Hands down, this is Cape Town’s most glamorous hotel. The Adam Tihany–designed interiors were unveiled just in time for the 2010 World Cup, and the celebs just haven’t stopped coming since. The rooms are spacious and mellow, with sleek lines and muted earth-toned palette embodying a soothing African-chic design aesthetic.
Despite its obvious sophistication, this resort is a hit with the whole family: tots go crazy for the kids’ club while parents go gaga over the spa, one of Cape Town’s best. If you want to hobnob with the city’s style set, the One&Only is the place to do it. Locals fill up the dazzling lobby every weekend for the hotel’s popular high tea, or pack the tables at Nobu after going for massages at the spa.
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Guests get the best of all worlds at the One&Only. The location is right next to all the V&A Waterfront has to offer, but the hotel is removed from some of the chaos and the traffic. The hotel is next door to the Two Oceans Aquarium, home to 3,000 marine species as well as a predator tank. A few steps away is the V&A Market on the Wharf, a covered market hawking everything from chicken samosas to juicy burgers. For a fun night out, take a complimentary house car (a Mercedes or a Maybach, perhaps?) to the other side of the Waterfront to the trendiest lounge in the city, Shimmy Beach Club, where stiletto-clad locals love to congregate around the infinity pool in the middle of the club’s fake beach.
Need to Know
Rooms: 91 spacious rooms and suites in the seven-story main building and 40 in the man-made island. From $520. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: The One&Only is home to the only Nobu on the African continent, and serves dishes such as freshwater eel, spicy yellowtail hand rolls, and whitefish sashimi in a refined environment. Local celebrity chef Reuben Riffel (he’s one of the judges on Masterchef South Africa) also has a branch of his Reuben’s empire at the hotel. Isola, on the hotel’s island, is open only to guests. Spa and gym details: The posh Espa is one of the finest spas in Cape Town. The fitness center has top-notch equipment, and also offers personal trainers and yoga classes.
Who it’s best for: Celebrities and those who live like them—this is where the Justin Biebers and Matt Damons stay when they’re in the Mother City. Our favorite rooms: The one-bedroom marina suites are absolutely massive, ranging from about 1,300 to 1,700 square feet. But as is the case with most of the rooms in the main building, the best part lies outside: the balconies frame postcard-worthy views of Table Mountain. Good to know: The hotel works closely with the Lalela Project, a community initiative that inspires artistic efforts among youths from impoverished areas, and you can often see and buy works by the artists in the hotel’s gallery.