Great Escapes: Cape Town, South Africa

  • The Spa House
  • Nettleton Villa
  • Photo by Adriaan Louw
    Villa Toscana Photo by Adriaan Louw
  • Photo by Adriaan Louw
    Villa Toscana Photo by Adriaan Louw
  • Photo by Adriaan Louw
  • Photo by Adriaan Louw
<< Back to Home & Style, May 2014

    Endless Summer
    Wedged between glistening ocean and verdant vineyards, South Africa’s west-coast metropolis is a perfect blend of stunning natural beauty and stylish sophistication. This enticing concoction, along with a perennially pleasant Mediterranean climate, is especially alluring during the summer months (December to March), when warm weather coincides with such annual events as the Cape Town Art Fair and Design Indaba (both in February). While Cape Town has no shortage of luxurious hotels, its villas—offering personalized service, breathtaking views, and plenty of space—are the best way to experience its most prestigious neighborhoods, including tony Clifton and secluded Higgovale.

    The Spa House
    This lighter-than-air retreat in the southern Hout Bay suburb is a modern architectural masterpiece that appears to hover amid its mountainous surroundings. Conceived by the Cape Town–based firm Metropolis Design, the three-bedroom structure of glass, timber, and steel floats above a series of infinity-edge swimming pools and features an open-plan living room and an underwater spa, the latter of which offers a steam room, sauna, and salt bath. Pocket doors and floor-to-ceiling windows diminish the barrier between inside and out. Additional amenities include a 3-D home theater and an indoor hot tub.

    Bedrooms: 3. Rates: $1,300 to $1,950 per night. Contact: Cape Dream Stay, +27.21.790.8737,

    Nettleton Villa
    Designed by the South African architect Stefan Antoni, this modern home tucked between mountain and sea offers unparalleled ocean views from every corner thanks to a long and narrow floor plan and the use of pocket doors and double-height, floor-to-ceiling windows. Four levels comprise five bedrooms, a home gym, a 10-seat home theater, and copious amounts of living and entertainment space, while outdoor highlights include a Zen garden overlooking the mountain landscape and an infinity-edge pool and deck with views of Clifton.

    Bedrooms: 5. Rates: $3,590 to $14,482 per night (four-night minimum). Contact: Cape Portfolios, +27.21.438.3416,

    Villa Toscana
    An artist’s retreat in the upscale Higgovale neighborhood, Villa Toscana sits on a secluded parcel in the shadows of Table Mountain. Interiors showcase antique chandeliers, colorful murals, and original sculptures and paintings by such South African artists as William Kentridge and Beezy Bailey (the home’s owner). Outside, the estate features sprawling gardens and a swimming pool with views of Devil’s Peak and Table Bay. Spaces include an open-plan kitchen, a formal dining room, a sitting room, and an office, while two of the five bedrooms feature French doors that open onto a large wraparound balcony.

    Bedrooms: 5. Rates: from $2,500 per night. Contact: Perfect Hideaways, +27.21.790.0972,

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