Rouge on Rose
Rouge on Rose defies Cape Town boutique hotels’ common sense: rooms this decent at prices this affordable are downright unbelievable this close to the city centre. But it’s true, and Ursula, the pioneering spirit who owns and runs this little Bo-Kaap retreat, is determined to make all her guests feel like they’ve struck gold. Ultimately, it’s less a hotel than a collection of suite-size rooms above a bite-size reception area, and a small, very appealing café offering breakfast and all-day light dining. The curving stairways and landings on each floor feature quirky ghostlike murals with deep red accents; somehow they help transport you to a gentler mindspace as you head up to your sleeping quarters. The nine rooms and suites at Rouge on Rose have fresh, boho appeal, decorated with random antiques and objets and bits of decorative junk collected by Ursula from all corners over the last 35 years. Staying here is very different to any other city bowl suburb: you’re in a unique part of historic Cape Town, where the call to prayer rings out from nearby mosques and the rows of colourful little houses are traditionally home to the so-called Cape Malay (Muslim) community descended from colonial-era slaves. In short: one of the best bargains south of the equator.