The word “heritage” need not evoke a stuffy yesteryears vibe. At this intimate boutique hotel in the Central Business District’s Heritage Square, owners Johan and Victoria Nel have lovingly restored a 1780s building into a stylish inner-city retreat. Old meets new as rooms with soaring ceilings and exposed brick are bedecked in local art, and themes range from colonial period to Asian-inspired, complete with silk curtains and bamboo touches. Breakfast is served in a lovely vine-laden courtyard where you can find a moment of tranquility that might let you forget you’re in the heart of the city.
But why should you want to forget? If you’re the type of traveler who prefers to forgo wheels in favor of walking around, you can’t find a better location. Prime Bree Street teems with new restaurants and a clutch of shops displaying wares by burgeoning South African designers, and the hotel is walking distance to all the historic sights of the CBD as well as the colorful houses of the Bo-Kaap neighborhood.
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Every restaurateur in Cape Town is eyeing Bree Street, the city’s newest culinary destination. It’s home to trendy eateries such as La Parada, Bocca, and Latitude 33, popular cafés like Jason Bakery, Birds Café, and Hard-Pressed Café. In the evening, choose from a mix of lively bars such as Weinhaus + Biergarten and the Orphanage. Don’t miss browsing the area’s hip design shops including Skinny La Minx and Sarah Ord.
Need to Know
Rooms: 15 bedrooms and 2 suites. From $122. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: Heritage Square is a collection of small businesses set around a bustling courtyard, and guests at the hotel have access to the neighboring restaurants, which include top Cape Town eateries Bizerca Bistro, HQ steakhouse, and celebrated chef Liam Tomlin’s Chef’s Warehouse tapas and street food. Spa and gym details: There’s no spa or gym on-site (there is a Virgin Active gym a 10-minute walk away), but the hotel has a rooftop Jacuzzi for guests.
Who it’s best for: History buffs will dig the hotel’s provenance, while style mavens will appreciate its sophisticated design details. Our favorite rooms: Each room is unique, but room 104 feels extra glamorous with a massive bathroom with large stand-alone tub and marble-topped vanities, and curtains sewn together from scraps of old wedding dresses. Good to know: The vine adorning the courtyard is as old as the building itself—they claim it’s the oldest fruit-bearing vine in the hemisphere—and the hotel auctions the wine it produces each year.