At Head over Hills Travels we take great pleasure in finding the best suitable hotel, guest house or lodge in South Africa for your requirements. There are literally hundreds of hotels/guesthouses/game reserves to choose from but we have chosen a few establishments which we have carefully selected. We have also visited them all personally and had first-hand experience staying in these establishments, to make sure they have the standard that we want to provide for our guests. We believe that you will be making a lot of decisions when planning your trip, so that is why we have narrowed the hotels down to a few choices for you. Sometimes less is more…
Hotels in Cape Town
Camps Bay – The Place on the Bay
Waterfront – Lawhill Luxury Apartments
At walking distance from the V&A Waterfront you will find Lawhill Luxury Apartments. They are all self-catering apartments and they all have their own balcony with comfortable outdoor furniture. The luxury apartments are part of an apartment complex which all have access to the reception and concierge desk. They will assist you with all your Cape Town activities. There is a communal pool and gymnasium for all guests to enjoy.
Camps Bay- The Bay Hotel
The Bay Hotel is part of the Village N Life hotel chain. This hotel is situated on another prime spot in Camps Bay and the 78 rooms are either facing the pool, the Atlantic Ocean or the majestic Twelve Apostles mountain range. There are four different pool areas, restaurants and a bar on site. The SPA and wellness area is also available for you as a guest.
Waterfront- SAS Radison Blu
Along the beach road, close to to the V&A Waterfront you will find Radison Blu Hotel Waterfront. The rooms either overlook the beautiful Marina and The Atlantic Ocean or the Green Point Stadium. There is a complimentary shuttle to and from Victoria & Alfred Waterfront where you will find both restaurants and shopping areas. During the day you can easily walk but rather use the shuttle at night.
Oranjezicht – MannaBay
With seven luxury rooms and one suite, you are spoilt for choices for accommodation at MannaBay. This luxury boutique hotel is situated just below Table Mountain in a growing area of Cape Town called Oranjezicht. The large and spacious rooms, all with their own design, each have a private balcony and the suite has an outdoor bed for your convenience. Whatever your room choice will be, you will experience stunning views over eather the Atlantic Ocean or the Table Mountain. When you are not spending time in the room, there are several lounges, dining areas and a pool area to choose from. A well-equipped gym with shower and changing room is available for your use at all times. One complimentary airport transfer per stay is included in the rate, as well as dinner transfers in the immediate area. There is a 24 hour butler service so whenever you need something it can be arranged. With about 20 staff members for a maximum of 16 guests, you will definitely be well looked after.
Waterfront – One and Only
Facing the Marina Harbour and the majestic Table Mountain, you will find a selection of different room categories, all with generous space and a large balcony. If you are looking for luxury selection you will have the suites on the Island, where you will also find the heated pool, which is heated all year! There are three restaurants to choose between, and the famous Nobu Japanese restaurant is definitely not to be missed seeing it is the first and only of its kind in South Africa. The Spa is very popular, so would recommend that you book your treatments in advance to avoid disappointment. One and Only is a large hotel and not as personal as the smaller guest houses. They accept children of all ages and is situated within walking distance of the V&A Waterfront.
Camps Bay – The Marly Boutique Hotel
Situated in popular Camps Bay, The Marly gives a good impression right from when you check in. They have covered parking for guests and as you drive up to the parking, the red carpet will lead you the way to the entrance of the hotel. With only 11 suites, 6 of them facing the Atlantic Ocean and 5 facing Table Mountain, you will not be disappointed. The suites have high ceilings, a seating area and a spacious bathroom. The superior suites even have their own private jacuzzi on the balcony. At the pool area you can relax and enjoy a cocktail without being disturbed by the night life which is occasionally going on in Camps Bay.
Clifton – Cape View Clifton
The deluxe and junior suites are large in size, all with their own private balcony facing the Atlantic Ocean. There are magnificent sea views from all the suites. The two and three bedroom suites are suited for small groups or families and give you total privacy and comfort. Breakfast is included but you will still have your own kitchen for self-catering purposes. The lounge and the pool areas are well placed and you feel like you are on top of the world! The view from the well-equipped gym is absolutely amazing.
