Hout Bay Manor
Interiors by Boyd Ferguson (one of the SA’s most celebrated designers) are the principal reason to stay at one of the most historic hotels in Cape Town, brimming with heritage and just a stone’s throw from the city’s dramatic Chapman’s Peak Drive. Exteriors are pretty dull, but step inside and it’s packed with drama. A brilliant home-away-from-home lounge, a sexy bar and relaxing sitting areas, all with lots of bold red accents and a strong collection of African art and craft (the owners are from Europe, so thoroughly in love with the textures, vivid colours, and creative pizzazz of local cultures). At night the house, with its polished wooden floors and clever adornments (a collection of hats decorates one wall, whilst assorted locally-painted landscapes are assembled on another) becomes a moodier, more romantic proposition, with mellow tunes and flickering candles. One drawback is the wavering service, which tends to be genuinely welcoming and warm in one instance, and so roughshod and careless the next, it’s enough to drive you to drink.