The 12 Best Luxury Hotels
in South Africa

Michele Harvey

South Africa Travel Expert

At Butterfield & Robinson, our hotels aren’t prosaic—they’re pure poetry.

From castles and riads to ryokans and monasteries, we source lodgings that aren’t just places to crash, but one-of-a-kind spots as intimate, authentic and sublime as the rest of your journey—and packed with personal touches from our hotelier friends.

Below we’ve rounded up a few of the best luxury hotels in South Africa, where you can do so much more than simply rest your head.

But be warned: there may be tears when it’s time to say goodbye!

Cape Cadogan, Cape Town

Charming and historic, this 19th century Georgian and Victorian building has been proclaimed a national monument.

Best Luxury Hotels in South Africa, Cape Cadogan Cape Town

Nestled between Table Mountain and the city centre, Cape Cadogan is within easy walking distance of boutique shops, restaurants and bars. Settle in for a game of chess or cards, curl up with a book from the library, or spend an afternoon lounging poolside.

Marataba Trails Lodge, Marakele National Park

Marataba Trails is a Scandi-safari style lodge designed for hikers in search of challenging trails in Big 5 territory. Every detail within the lodge is inspired by nature, meaning the finest natural materials (from timber to cotton sheeting) have been brought together in imaginatively simple ways.

Best Luxury Hotels in South Africa, Marataba Trails Lodge Marakele National Park

Our favourite part? This is an ‘off-the-grid” safari lodge—meaning you’ll finally get the digital detox you deserve.

Jamala Madikwe Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve

The luxurious villas at Jamala Madikwe Lodge feature gracious rooms with draped four-poster beds and Persian carpets.

Best Luxury Hotels in South Africa, Jamala Madikwe Lodge Madikwe Game Reserve

Each villa boasts its own decadent ensuite, a lounge and dining room leading out to private decks with rim-flow pools and glorious grassland views. Expect an intimate safari experience paired with award-winning cuisine and superb game viewing.

Experience South Africa With B&R

Private Walking Safari

From trekking amidst the fynbos to searching for the Big Five, our South Africa Walking Safari pulls out all the stops. By day, track your favourite animal by foot, boat, or 4×4. Sip sundowners as the sun slips under the horizon, while your nights are spent at the continent’s luxe lodges.


Private Cape Town & Winelands Active Journey

The ever-vibrant Mother City is your home base for oenological exploration on our Cape Town & Winelands Active Journey. Roam by bike and foot through fertile winelands, stay at exquisite hotels, and sample the best flavours of the Rainbow Nation.


Babylonstoren, Simondium

This 250-hectare working farm is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the Western Cape, surrounded by the dramatic Simonsberg and Franschhoek Mountains.

Best Luxury Hotels in South Africa, Babylonstoren Simondium

Dating back to 1690, the original farm structures are beautifully preserved, reflecting the simplified Cape Dutch architecture of the era, with white washed walls and thick thatched roofs.

Schoone Oordt Country House

Schoone Oordt Country House is a charming country hotel with 10 luxury bedrooms set in lush gardens, an intimate Conservatory restaurant, a saltwater pool and a passion for people, family, food, wine and the environment.

Best Luxury Hotels in South Africa, Schoone Oordt Country House

The emphasis here is on unpretentious unaffected luxury, quality and acute attention to detail.

Mimosa Lodge, Montagu

This 19thC farmhouse is now a charming lodge set conveniently in the centre of Montagu. Lovingly converted and restored by chef and owner Bernard Hess, each room opens onto a Victorian veranda or the extensive, lush gardens.

Best Luxury Hotels in South Africa, Mimosa Lodge Montagu

Other amenities include a well-stocked library, a heated salt-water pool and a boules pitch available for some pre-dinner competition!

The Marine Hermanus

The Marine Hermanus holds prime position on top of the cliffs at Hermanus, with spectacular seascapes over Walker Bay and the Overberg Mountains. It is decorated in a sophisticated nautical theme, with black and white photography and a unique wave designed class screen.

Best Luxury Hotels in South Africa, The Marine Hermanus

Dining options are varied, with The Pavilion Restaurant and the Wine Cellar offering an elegant, yet relaxed and informal atmosphere, while the Seafood at The Marine emphasizes the freshness of the fish from Walker Bay.

Kensington Place

Located in the leafy Cape Town suburb of Higgovale, surrounded by Table Mountain and overlooking the city, this luxury boutique hotel houses just eight spacious suites.

Best Luxury Hotels in South Africa, Kensington Place

Sink into the total comfort of meticulously designed suites defined by a blend of luscious textures and contemporary detail. Breakfast is served throughout the day and a seasonal menu is always on hand should you wish to dine by the pool or on your own private terrace.

Dulini Lodge, Sabi Sands Reserve

An intimate luxury safari lodge, Dulini is located in the western sector of the Sabi Sand Reserve, bordering Kruger National Park. Dulini rests under a leafy canopy of ebony trees on the banks of the dry Mabrak River with views across the riverbed and bushveld.

Best Luxury Hotels in South Africa, Dulini Lodge, Sabi Sands Reserve

Six exquisite thatched suites grace the banks of the riverbed. Each suite offers a private view, seamlessly integrating the grandeur of nature and elegant décor.

Thorntree River Lodge, Zambia

Built using an eco-conscious design, Thorntree River Lodge is set in Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, nearby the famous Victoria Falls.

Best Luxury Hotels in South Africa, Thorntree River Lodge Zambia

Drawing inspiration from local customs and culture, it features tented roof structures to maintain the feel of authentic Africa. One of its finest additions is the private, temperature-controlled wine cellar, stocked with the area’s finest wines.

Manna Bay

You can’t get much closer to Table Mountain than this. A truly extraordinary luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Cape Town, Manna Bay is a gateway to the table-topped landmark and its natural mystique. Quite literally.

Best Luxury Hotels in South Africa, Manna Bay

A gate leads directly from Manna Bay’s grounds to the Table Mountain National Park. Manna Bay has eight uniquely designed rooms that set the bar for contemporary luxury.

Le Quartier Francais, Franschhoek

Le Quartier Francais is an exclusive five-star boutique hotel in the centre of Franschhoek. This haven of tranquillity, tucked away off the main street, is secluded by gardens and dramatic mountain views.

Best Luxury Hotels in South Africa, Le Quartier Francais Franschhoek

Its 21 luxurious rooms and suites—as well as the 3 Bedroom LQF Villa—enjoy a fresh sophistication paired with modern conveniences, exquisite décor, private gardens and a courtyard pool.

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