Cape Town’s unopposed matriarch, the Nellie is a sprawling (201 rooms) colonial-era hotel that looms at the top end of the Company Gardens and lingers in local mythology as a hangout of the elite: there’s no two ways about it, it’s one of the best (if not THE best) hotels in Cape Town. Sure, heads of state and countless celebrities choose this genteel charmer as their preferred address, but that doesn’t make this a snobbish choice; barefoot and tattooed gentlemen cruise through the lobby en route to the large pool (best in the city), passing members of the shuffleboard generation lazing on antique sofas in cravats and garden hats. Complementing the elegant historic rooms and enchanting Old World public spaces is Planet, one of the sexiest and most happening bars in town (see Drink), and nine acres of manicured gardens with two delicious pools (one is adults only). Aside from this it’s easy walking access to Kloof Street and the city, and the paradoxical combination of fine eating and drinking venues, an ultra-pampering spa and close proximity to a clinic means this is the ultimate place for a detox-retox combination holiday (just ask Robbie Williams). High tea, too, is an institution (see Snack).