CAPE TOWN
National Geographic Traveller (UK)|November/December
A dramatic setting and vibrant arts scene might steal the show, but the South African city’s ever-growing choice of impressive hotels is reason enough to stay a little longer.
Hannah Summers

When it comes to stop-you-in-your tracks scenery, Cape Town knows a thing or two. On one side, Table Mountain gazes out over the city, while to the other, dozens of white-sand beaches tumble into the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. But for all the hiking, surfing and sunbathing you can do here, some of Cape Town’s simplest pleasures are to be found in its neighbourhoods. Take a stroll and you’ll discover a truly sensational art scene, from world-class museums on the V&A Waterfront to tiny galleries in Woodstock. Independent bars and restaurants serve wine from some of the region’s finest vineyards, and plates of seafood caught just off the coast. Handily, this is also a city that caters for all budgets, with everything from colourful guesthouses in Green Point to sprawling mansion hotels and luxe boutique boltholes in Bantry Bay.

Best for night owls

GORGEOUS GEORGE

The clue’s in the name: Gorgeous George is one handsome hotel. Located in two heritage buildings — one art deco, the other Edwardian — its 32 spacious, design-focused studios go big on exposed concrete, steel beams, and Victorian-style penny tiles in the monochrome bathrooms. It’s very central — a short stroll from Bo-Kaap and a stumble from some of the neighbourhood’s excellent cocktail bars, but its own bar and restaurant, Gigi Rooftop, is a real showstopper, with loungers, a plunge pool with city views and velvet sofas.

ROOMS: From 3,950 rand (£184), B&B. gorgeousgeorge.co.za

Best for local character

STOCK EXCHANGE

Set in the former textile neighbourhood of Woodstock, a handy 10-minute taxi ride from the Waterfront, is the bright and bold Stock Exchange. Each of its 33 studios comes with a kitchenette to whip up your own meals in — when you’re not hanging out in the nearby cafes and Neighbourgoods Market, that is. Whitewashed brick walls, acid-green light fixtures and jazzy abstract throws add to the playful feel, with most furnishings sourced from local designers — there’s even an in-room map to tell you who created what, should you want to buy your own. A small pool and gym overlook the docks and Table Mountain, and there’s also an onsite microbrewery.

ROOMS: From 1,505 rand (£70). newmarkhotels.com

Best for coastal cool

POD

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER (UK)View All

Vancouver

The Canadian city has long been home to a thriving Chinese community, its presence most apparent in the food scene, where the traditional and modern come together with a dash of West Coast cool.

8 mins read
National Geographic Traveller (UK)
May 2022

Menorca

Quiet coastal hiking trails, rich gastronomy and an intriguing history — this stunning Balearic isle offers plenty beyond its dazzling beaches.

9 mins read
National Geographic Traveller (UK)
May 2022

Zagreb

Croatia’s beguiling capital offers a heady mix of Western Balkan heritage, proud coffee culture and outdoor markets selling produce from the encircling Dinaric Alps

9 mins read
National Geographic Traveller (UK)
May 2022

INSIDE GUIDE - OTTAWA

ACTIVE ADVENTURES, BUZZY BREWERIES AND NEIGHBOURHOODS THRIVING WITH BARS AND BOUTIQUES CANADA'S BIJOU CAPITAL HAS PLENTY TO DISCOVER BEYOND THE HALLS OF PARLIAMENT

3 mins read
National Geographic Traveller (UK)
June 2022

ULTIMATE SCANDINAVIAN EXPERIENCES

25 - THE PULL OF THE WILD IS NEVER STRONGER THAN IN DENMARK, NORWAY AND SWEDEN. ON THE PERIPHERY OF EUROPE, SCANDINAVIA IS WHERE NATURE THROWS OUT THE RULEBOOK. SHAPED BY THE ELEMENTS AND RULED BY THE SEASONS, THIS IS A REGION NOT ONLY BOUND B CULTURAL TIES, BUT BY A LOVE FOR EPIC OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

