As more of the world discovers the natural beauty of Cape Town, putting her in a league of other gorgeous cities with similar assets like Sydney, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona and Vancouver, her hotel scene is also put to a test. Luckily Cape Town has never experienced a shortage of luxury hotels. But rare is the degree of historical character on display at Ellerman House. It’s almost a century old now, and looks every bit as old as it is — which, in a business that’s increasingly obsessed with youthful looks and modern design, is a sure-fire way to distance yourself from the crowd.
No amount of designer furniture, anyway, could measure up to the sea view from Ellerman House’s hilltop vantage, and faced with the choice between a hip bar with a bouncer and a terrace restaurant with proper, professional service, we know which one we’d pick. Not to say the place looks old, by any means — it’s so well-kept you’ll think you’ve gone back a hundred years.
There are just 11 rooms, so it feels more like a manor-house getaway than a hotel per se, and despite their historical style they’ll compete with any modern hotel room on pure comfort. And if for some reason you’re of a mind to reject the old-world atmosphere of the place, they’ve got an answer for that as well: the Ellerman Villa, an architecturally modern three-bedroom house, which marries the location, views and service of the Ellerman House with a grown-up modern style that’s straight out of the architecture journals.