FANCOURT HOTEL AND COUNTRY CLUB ESTATE In order to play the Links (or its sister courses, the Montagu and the Outeniqua), one must stay at the encompassing Fancourt resort. The 150-room hotel offers first-rate luxury in both the manor house and its garden suites, but if you're looking for a true romantic hideaway, the place to be is the Glentana lodge, a secluded one-bedroom cottage perched on a cliff high above the Indian Ocean. It also happens to have its own private beach, complete with cavorting dolphins. Just three miles from the main resort, it's the ultimate escape. Make sure to book well in advance.
Montagu Street, Blanco, George, Western Cape; 011-27/448-040-000, fancourt.com. Rooms: $224–$343 (per person). Suites: $469 (per person).
PHANTOM FOREST ECO RESERVE For anyone who's ever wondered what a five-star treehouse would look like, here's your answer. Linked by wooden walkways, Phantom Forest's suites are large and ultracomfortable. Some have glass-walled bathrooms jutting out into the canopy of the Afromontane Forest—no need for curtains, unless you object to curious monkeys swinging by for a look. Dining is in a romantic thatch-roofed cabin, with coffee and liqueurs served later around a boma, the traditional African stone-rimmed fire.
Phantom Pass Road, Knysna; 011-27/443-860-046, phantomforest.com. Rooms: $183–$239 (per person).
QUARTERS HOTEL Resembling a Victorian homage to New Orleans or old Charleston, the Quarters in Durban's smart Morningside district is a small luxury boutique hotel and brasserie. On Florida Road, where most of Durban's best restaurants are found, Quarters is only a short drive from the beach. Durban Country Club is ten minutes away.
101 Florida Road, Morningside, Durban, KwaZuluNatal; 011-27/313-035-246, quarters.co.za. Rooms: $116–$164 (breakfast included).
STEENBERG HOTEL Designated as a National Monument, the Steenberg has thirty rooms—the best being the contemporary design rooms, rather than those more chintz-clad—housed in the original manor house, barn and jonkershuis (house of the eldest son). These beautifully renovated white-walled Cape Dutch buildings, grouped around a large manicured grass courtyard, are at the center of an award-winning winery. The golf course is open only to hotel guests and members.
10802 Steenberg Estate, Tokai Road, Constantia, Cape Town; 011-27/217-132-222, steenberghotel.com. Rooms: $280–$380. Suites: $600–$700.
TWELVE APOSTLES HOTEL AND SPA You must see the sun set over the Cape. One of the best ways to experience this is with cocktails on the deck of the Twelve Apostles, the Atlantic Ocean far below and Table Mountain just over your shoulder. The hotel has seventy rooms, a pool and a subterranean spa, all housed in modern white buildings. The Apostles doesn't blend in; it is standout, confident architecture for a leading hotel.
Victoria Road, Oudekraal, Camps Bay, Cape Town; 011-27/214-379-000, 12apostleshotel.com. Rooms: from $553. Suites: from $763 (breakfast included).
WESTERN CAPE HOTEL & SPA An hour and a quarter out of Cape Town toward Hermanus, the Western Cape Hotel is part of the Arabella Country Estate. From the outside, this 145-room Sheraton-operated hotel looks impersonal, but inside is a different story. It is luxurious and smart, runs on precision service and exudes style and comfort. The resort's AltiraSPA is the type of place that influences spa trends worldwide. Insist on a room overlooking the golf course and the lagoon; the view will stay with you.
Arabella Country Estate, R44, Kleinmond, Overberg, Western Cape; 011-27/282-840-000, westerncapehotelandspa.co.za. Rooms: $372–$471. Suites: $695–$884.