Camps Bay – Azamare Camps Bay
A few 100 metres from Camps Bay Beach you will find Azamare. This guest house consists of 7 rooms in different categories, with the largest suite having its own private pool. Azamare is a very affordable option if you would like to stay in a popular area, however the traffic pollution can be a challenge during high season and office hours. The sunrise and the sunset are magnificent though. The lounge and pool areas offer stunning views. Dinner can be enjoyed in any of the restaurants close by.
12 Apostles Hotel
The 12 Apostles Hotel really does live up to its expectations. The service level from the staff is excellent but they still allow you your space. The hotel offers 70 guest rooms in 9 different room categories, starting with a classic room, all the way up to the grand master suite. It is well worth your while to stay in a sea facing room because the ocean views are spectacular. The Leopard Bar is a meeting point for all the guests, with light snacks and lunches as well as cocktails served here. Soft, live music is entertainment in the evenings. The Azure restaurant provides you with a fine dining option and at breakfast, the oysters and MCC will be served, together with an endless buffet and an a la carte menu. For children’s entertainment, the hotel has its own private cinema with popcorn and drinks. There are several hiking trails which start from the backyard of the hotel and if you don’t want to hike alone, you can organize a guide from the reception.
Hotels in the Cape Winelands
Stellenbosch – Lanzerac Hotel & SPA
The Lanzerac Wine Estate is more than 300 years old with its old-world charm and rich Cape heritage it is a beautiful place to stay. It’s situated in the historic town of Stellenbosch where the first grapes were planted back in 1690. Most of the rooms have their own patio and overlook the beautiful estate. All the guests receive a complimentary wine tasting of five Lanzerac wines and you will also enjoy a private tour of their cellar.
Paarl – Grand Roche
This is a small, but luxury hotel just below the magnificent Klein Drakenberg Mountains. They have an award winning cuisine and the surroundings are a perfect get away to relax at the common pool area after a day of wine tasting in the area.
Franschhoek – La Petite Ferme
The suites at La Petite Ferme boast magnificient views over the vineyard. The rooms are spacious and some of them have their own slash pool. La Petite Ferme has been voted top 15 ’Best Value’ establishmens in the world by Condé Nast Traveller and their cuisine is definitely worth trying more than one time. The small town Franschhoek is situated about one hour from Cape Town and you can explore wine tasting on the premises as well as trying out the vineyards in the area.
Hotels along the Garden Route
Knysna – Head over Hills Luxury Retreat
Head over Hills is a unique 5 Star luxury retreat situated on the beautiful edge of the iconic Knysna heads. Our luxury accommodation and world-class views are the perfect backdrop to a well-deserved getaway, honeymoon or to simply take in the splendor of our naturally beautiful location.
Knysna – Bollard Bay House
On Leisure Isle you will find this luxury bed & breakfast situated with beautiful views of the Knysna Lagoon. Some of the suites faces the lagoon and some towards the private pool and garden. The beach, Bollard Bay, is just a minutes’ walk away and if you would like to exercise more, you can do a four kilometer walk around Leisure Island.
George – Fancourt Hotel
At Fancourt it is all about golf – you will find both luxury and elegance at this beautiful estate. Some of the rooms overlook the golf warm up area, others the beautiful landscaped gardens, the golf course, or the mountains. There are three golf courses – Montaqu, Outeniqua and the current No.1 course in South Africa, The Links (all three are ranked among Golf Digests top 20 courses in the country). If you choose to take a day off from golf, the SPA will spoil you with its jacuzzi, Roman bath, steam room and also, a variety of treatments. Fancourt has recently built a leisure area for the younger guests and this makes the destination well worth a stay for the whole family. There are several dining options including Henry Whites if you would like to treat yourself to some fine dining.