10+ mins read
National Geographic Traveller (UK)
June 2022

EAT - TUNISIA

From a seafood feast in Kelibia to spice shopping in Nabeul, Tunisia's northeastern Cap Bon peninsula offers up a fiery fusion of culinary experiences

8 mins read
National Geographic Traveller (UK)
June 2022

STAY AT HOME - STRANGFORD LOUGH

The largest inlet in Northern Ireland is brimming with opportunities for outdoor adventure, from birdlife to bracing waterside walks

2 mins read
National Geographic Traveller (UK)
June 2022

HOT TOPIC - HOW THE WAR IN UKRAINE IS AFFECTING TRAVEL

Here's all you need to know about how the war in Ukraine has redrawn the travel map, from international flight routes to regional trips.

3 mins read
National Geographic Traveller (UK)
June 2022

MAURITIUS

Charles Darwin was among the first naturalists to document the astonishing bounty of this Indian Ocean idyll. Exploring in his footsteps reveals an island every bit as ‘eminently curious' as it was to him in 1836 — home not only to an array of endemic species but also to a growing army of modern-day conservationists, all working to preserve the sanctity of Mauritius's tropical beaches and waterfall-laced mountains

2 mins read
National Geographic Traveller (UK)
June 2022

CITY LIFE - PITTSBURGH

America's steel city is forging a new name for itself as an incubator for cutting-edge tech, offbeat arts and innovative places to eat, drink and dance

9 mins read
National Geographic Traveller (UK)
June 2022
RELATED STORIES

Ten Years After MORE THAN 50 YEARS LATER

DRUMMER RIC LEE TALKS TO GOLDMINE ABOUT A TEN YEARS AFTER DELUXE EDITION OF THE A STING IN THE TALE ALBUM AND HIS RECENTLY RELEASED MEMOIR, FROM HEADSTOCKS TO WOODSTOCK.

10+ mins read
GOLDMINE
April 2021

THE BAND'S 'STAGE FRIGHT'

GUITARIST ROBBIE ROBERTSON SUPERVISES THE REISSUE OF THE BAND’S THIRD ALBUM, STAGE FRIGHT, AS IT HITS THE 50-YEAR MARK.

10+ mins read
GOLDMINE
March 2021

Woodstock lo vence todo

Medio siglo de una leyenda. Sus ecos siguen sonando actualmente

10+ mins read
Rolling Stone - México
Agosto 2019

A castle and palace conjoined

One of the outstanding palaces of Baroque Europe was planned as both a residence and national monument. John Goodall revisits this extraordinary building

8 mins read
Country Life UK
May 11, 2022

WISDOM FOR THE FUTURE

Four special Bazaar India contributors pen exclusive essays on how to navigate an uncertain tomorrow with courage and conviction, to embrace one’s inner strength and beauty.

10+ mins read
Harper's Bazaar India
January - February 2022

WOODSTOCK: EL ABUELO HIPPIE DE LOS FESTIVALES MASIVOS

Los “tres días de paz y música” que cambiaron la historia del rock.

5 mins read
Muy Interesante México
Agosto 2021

Happy Hour: An Apple A Day

As the Cape winter finds its stride, Taste's resident cocktail guru, Jeanne Calitz is trading her summery spritzes for something a little cosier. Here’s how to make your own mulled apple cider – with or without alcohol

2 mins read
Woolworths TASTE
July 2020

From The Kitchen, With Love

One of the Mother City’s most iconic deli-restaurants, beloved by both locals and a certain US First Lady, has been forced to close its doors for good. Owner Karen Dudley recalls the joy, spirit of connection and the unforgettable food that made The Kitchen a home from home

3 mins read
Woolworths TASTE
July 2020

IN THE KITCHEN with Karen Dudley and family

For Karen Dudley, food informs the family dynamic and her home is as multilayered and as delicious a delight as her colourful personality and cooking style

4 mins read
House and Leisure
April - May 2020

The roaring '20s!

Tracy Spiers sends a toothsome New Year’s wish from the Oxfordshire town of Woodstock

6 mins read
Cotswold Life
January 2020