South Africa is one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. Because of its beautiful landscapes, premier surf breaks, bustling nightlife and safari adventures available, Cape Town is undoubtedly the region’s golden child. While the area is dotted with its fair share of luxury accommodations, there's one boutique property that has all the amenities of a big-brand hotel, but with the size and feel of a homey residential abode.
The Ellerman House, located ten minutes from the heart of Cape Town on the slopes of Lion’s Head, was once the stately home of Sir John and Lady Ellerman. The mansion was known for having some of the best views of the city, offering panoramic views of the Atlantic coastline. Now privately-owned, the estate serves as a unique destination for travelers visiting South Africa.
Following an extensive renovation, the mansion’s already timeless designs and architecture were carefully updated with new contemporary décor. Utilizing soft blue and green hues, the 11 bedrooms, two suites and two villas feature color palettes inspired by the ocean and surrounding indigenous garden. All accommodations are classically elegant and offer travelers a sense of place while creating a home-away-from-home vibe.
Rooms include African-themed wallpaper, new upholstery and some offer shared infinity pools. The two suites are furnished with paintings and sculptures by South African artists, satellite TV, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, heated floors and complimentary minibars. Throughout the house, over 1000 curated art pieces are sprinkled around the hotel boasting both well-established and emerging artists.
Dining at the estate is led by Chef Veronica whose dishes highlight Farmers’ Market organic fruit and vegetables as well as Cape Malay spices. The daily-changing menu features modern European-style dishes and a farm-to-fork philosophy. And if you’re hungry for a meal after hours, the 24-hour guest pantry is stocked with homemade fare. Beyond its cuisine, the Ellerman House is home to its very own Wine Gallery which mixes together the elements of a tasting room with the visual components of an art gallery.
The space allows guests to not only savor some of the property’s 7,500 vintage and rare South African wines, but also to interact with the varietals using all five senses. There is also a Champagne cellar stocking special vintages of Dom Perignon and a brandy tasting lounge boasting an installation of handblown glass decanters. The display starts with lighter-colored and younger, one-year-old spirits and ends with a dark 25-year-old vintage.
Other amenities include a full-service spa, fitness center, solar-heated pool, library and the Ellerman House Bar, where guests can enjoy cocktails, beer, wine, spirits and Cuban or Dominican cigars. Being so close to Cape Town’s city center, means that guests can also enjoy the area’s attractions that are only a short drive away. From the hotel, Clifton & Camps Bay beaches are a five-minute walk away while the V&A Waterfront plus Table Mountain’s trails and cable car are both just a 10-minute drive away.
Rooms begin at around $465 a night, low season and $620 nightly during high season and stays include complimentary airport transfers.