Port Elizabeth – On the bay
On the Bay is a very personal bed & breakfast. The owners Lindy & Andre make sure you will be well looked after. The B&B is situated in a popular and safe area, called Summerstrand and you have walking distance to the beach. Very affordable and you will even be invited to the owners for a typical South African family dinner, if you would like.
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Halfway between Cape Town and Knysna, close to the southern tip of Africa, you will find Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. Grootbos offers luxury accommodation and an eco adventure. You can relax, enjoy delicious meals, explore the real South African nature (on your own or with a guide), experience wine tasting or just spoil yourself with a SPA treatment on site. It is a relaxing environment butthere is plenty to do if you want to keep busy. Each lodge or villa is built to fit in with nature and the surroundings will gently embrace you with comfort and luxury.
Mossel Bay – Gondwana Game Reserve
Gondwana is a private game reserve, less than two hours’ drive from Knysna and four hours from Cape Town. Its the perfect safari stop for your holiday if you are exploring the Garden Route. This game reserve has 11 000 hectares, is malaria-free and has the Big 5 roaming free. The majestic landscape also offers herds of wildlife which include eland, giraffe, hippo and zebras. You are either staying in the bungalows at the main camp or in private villas.
Port Elizabeth – Kariega Game Reserve
This private game reserve is situated in the Eastern Cape about four hours’ drive from Knysna. Kariega Game Reserve is a malaria-free Big 5 South African safari. The game reserve incorporates 10.000 hectares of pristine African wilderness, as well as two abundant rivers. There are five different safari lodges to suit all needs. Main Lodge is welcoming families and children of all ages and some of the villas have their own private splash pool. River Lodge has a beautiful setting right by the Bushman’s River, where you can enjoy game viewing from you private suite or from the magnificent deck which overhangs the river. Settlers Drift has a luxury and unique way of exploring the Kariega wilderness. The lodge consist of 9 spacious tented suites, each with stunning views and secluded viewing decks.
Kruger National Park – Main Rest Camps
If you only can choose one game reserve, Kruger National Park would be the one. Situated in the north east of South Africa, on the border of Mozambique, the reserve is nearly 2 million hectares and according to us, it is the best place to explore the Big 5 animals. It is highly recommend to drive your own vehicle and stay in different camps and we recommend a stay of at least three nights. In each lodge you can add on an open game drive in the early morning or in the late afternoon. All the camps are basic 3 star but they all have en suite bathrooms, mosquito nets and an outside kitchenette. Some of the camps have a restaurant and the others a small shop to purchase your braai items.
Nelspruit – Shandon Lodge
On your journey to the Kruger National Park, Shandon Lodge is the perfect stop for the first night. It is located high up in Nelspruit and you have about four hours’ drive from Johannesburg to get here. Shandon Lodge is a tastefully styled guest house with a large swimming pool which will cool you down when the humidity and temperatures are high. The owners of Shandon Lodge will serve you a home cooked meal in the evening and a breakfast box will be ready for the next morning when you leave early for your safari adventure. Shandon Lodge is about one hours’ drive from the Malalane Gate. This will be your entrance to Kruger.
Sun City is a luxury resort and casino situated about two hours drive from Johannesburg near the city of Rustenburg. If you don’t want to drive there is a domestic flight as well which will take you to the Pilanesberg Airport. The resort has four hotels starting with the four star Cabanas Hotel and goes through Main Hotel, Cabanas Hotel and finishing up with the luxury five star Palace. The complex is built out of pure fantasy and it shows of with its Valley of the Waves which is a water park with a wave machine that generates 1.8 metres waves every 90 seconds. Each hotel also has its own pool and there is also a hand made lagoon where you can explore a wide range of water sports. If that wasn’t enough you will find two of South Africas most popular golf courses, a casino and good variety of restaurants in the resort. The complex also boarders the Pilanesberg Game Reserve where you can go on a game drive or self drive through the park for an opportunity to view the big five in its natural habitat. The reserve is malaria free and about 50.000 hectares.