One&Only Cape Town
South Africans tend to equate hotel magnate Sol Kerzner with the kind of Byzantine finance that builds enormous faux-wonderland resorts with awe-inspiring accommodations – and they’re right, with One&Only Cape Town being one of the plushest places to stay in the city. Predictable then is this manmade lagoon, complete with its own palm tree-laden islands. Large, looming, and unappealing from the outside, the agoraphobic may be overwhelmed by the voluminous expanse of the lobby lounge, its clubby oval-shaped island-style bar bookended by two celebrity restaurants. But things soon settle as you step into a plush Modernist gallery of smart sofas, oversized lamps and elegant, Sino-inspired minimalism; in front of you, huge floor-to-ceiling windows frame Table Mountain and the manmade marina-style waterway outside. The One&Only Cape Town rooms are clean-lined and state of the art, with mammoth beds (Cape Town’s fattest mattresses), sleek entertainment systems, bedside mp3 docks, espresso machines, lavishly-stocked minibars (with classy single malts, zingy energy drinks, and health concoctions), two kinds of bathrobes, and super-ergonomic bathrooms; the massive hulk of Table Mountain (sadly foregrounded by apartment blocks) and the city itself, are visible from your private balcony. Serious shoppers will be grateful for the walking-distance proximity to Cape Town’s flashiest shopping mall.