Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa

There are some of the best hotels in the world in South Africa so it is incredibly difficult to come up with a list of only 10 boutique hotels in South Africa. You will see that our list includes 7 of the best boutique hotels in Cape Town as there is such a high standard of hotels in Cape Town.

Some of the best hotels in South Africa are actually game lodges so they will be included in a separate list.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa Garden View

1. Ellerman House, Cape Town

We start off our list with the incredible Ellerman House. Ellerman House can be found in the prestigious suburb of Bantry Bay in Cape Town. The hotel offers exquisite views of the Atlantic Ocean stretching far below its green lawns and guests can admire Robben Island and Blouberg in the distance. Bantry Bay is also one of the few areas that are protected from the famous South Easter wind that blows in summer. Staying in an area protected from this wind makes a massive difference to your stay in Cape Town.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa

Ellerman House is a short drive from the V&A Waterfront, city centre and some of the most beautiful beaches in Cape Town – Clifton & Camps Bay. There are 13 distinctively decorated rooms and suites in the hotel, as well as two private villas. Each accommodation features a distinct blend of classic elegance and modern comforts, offering a relaxing and pleasant stay.

Ellerman House offers fantastic dining and a world class spa & wellness offering including massages, facials and other body treatments. Some of its stand out points other than its high level of personalised service and attention are its art collection and its amazing wine cellar.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa Garden

Ellerman House has an incredible collection of art including works by Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, John Meyer, Irma Stern, Maggie Laubser, Gregoire Boonzaaier, and William Kentridge as well as black pioneering artist like Gerard Sekoto and George Pemba. You can take a private tour around the hotel learning about the various pieces of art, or enjoy a tour given by one of the hotels iPads, that leads you around the grounds and buildings informing you about the art. You can also enjoy some contemporary pieces available at the Ellerman House art gallery.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa Cellar

Another highlight is the hotel’s unique cellar. The Ellerman House Wine Gallery, combines outstanding contemporary architecture with spectacular sculptural features and cutting-edge design, is not only a showcase for this enormous, award-winning wine collection, but also offers guests a unique, interactive trip into the world of wine.

Marvel at the red wines stored in a massive cork screw shaped sculpture or descend into the cooler area of the cellar where the white wines and champagnes are stored. You can enjoy wine tastings here from some of the most famous wine farms around the cape. The wall of the wine tasting room is decorated with earth taken from the different wine farms which is used to explain the different kinds of cultivars and tastes generated.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - The Silo Hotel

2. The Silo Hotel, Cape Town

The Silo Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel located in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront district. The old grain silo complex has been turned into a one-of-a-kind and trendy hotel that combines industrial architecture with contemporary design. The grain silo complex has also been turned into one of the best art museums in Cape Town – The Zeitz MOCAA Museum ( Museum of Contemporary Art Africa ).

The hotel offers stunning views of Table Mountain, Cape Town, the V&A Waterfront and the Atlantic Ocean. The Silo Hotel has 28 rooms, one of which is a one-bedroom penthouse. Each room is individually created, combining industrial features with modern, elegant decor.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Silo Granary Cafe

For food the Granary Café, located in the hotel, has a broad selection of international and local food. There is also the Willaston Bar, where guests can enjoy exquisite cocktails, wines, and small meals. The rooftop provides an exceptional dining experience with a glass pool and breathtaking views.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Rooms

There is also a a sophisticated spa offering a variety of treatments such as massages, facials, and body wraps. In addition, the spa has a gym, sauna, and a rooftop pool with panoramic views of Cape Town.

