With bold artwork inside and magnificent ocean views outside, guests are never quite sure where to direct their gaze when they arrive at Ellerman House. A stay here is a bit like visiting an elegant and attentive friend, starting with the complimentary airport pickup straight through to all of the thoughtful, personalized touches (guests might find a bottle of their favorite vodka already stocked in their room). The manse’s owner is a well-known aficionado of South African art, and his private collection (one of the largest in the country) graces walls of the rooms and public spaces. True art fans should be sure to pop into the on-site gallery to view masterpieces by Louis Maqhubela, Wayne Barker, and Angus Taylor.
The luxuriously appointed villa’s cliffside setting makes for one of the best spots in Cape Town for a sundowner: have a cocktail on the terrace while watching the fiery African sun meet the tumultuous Atlantic waves.
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Posh Bantry Bay is a residential enclave with gracious villas and hotels. Tucked away in one of these hotels is the sleek Koi, which is perhaps the best sushi bar in the city with one of the best views to boot. Ellerman House is also walking distance to Clifton 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th beaches—not the most creatively named strips of sand out there, but easily Cape Town’s most popular. Come summer, Clifton is the place to be. A few minutes past that is Camps Bay, a South Beach–like hive of activity with lively restaurants, stylish patrons, and the sexiest scene around. Don’t miss the sashimi at Umi, and for late-night cocktails (and perhaps some dancing) hit Le Roi Beach Bar.
Need to Know
Rooms: 11 rooms, two suites, and two villas. From $541. Check-in: 1 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: Only Ellerman guests are privy to executive chef Veronica Canha-Hibbert’s slow-roasted duck or springbok loin dishes in the dining room, paired with an extensive selection of wines. There’s also a pantry stocked with complimentary milk and cookies, scones, beers, coconut ice, and other treats for guests to help themselves at any time of day or night. Spa and gym details: Ellerman House has a fully equipped gym, a heated outdoor pool (a rarity in Cape Town), and a spa with treatments ranging from aromatherapy to lymph drainage.
Who it’s best for: The villa’s owner Paul Harris is a renowned South African banker, and as one might expect, finance magnates, Google execs, and other well-heeled high rollers make up most of the clientele. Our favorite room: Room Four is a corner room with a stunning slate bathroom and the hotel’s largest balcony. Good to know: If it’s not occupied, make sure to get a peek at the breathtaking wine gallery. One wall is a patchwork of soil from the region’s vineyards, and the spiral-shaped wine rack is modeled after a giant corkscrew.