The Top City Hotels in Africa in 2017

Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa in Africa
Photo: Courtesy of Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa

Someone should really tell South Africa to lay low and let someone else have a turn in the spotlight. The country once again dominated our rankings of the best city hotels in Africa, with Cape Town (which has been on the best city in Africa list since 2001) taking four of the top five spots. The first-place winner, Ellerman House, a Cape Edwardian mansion with sweeping views of the Atlantic from its pool, shot up from its fourth-place ranking last year. And the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, a 70-room property decorated in cool, coastal-inspired hues, nabbed second place in its first time on the list in several years. It’s only fair to note that the hotels of Cape Town have a location advantage. With the Atlantic on one side and Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, and the Twelve Apostles mountains on the other, there’s no such thing as a bad view at this town’s best properties. And though T+L readers may have a soft spot for Cape Town, Johannesburg has plenty of five-star stays, too. It’s a testament to the Saxon Hotel, Villas, & Spa’s secluded location and eye-catching design (it houses 200 works by South African artists) that it’s been the lone Johannesburg pick for two years running. The Saxon, in fact, is close to making our Hall of Fame: it has placed on the list nine out of the past 10 years. And with travelers around the world finally giving Jo’burg’s thriving art and food scenes a second look, we expect the city’s five-star stays will prove stiff competition for Cape Town in coming years. Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as City or Resort based on their locations and amenities. If you haven’t already started planning your next trip to Africa, these five hotels may be just the motivation you need. Read on for the perfect places to stay, pre- or post-safari.

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5. One&Only Cape Town

One&Only Cape Town Hotel in Africa
Courtesy of One&Only

Score: 92.97

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4. Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, Johannesburg, South Africa

Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa in Africa
Courtesy of Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa

Score: 94.00

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3. Cape Grace, Cape Town

Cape Grace Hotel in Africa
Courtesy of Cape Grace


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2. Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, Cape Town

Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa in Africa
Courtesy of Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa

Score: 94.59

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1. Ellerman House, Cape Town

Ellerman House Hotel in Africa
Courtesy of Ellerman House

Score: 95.78

When international royalty and celebrities like Oprah come to Cape Town, this is their stay of choice. Set on a cliff in the tony Bantry Bay neighborhood, Ellerman House has 13 rooms and two private villas. And with a staff-to-guest ratio of 3-to-1, there’s no better place in the city for exclusivity, privacy, and personal attention. Readers raved about its impressive art collection (the pieces on display are curated to give a comprehensive look at the history of South African art, and an on-site guide is available for private tours) as well as the exceptional food and top-notch wine cellar, which houses 7,500 bottles from around South Africa. Reader Constance Lampert said it best: “I keep telling my husband that he could just leave me at Ellerman House and I would be very happy!”

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