and local theme parks (for a small charge).
The 12 Hofmeyr hotel is relatively new to the list of Cape Town accommodations, but it is already becoming a favorite with its rooftop hot tub. While every booking has its own private room and guest room, there are communal cooking areas within the guest house and barbecue grills on the property if you're looking for cook in for the night or grill some fresh-caught fish. To save even more, book online in advance. If you find a better deal, this hotel allows free cancellation up to 24-hours before your stay, so you can secure your accommodation but keep looking if you so desire.
Best Value Options in Cape Town, South Africa
The Cape Heritage House bring boutique to the next level. Each room is different and provides a unique vibe based on decor and view. If you like to feel like your hotel stay is one in a million, then this hotel is worth it. The Cape Heritage House is located next to the Pan African Market and the historic Slave House, making it an ideal hotel for visitors trying to soak in the history surrounding them. Breakfast is free, along with newspapers in the lobby, and there's even a nightclub where guests can relax with a drink and enjoy music throughout the night.
Alternatively, the Protea Hotel Mowbray is located near the South African Astronomical Observatory and also offers boutique four-star accommodation at affordable prices. This hotel has a wonderful garden and picnic area to relax after a long day exploring the city. Guests can choose rooms with a microwave and mini-fridge if they're looking to save money by making food instead of buying it, or they can curl up in the loft above the barn for a romantic getaway. This hotel has a 24-hour front desk, so you'll receive a warm South African welcome no matter what time you arrive. Breakfast is about five dollars, which is cheaper than you will pay in the restaurants around Cape Town.
Enjoy the Wildlife of Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town has so much more to offer than history! On top of visiting the Two Oceans Aquarium and taking a whale-watching tour, marine animal lovers can also get up close and personal with great white sharks. Eco-tourism charters abound, and visitors can either keep their eyes peeled for sharks breaching out of the water after prey or cage dive to see them in the water. The best time for great white shark sightings is July to August.
Many guests also take day trips outside of Cape Town to enjoy a safari in the Aquila Private Game Reserve. This is where guests can learn about the Big Five (lions, leopards, rhinos, buffaloes, and elephants) and take in these wonderful animals in their natural habitat.
Whatever you decided to see and do in Cape Town, rest assured that you can find the perfect accommodation for your needs and budget. There's a reason so many unique animals and cultures call Cape Town home. Soon you will, too — if only temporarily.
Travel overview of Cape Town, South Africa
Known to be among the most iconic cities in the world, Cape Town is truly the perfect destination for a leisurely travel to South Africa. The city is home to Table Mountain, so named because of its flat top that is clearly emphasized when seen from afar, for instance, across Table Bay. Diverse activities can be enjoyed by tourists who head to this city to look for fun and adventure. They can take tours of old fighter jets for an extra adrenaline rush or hike up Table Mountain to enjoy the views then go down via the cable cars to enjoy views of the valley. Swimming and snorkeling are also great options, especially at False Bay where the water is warmer compared with the other bays and coastal areas. Don't forget to try your hand at surfing as Cape Town is well known for its great surfing beaches. Shark cage diving is simply the most dangerous yet exciting activity to do in Cape Town. This is the best place to come literally face to face with the Great White Shark. A less dangerous activity is to go whale watching, away from the sharks but still enjoying various marine life such as killer whales, dusky dolphins, and bottlenose dolphins.
"You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That's a part of it." - Hollywood star Denzel Washington.
Natural settings and a great harbor is just what the city needed to boost tourism. It is already home to nearly 65% of the population living on the Western Cape and the many hotels in Cape Town testify why it is designated as one of the best global places to visit. Well-developed infrastructure ensures tourists have a great number of picturesque sites to visit such as Cape Point and Table Mountain National Park. The city is exposed to coastlines on both sides including the Atlantic Seaboard and False Bay Coast with varying water temperatures and characteristics. Many popular restaurants are found along the beaches with surfing attracting locals and internationals to the many Cape Town hotels.
3 Budget Hotels For Overnight Stays
Cheap hotels near the waterfront represent typical African culture with a lot of hustle and bustle. The Westin Cape Town - If the executive lounge serves complimentary drinks, guests celebrating anniversaries are likely to be surprised with a bottle of champagne in their rooms. Higher floors offer great views of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. SunSquare Cape Town, Comfortable stays and relaxed breakfasts are what can be expected at the friendly hotel. Besides having a central location close to tourist destinations like Clifton Beaches, Table Mountain, and Camps Bay, the hotel offers good amenities at budget prices. Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge - The hotel along with the school is located within a former prison, so the rooms are quite small. It has a good location and enough space along the aisles to walk across to the interesting buffet breakfast tables. The waterfront is just a short distance away with enough shopping opportunities and bars to interest tourists. Cheap hotels along the waterfront are lively and interesting.
2 Panoramic View Luxury Hotels
The promenade has the lively and vibrant atmosphere to attract a large number of visitors. South Beach Camps Bay - The luxurious five-star property has self-catering accommodation very close to the beach and promenade. The highly-rated resort has all modern amenities including a well-equipped kitchen, refrigerator, satellite TV, and an open plan lounge area for total relaxation. Guests can gather great views of the Atlantic Ocean and can relax by the pool side. One&Only Cape Town - Guests can relax in suites with private balconies. Bathrooms are made of marble with bathtubs. The in-house Japanese restaurant and an exciting spa with massage and sauna are great attractions. The Hotel organizes children's games and activities to keep them happy.
Famous Beaches And Festivities
The Cape Dutch style architectural buildings are world-renowned. Cape Town hotel visitors can spend a whole day at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. The World Heritage site of Cape Floristic Region is another major tourist attraction. Cape Town Minstrel Carnival is a typical Afrikaans celebration taking place in January. Huge crowds assemble and participate in the fun event. People can enjoy theatre and the Artscape Theatre Center. Hotels in Cape Town have great locations and popular tourist areas such as Camps Bay, Newlands, and the City Bowl.
Recent traveler reviews of Cape Town, South Africa
Below are reviews of the city of Cape Town, South Africa from an actual visitor's perspective.
"Nice hotel and city!"
Score 4.0 / 5
Cape Town winery tours are excellent
"Meetings in Cape Town"
Score 5.0 / 5
Cape Town is a beautiful city that has both peaceful landscapes and a vibrant city center. The Waterfront area can accommodate large events with the biggest conference center of the city, CTICC. It is safer to travel by car or bus instead of walking when people don't know the city. There is a choice of hotels in the city center and in one part of the seaside with exclusive hotels.
The average traveler rating of the city of Cape Town, South Africa shown above is 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews