Clark Mitchell
April 01, 2009

A little 12-room inn in the sunny hills of Cape Town's Tamboerskloof area is redefining modern African style. Owned by Louis Nel and Jimmy van Tonder, An African Villa (19 Carstens St.; 27-21/423-2164; www.capetowncity.co.za/villa; doubles from $134) occupies a 19th-century mansion where floors are strewn with antelope-skin rugs and halls are lit by onyx lamps. In the evenings, guests grab glasses of Pinotage and kick back on chaise longues beside the candlelit pool.

An African Villa in Cape Town

Three terraced Victorian houses in the sunny hills of Cape Town’s Tamboerskloof district make up this 12-room boutique hotel. Distinctly African, the floors are covered with antelope-skin rugs, and halls are lit by onyx lamps crafted by local members of the Xhosa tribe. Every piece of furniture was commissioned specifically for the hotel, and most of it is for sale—from the papier-mâché lampshade in the shape of a kudu head over the fireplace to the red Zulu hats mounted on a headboard. Owners Jimmy van Tonder and Louis Nel like to give guests a personal introduction to the city at the hotel’s candlelit pool, glasses of Pinotage in hand.

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