Cape Town, South Africa

Labotessa

Price per night from$291.49

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (ZAR4,434.78), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Old-world intimations

Setting

Cobbled Church Square

Cape Town boutique hotel Labotessa combines national history, indulgent design and continental culture – a medley that perfectly captures the city’s cosmopolitan soul. Built in the 17th century, the building is the second oldest in South Africa, overlooking historic Church Square in the heart of the CBD. Don’t be fooled, however: you won’t detect the slightest hint of stuffiness as you step through the stone entrance and into the perfumed lobby, which doubles as a Diptyque boutique. Each of the seven suites is serviced by a lift that takes you right to the door, and feature high ceilings, parquet floors and large windows overlooking historic buildings and Lion’s Head mountain. Downstairs, guests and locals hold court at Labotessa Café, a brunch favourite that spills onto a greenery-filled terrace reminiscent of the genteel Gallic courtyards.

Smith Extra

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A welcome bottle of wine and a small basket of fresh fruit

Facilities

Photos Labotessa facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Seven suites.

Check–Out

10am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £249.42 (ZAR5,100), including tax at 15 per cent.

More details

Rates include à la carte breakfast and use of the hotel’s private car, which can drop you off anywhere within the city bowl between 9am and 7pm (subject to availability).

Also

Labotessa’s boutique sells deliciously fragranced Diptyque candles and perfumes.

At the hotel

Perfume boutique, laundry service (at an extra charge), free WiFi throughout. In rooms: Samsung LED TV with Netflix, Samsung soundbar, free minibar and bottled water, Nespresso coffee machine, tea and a kettle, kitchenette with a Smeg fridge and microwave, plus a yoga mat and Diptyque bath products.

Our favourite rooms

There’s not a bad room in the building. Each of the six Signature Suites have high ceilings, oak parquet floors, ample lounge space and views of the Groote Kerk, Company Gardens and historic Church Square. If you’ve got kids in tow, consider the two-floor Presidential Suite, which has a plunge pool, three bedrooms (two with king-size beds, one with a queen bed), a large, light-flooded living and dining room, a full-size kitchen and a two private balconies with views of Lion’s Head.

Spa

There’s no spa, but the concierge can arrange in-room massages and beauty treatments.

Packing tips

Save precious packing space by leaving your perfume, shower gel and shampoo at home. The rooms are stocked with luxurious Diptyque toiletries, and you can buy full-size products downstairs.

Also

There are no adapted rooms and the common areas aren’t easily accessible, making this hotel unsuitable for wheelchair users.

Children

All ages are welcome, but the hotel isn’t particularly geared towards children. With a day’s notice, babysitting can be arranged from ZAR285 an hour; minimum booking four hours.

Food and Drink

Photos Labotessa food and drink

Top Table

Request a table on the verdant terrace where you’ll be able to bask in the morning sun.

Dress Code

Slip into your Sunday (brunch) best.

Hotel restaurant

Labotessa Café and Terrace occupies a light-flooded room with a soaring ceiling and a wrought-iron spiral staircase. A popular brunch spot among locals, it serves an all-day breakfast menu featuring fragrant shakshuka, honey-drizzled muesli and eggs benedict, and a lunch menu of sandwiches, salads, wraps and other light bites. On a sunny day, settle on the terrace, which is full of potted greenery and has a water trough that’s occasionally visited by passing geese.

Hotel bar

There’s no bar as such, but Labotessa Café and Terrace serves coffee, fresh juices and South African wines. There’s also a free minibar in every suite.

Last orders

Breakfast is available from 7.30am to 4pm; the lunch menu is served from noon to 4pm.

Room service

Breakfast and lunch can be ordered to your room within restaurant hours.

Location

Photos Labotessa location
Address
Labotessa
5 Church Square
Cape Town
8001
South Africa

Labotessa occupies a 17th-century building on Church Square, a historic area in Cape Town’s CBD (central business district).

Planes

The best place to touch down is Cape Town International, which can be reached directly from London Heathrow and most large European airports. It takes around 20 minutes to drive to the hotel; staff can arrange one-way private transfers for ZAR500.

