Perched on a cliff above Bantry Bay, Ellerman House takes advantage of the best of South Africa, including views, culture and cuisine. Set in an Edwardian mansion, the 13-room escape is the kind of place to forget any worries, with staff on hand to tend to every need, and everything included (except wine). Soak up the local culture through the South African art collection, comprising two centuries of works and impressive modern sculptures out in the ocean-facing gardens. Even the restaurant is a tribute to South Africa, with elevated local flavours best paired with wines from the 7,500-bottle collection.
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A paired chocolate and South African brandy tasting; Smith guests also get 10 per cent off their first spa treatment
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $700.82 (ZAR10,435), excluding tax at 15 per cent.
Rates include buffet breakfast, airport transfers, beverages (excluding wine), sunset cocktails and laundry. A 24-hour pantry is stocked throughout the day with fresh fruit, baked goods and beverages.
The hotel is home to a renowned collection of more than 1,000 works of South African art, spanning 200 years. The Contemporary Gallery holds pieces from some of the most notable talents in the country today, including Wayne Barker and Angus Taylor.
There's construction taking place at a neighbouring site; it's not visible from Ellerman House, but your stay might involve some noise and dust.
At the hotel
Gardens, on-site parking, gym, library, 24-hour guest pantry, free WiFi. In rooms: television, heated floors, air-conditioning, in-room bar and snack drawer, hair dryer, international adaptor.
Our favourite rooms
Each of the 12 rooms has unique accents, but the rooms in the Deluxe House have private terraces and prime ocean views.
Tucked into gardens on the lower terrace of the hotel, the adults-only heated lap pool has Atlantic Ocean views. It’s flanked by black-and-white-striped lounge chairs.
Tucked away in Villa One, the spa holds three individual treatment rooms and a couples' massage room, along with a sauna and steam room. Treatments include massages, facials, beauty treatments and stretches that are ideal after long-haul flights.
Bring a taste for fine wine: The staff maintain a collection of 7,500 bottles showcasing the best of South African varietals and vintages. Try some at the free daily wine tasting, then request a tour of the wine gallery.
The hotel is not wheelchair-accessible.
Over-14s only, so plan to leave the younger ones at home.
Choose a table by the window for perfect views out to the water.
Plan on smart slacks and scarves to suit the art, view and fine wines.
Open only to hotel residents, the Ellerman House restaurant pays tribute to local flavours. Chef Grant Daniels combines his Cape Malay heritage with the ingredients contemporary South African cuisine and refined French techniques. The kitchen sources organic produce from local markets for dishes that change seasonally, and can include a hearty braise lamb shoulder similar to what Daniels enjoyed at family meals as a child. With large windows facing the bay, the elegant room is ideal for romantic dinners paired with a bottle from the hotel’s wine cellar.
The contemporary Bar Roc is a great place to try South African spirits, including the house Ellermantini, made with South African gin. There is a full bar menu, with burrata, pork belly and other dishes. The bar hosts local musicians every Monday. The Wine Gallery is open by request for tastings and tours.
Breakfast is available from 7am to 11am, lunch from noon to 2:30pm and dinner from 6 to 10pm, though the staff gladly accommodate guests’ preferred times; Bar Roc is open to guests anytime.
Though there is no dedicated room service, guests can dine any time of day, wherever they would like, choosing options from the restaurant menu.
Ellerman House is located in Bantry Bay, north of Table Mountain in Cape Town.
Cape Town International is a 30-minute drive from the hotel. Direct flights are available on British Airways. For longer-haul flights or alternate airlines, expect to connect through Johannesburg, the country’s hub. Transfers are included.
Cape Town Station is a 10-minute drive from the hotel, and connects to the wine country.
Many people heading out to explore the wine country or drive down the cape like to hire a car. The hotel offers free valet parking.
Worth getting out of bed for
Ellerman House is a tribute to some of South Africa’s best treasures, including wines from the nearby Winelands and art from prominent South Africans. Explore both with guided tours and tastings. The hotel can arrange for a custom tour of the art collection with a guide, who can share stories of the works and describe the annual charity art auction, held on-site, which raises money to provide local schools with state-of-the-art technology. Enjoy South African wines at the daily tastings, or arrange for a tour of the Wine Gallery, which uses interactive multimedia to catalogue the bottles; the space also holds a brandy lounge and champagne cellar, ensuring the ideal tipples for every taste.
On warm sunny days, nab sun loungers by the pool, ideally facing out over Bantry Bay. The hotel is a nice stroll away from the beach, though the Atlantic waters off Cape Town are often too cold for all, but the bravest of swimmers.
There is plenty to see in beautiful Cape Town. Head for photogenic Bo-Kaap, which was originally founded by freed slaves, and is still home to many of their descendents. Stroll the streets peeping the bright, candy-coloured homes, or hire a guide to better absorb the area's rich history. Learn more about the history of South Africa, including apartheid, with a visit to Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town. Nelson Mandela served the majority of his 27-year sentence here. The prison is now a museum, which has preserved Mandela's cell. The hotel can arrange for ferry and tour tickets.
Cape Town is quite cosmopolitan, with fantastic shops and cafes packed with glamorous locals. Head for Greenmarket Square, home to stylish Bree Street and boutiques like Missibaba and Sam, stocking South African-produced goods.
Chefs Warehouse, in Greenmarket Square, reinvents tapas with a three-course fixed menu showcasing local products. If the contemporary dishes inspire, guests can pick up chef-quality kitchen goods in the shop next door. The menu changes daily at Black Sheep on Kloof Street in Gardens, but is always driven by seasonal produce. Look for slow-roasted meats, fresh salads and creative curries. Set in a silo in Woodstock, with fantastic city views, the Pot Luck Club, from renowned chef Luke Dale-Roberts, draws culinary inspiration from around the world. The small-plates menu is categorized by defining flavours, such as salty, umami or sour, and can include options like beef tataki with hoisin sauce, or the signature fish sliders.
For perfect picnic fare or a casual lunch, the General Store, on Bree Street, specializes in excellent sandwiches and bright salads that take advantage of the local bounty. Pause for a scoop at Unframed Ice Cream on Kloof Street, which churns ultra-creative flavors like blue coconut — coloured with spirulina — and chocolate-tahini.