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: $112.69
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: $101.14
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.