Automobiles

Hiring a car isn’t strictly necessary, but it is one of the best ways to get around the city, and trips into the mountains or Cape Winelands will be far easier. If you do bring a car, the hotel has free valet parking.

Worth getting out of bed for

Pulling yourself away from the bed is a whole lot easier when you’ve got African sun and fragrant coffee to look forward to. Labotessa’s cobbled terrace is the place to savour both, and you’ll also be able to watch the square come to life over breakfast. Beyond that, you’ll likely spend most of your time at the hotel in your suite, at the café or in the fragrant lobby boutique. If you’re after local tips, be sure to swing by the front desk, where the staff have got all the cards up their sleeves. For local history, check out the Castle of Good Hope (the oldest building in South Africa), historic Greenmarket Square and the Company’s Gardens, Cape Town’s green lung. If you’re up for a challenge, ask about hiking routes on Table Mountain and Signal Hill, a favourite picnic spot among locals.  And, with the Cape Winelands so close by, it would seem rude not to arrange a tasting or two…

Capetonians love to eat, and with good reason – the city really makes the most of the world-class vineyards and farms in the Western Cape’s fertile hills and valleys. You’ll get plenty of chance to savour the region’s produce in restaurants, but you can also peruse the goods at the OZCF Market on the V&A Waterfront, where you’ll find everything from organic veg to small-batch muesli; markets run every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. Housed in a former biscuit factory, the Neighbourgoods Market is another hive of entrepreneurialism and slow-food appreciation. Take a pew at one of the communal tables and tuck into artisanal pizzas, barbecued meats or curries drawn from across the African continent. Pair with a local craft beer or glass of Cape wine, before loading up with churros and browsing the stalls selling leather goods, organic bath products and records. Cape Town is also home to a clutch of independent distilleries, including the Hope Distillery (which makes gin, vodka and agave spirits), Woodstock Gin and the Distiller's Union, where small-batch producers are able to distill spirits in top-of-the-range equipment. All three offer tastings with nibbles. For wild swimming or surfing, head south to Llandudno, a spacious stretch of sand framed by smooth granite boulders and moss-green banks.

Local restaurants

Styled like an elegant Nordic café, Hemelhuijs is one of the city’s favourite brunch spots, serving an all-day menu that showcases the best of the local waters, pastures and farms. The deceptively simple dishes are served on crockery that’s handmade by chef and owner Jacques Erasmus, who’s also behind the café’s winning interiors. For a laid-back dinner, try tapas restaurant La Parada, which serves a tantalising medley of Spanish, South American and South African dishes. Don’t pass on the miso aubergine, smoked ham croquetas or paprika and orange-glazed ribs. Cutting-edge cooking and flawless service are de rigueur at fine-dining restaurant Fyn, where the chefs prepare Japanese-fusion dishes from a gleaming open kitchen. The countless wooden disks that dangle from the ceiling are a feast for the eyes, but we’ll wager you’ll forget all about them once the food arrives…

Reviews

Photos Labotessa reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this seven-suite hotel in Cape Town and unpacked their Diptyque candle from the lobby boutique, a full account of their South African city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Labotessa in Cape Town…

Labotessa isn’t like most Cape Town hotels. For starters, it looks like European townhouse, complete with a decorative façade, an entrance carved from solid stone and a terrace that wouldn’t look out of place at an upmarket Parisian bistro. There's a good reason for this. Unlike the modernist creations that line the Atlantic beachfront, Labotessa has its roots in the old world, dating back as far as the 17th century, when the capital was little more than an outpost of the United East India Trading Company. 

Rather than burrowing down into a rabbit hole filled with chintz and the trappings of yesteryear, the owners took a more considered approach to the building’s long history. Classic luxuries like high ceilings, parquet floors and tall windows are standard in each of the suites, but the decor and colour palette are very much of the current century. Continental glamour is cast anew in the lobby, which shares the space with a boutique showcasing fragrance brands like Diptyque and Commes des Garçons. Instead of a formal restaurant, there’s a laid-back café serving some of the best coffee, breakfast and brunch in town. The result is every inch Capetonian, at once capturing the city’s European heritage and easygoing attitude.

Price per night from $291.49

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