Explore The V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront is one of the best shopping experiences in the world, and is very unique as it is built around the functioning Cape Town harbour. The V&A Waterfront has over 450 retail stores with a mix of international brands, local boutiques, and designer outlets, as well as arts and crafts markets showcasing the work of South African artisans. Other highlights of the V&A Waterfront include fantastic dining, the Two Oceans Aquarium, Robben Island Museum & the Cape Wheel.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - The Oyster Box

3. The Oyster Box, Umhlanga Rocks

The Oyster Box is a magnificent and iconic hotel in Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa, just north of Durban. This luxury hotel, which overlooks the Indian Ocean, is famed for its colonial beauty, superb service, and world-class amenities.

The Oyster box is located on the Umhlanga beach front with direct access to the beach. From the hotel guests can enjoy fantastic views of the Umhlanga Lighthouse.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - The Oyster Box
Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - The Oyster Box View

The hotel has a variety of rooms and suites, each of which is independently designed and decorated to provide a distinct blend of elegance and modern comfort. Guests can choose from garden-facing or sea-facing rooms as well as luxury suites, including the sumptuous Presidential Suite.

The Oyster Box is famous for their fantastic dining options which include the renowned Ocean Terrace and The Grill Room.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - The Oyster Box

Like almost all our top hotels the Oyster Box has an award-winning spa that provides a variety of services such as massages, facials, and body therapies. A Turkish Hammam, plunge pools, and a meditation lounge are among the spa amenities. Guests can also use the fitness facility, yoga studio, and two swimming pools at the hotel.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - The Oyster Box Pool
Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - The Saxon

4. The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, Johannesburg

The Saxon is a one-of-a-kind blend of rich cultural history and modern five-star service, set on ten acres of stunning indigenous gardens, offering a quiet and peaceful getaway unlike any other.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - The Saxon Rooms

The Saxon has won numerous awards including ‘World’s Leading Boutique Hotel’ 2021, World Culinary Awards: Africa’s Best Fine Dining Hotel Restaurant 2021, One of the Best Hotels in Africa – Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure Top 5 City Hotels Africa.

The hotel has a variety of elegant rooms, suites, and villas, all of which are attractively furnished and outfitted with modern facilities. Private balconies or terraces are featured in the rooms and suites, while villas provide additional seclusion and large living areas.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - The Saxon - Spa
Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - The Saxon

Their modern spa provides a holistic spa journey, allowing visitors to rediscover a healthy and discerning lifestyle. Every session will start with a mindfulness practice led by your Spa therapist. Cascading water features, a distinctive fireplace, and copper and Himalayan salt influences set the tone for a relaxing excursion in this beautiful space.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Delaire Graff Vineyards

5. Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch

Delaire Graff Estate is a premium boutique hotel and wine estate in Stellenbosch’s Cape Winelands. The house is noted for its spectacular views, superb hospitality, fine dining, and world-class art collection, and is owned by renowned jeweler and entrepreneur Laurence Graff.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Delaire Graff Pool

The estate is set between Stellenbosch’s mountains and vineyards, providing panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Its location in the Cape Winelands makes it a perfect starting point for exploring the region’s many vineyards and historic towns such as Franschhoek and Paarl.

Delaire Graff Restaurant and Indochine are two of the estate’s outstanding eateries. Indochine presents a blend of Asian-inspired meals, while Delaire Graff Restaurant serves contemporary cuisine with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. Visitors can also enjoy wine tastings at the estate’s wine lounge, which features the entire Delaire Graff wine collection.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Delaire Graff Food

Laurence Graff curates an excellent collection of contemporary South African art at Delaire Graff Estate. Works by notable artists such as William Kentridge, Lionel Smit, and Deborah Bell are displayed throughout the property.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - La Residence

6. La Residence, Franschhoek

Discover a quiet refuge of spectacular natural beauty, grandeur, and perfect privacy in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley. La Residence, nestled on a secluded 30-acre estate surrounded by mountains and vineyards, is the gold standard for luxury lodging in South Africa’s famed Cape Winelands.

