Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is a fairly modern affair of shiny shopping mall, behemoth Ferris wheel, and massive harborside restaurants, to name a few highlights. Which is what makes the stylish Dock House stand out from its overly commercial environs. Built in the 1800s as the residence of the harbor master, this sumptuous boutique abode seems transported straight from the Victorian era into the 21st century, with its gracious white balconies, crystal chandeliers, and rolling lawn seamlessly complemented by flat-screen TVs and state-of-the-art bathrooms. One Old World perk guests can definitely get behind: the butler service.
When guests do want to reenter the modern world, all its finest conveniences are a few feet away. But with the glut of mega-resorts surrounding the Waterfront district, the Dock House is a refreshingly understated gem, an intimate villa-style retreat that feels like a private sanctuary amid the hubbub.
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Travelers are in the middle of the action if they stay at the Waterfront. This neighborhood is home to Cape Town’s best sushi, hands down, at Willoughby, a great faux-beach scene at the nearby Grand Café, and even a colony of Cape fur seals. The Waterfront is also where most of the city tours take off from, so to go farther afield, book a sightseeing bus or a helicopter tour of the city.
Need to Know
Rooms: 5 rooms and 1 suite. From $295. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: There’s no restaurant at the hotel itself, but the nearby Queen Victoria and Victoria & Alfred Hotels (sister hotels under the Newmark umbrella) have two celebrated restaurants, Oyo and Dash. Spa and gym details: Guests share the adjacent OneWellness spa and gym with guests of the V&A and Queen Victoria hotels.
Who it’s best for: Honeymooners and travelers who want to be in the middle of the action but prefer a little privacy. Our favorite room: For a room with a view, book one of the three second-floor rooms with balconies. Delicious amenity: Let the private chef whip you up an in-room feast—now that’s room service.