According to the owner, a supercharged meridian runs right through the property, one of our favourite places to stay in Cape Town. This bit of whimsy might in fact explain the positive energy that prevails within this grand old mansion that sits, like a mellowed aristocrat, in a prime spot along the millionaires’ Mile of St James (a speck-sized enclave with its own train station and famous Victorian-era beach). Built in the 1930s by billionaire mining magnate J.B. Taylor, the house has seen its fair share of important and notable guests; you’ll get some sense of that history and social pomp as you explore its well-proportioned rooms. In its redesign, spaces have been mildly contemporised with sleek new bathrooms, but the original period furniture and even some naff floral textiles have remained alongside the plasma TVs. The house benefits from a lovely position-overlooking a formal garden and a pool fed by crisp mountain spring water, it’s separated from the ocean by just the road and railway line. The house also shelters an epic wine cellar, and walls showcase a great collection of South African art. Get up early to dip in the tidal pool, and spend the better part of a day observing the spunky surfer tribe that makes nearby Muizenberg such a delight.