The hotel’s suites and villas are spacious and individually furnished, with high-quality furnishings, luxurious bedding, and rich amenities, offering a comfortable and memorable stay. La Residence is well-known for its attentive and customized service, which adds to its stellar reputation. Staff go above and beyond to meet the needs and preferences of their visitors.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - La Residence Entrance
Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - La Residence Pool

With the hotel located in one of South Africa’s most well known wine areas guests may easily visit neighbouring vineyards, taste the region’s finest wines, and learn about the winemaking process from the wine makers and farmers themselves. Some of these wine farms include:

  • Boschendal Wine Estate: Founded in 1685, Boschendal is known for its award-winning wines, stunning scenery, and farm-to-table dining experiences.
  • La Motte Wine Estate: Known for its premium wines, sustainable farming practices, and cultural history, La Motte has a wine-tasting room, an excellent restaurant, and a gorgeous garden.
  • Chamonix Wine Farm: This winery produces a wide variety of wines, including reds, whites, and Méthode Cap Classique. Chamonix is particularly well-known for its game reserve, where tourists can see a variety of wildlife.
  • Haute Cabrière: Owned by the von Arnim family, Haute Cabrière is well-known for its Chardonnay Pinot Noir mix as well as the Pierre Jourdan Cap Classique sparkling wines. There is also a tasting facility and a fine-dining restaurant on the estate.
  • Babylonstoren is a historic Cape Dutch farm with a lovely garden that provides wine tastings, a farm-to-table restaurant, and a variety of outdoor activities. These wines are distinguished for their delicacy and richness.
Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Athol Place

7. AtholPlace Hotel & Villa, Johannesburg

AtholPlace House & Villa is located in the heart of Atholl, one of Johannesburg’s most picturesque neighborhoods, and is only a short distance from Sandton’s commercial district. These two exclusive use properties provide complete seclusion as well as a team of personnel to ensure a great visit. AtholPlace can accommodate 26 people in their luxury rooms.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Athol Place Boma

AtholPlace Villa

AtholPlace Villa is our intimate four-bedroom exclusive-use Johannesburg villa. The top floor includes three spacious deluxe bedrooms and one cosier bedroom, all with en-suite bathrooms, and can accommodate up to eight people. On the ground floor, visitors can enjoy exquisite living and dining areas that open into a beautifully planted private garden, shimmering pool, and bright boma.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Athol Place Rooms

AtholPlace House

With nine bedrooms en-suite, AtholPlace House is the larger of the two residences and is perfect for large multi-generational families or business retreats. Guests can relax and unwind in the different places around the property, including the bar and library with romantic fireplace, the temperature-controlled swimming pool, the gym, and the lush garden.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Athol Place Pool

Weddings, events & conferences

For special events such as milestone celebrations, bridal and baby showers, product launches, photoshoots, small conferences, business vacations, and tiny boutique-style weddings, AtholPlace House and Villa can be booked privately on an exclusive-use basis. Our team is ready to help make these occasions and experiences unforgettable.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Birkenhead House

8. Birkenhead House, Hermanus

Birkenhead House, with its spectacular cliff-top location overlooking the whale-watching paradise of Walker Bay, provides an immersive coastal environment unlike any other for visitors wishing to relax and rejuvenate. The Best Resort in Africa 2022 (Travel + Leisure) combines chic and stylish decor with world-class cuisine and comfort.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Birkenhead House

Birkenhead House has two swimming pools, a spa, and many indoor and outdoor relaxing spots. Beach walks, wine tasting, and exploring the adjacent Fernkloof Nature Reserve are among the activities available to guests.

One of the highlights of staying in Hermanus is the incredible land based whale-watching. The most common whales are Southern Right whales but it is also possible to see Humpbacked whales and Bryde’s whales as well as other marine life like dolphins, seals, and various seabirds.

The ideal season to see whales in Hermanus is from June through November. From August and October, the whales come closest to the coast to mate, calve, and nurse their young.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Birkenhead House Whales Hermanus

Why do the whales come to hermanus?

Whales are drawn to the waters of Hermanus for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Breeding and calving: Whales come to Hermanus mostly to breed and give birth. The sheltered bays and relatively calm seas along the shoreline are excellent for whales to mate and nurture their calves. The warmer waters in this location are also more favorable for birthing and nursing than their feeding grounds in the frigid Antarctic waters.
  • Safety: The coastal waters around Hermanus provide protection from the harsh open ocean and dangerous predators such as orcas (killer whales). This safety element is critical for newborn calves’ survival as they grow and learn vital life skills before embarking on the long trek back to their feeding grounds in the Southern Ocean.
  • Resting and socializing: In addition to breeding and calving, whales use the waters around Hermanus to relax and interact. They engage in a variety of actions that are assumed to represent types of communication and social interaction, such as breaching, tail-slapping, and spy-hopping.
  • Migration: The waters of Hermanus are on numerous whale species’ migration routes, notably Humpback whales. They pass through the area on their way between feeding grounds in Antarctica and breeding grounds in warmer waters further north.
Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - 54 Bath Outside

9. 54 on Bath, Johannesburg

The boutique 54 on Bath hotel, located in the leafy Johannesburg neighborhood of Rosebank, offers its guests a signature blend of elegance, style, and attentive service, providing the greatest levels of comfort for both business and leisure travelers.

Choose from 75 elegant rooms and suites in one of Johannesburg’s most picturesque destinations. Each en-suite room includes a variety of luxurious amenities like free WiFi, 24-hour room service, an espresso machine, a mini-bar, and flat-screen TV.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - 54 Bath Pool

Level Four restaurant and the Perrier-Jout garden bar serve champagne, afternoon tea, and gourmet meals. Visitors are welcome to work out in the cutting-edge fitness center and relax in their dazzling outdoor pool.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - 54 Bath Food

The Rosebank Mall and The Zone At Rosebank, which offer a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities, are both within walking distance of 54 on Bath. The hotel is also close to the Rosebank Gautrain Station, which provides easy access to other areas of Johannesburg, such as Sandton and the O.R. Tambo International Airport.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Turbine 1

10. The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, Knysna

The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa is a one-of-a-kind and elegant hotel on Thesen Islands in Knysna, South Africa, on the famous Garden Route. The hotel has been thoughtfully renovated into a stylish and comfortable boutique hotel while keeping much of its industrial character. It is housed in a former wood-fired turbine power plant.

There are 24 tastefully designed rooms in the hotel, including luxury rooms, suites, and a honeymoon suite. Each room is individually crafted, combining industrial features with modern style and conveniences such as air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Turbine 2

There are endless activities and sights for visitors to see in and around Knysna. Two of our favourites include visiting the Knysna Lagoon and the Knysna Heads. The lagoon is a magnificent estuary bordered by lush trees and impressive sandstone cliffs known as the Knysna Heads. The two towering cliffs surround the small canal that connects the lagoon to the ocean. Tourists can take a leisurely sail on the lagoon, kayak through the tranquil waters, or simply admire the breathtaking views from the Heads’ view points.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels In South Africa - Turbine Rooms

The other is visiting the Featherbed Nature Reserve. The Featherbed Nature Reserve is a privately owned reserve located on the western Knysna Head. This natural reserve offers a one-of-a-kind combination of coastal and fynbos landscapes, as well as stunning vistas of the Knysna Lagoon. A guided tour includes a boat ride across the lagoon, a 4×4 drive to the reserve, and a guided walk through the reserve’s trails, where visitors will learn about the area’s flora, animals, and cultural heritage.

These are just some of the incredible boutique hotels that can be found in South Africa, and each region and town have their own unique choices and special characteristics. We hope you find the hotel that suits your needs and you have an incredible stay in South Africa.

If you want help choosing the best hotel to suit your needs then send us a message and one of our travel experts with help you choose the best hotels for you or set up your whole South African visit.