The best places to stay in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)

$

Ashanti Lodge

“There always seems to be a party or something exciting going on here.”—Patrick Farrell, editor, Cape-I magazine. Eleven large dorms with wrought iron bunk beds in a superbly restored Victorian mansion; camping possible in front garden; 25 private rooms here and in two separate houses; African-themed private rooms, some with private bathrooms; great views of Table Mountain from lodge’s sun deck, pool, and bar. 11 Hof Street, Gardens; tel. 27 21 423 8721. www.ashanti.co.za

The Backpack

“Attractively decorated, revamped dormitories in an ideal location between City Bowl and Table Mountain.“—Marc Zandhuis, editor in chief, CapeTownMagazine.com. Seven dorms plus 23 private rooms, some with private baths; mosaic-decorated pool and quiet courtyards; wireless access; lively restaurant and bar. 74 New Church Street, Tamboerskloof; tel. 27 21 423 4530. www.backpackers.co.za

Long St. Backpackers

In business since 1993. The heart and soul of the City Bowl’s most happening street. Private and dorm accommodation in 12 self-contained flats. Central leafy courtyard and lots of room to chill out. 209 Long Street, City Bowl; tel. 27 21 423 0615. www.longstreetbackpackers.co.za

$$

An African Villa

Twelve rooms in three connecting 19th-century terrace houses. Sophisticated modern African decor throughout with boutique design flourishes such as a library, traditional scarlet feathered Zulu hats and tribal carved masks on walls, and pool surrounded by comfy loungers. 19 Carstens Street, Tamboerskloof; tel. 27 21 423 2162. www.capetowncity.co.za/villa

Daddy Long Legs

“Karaoke machines, sunset views, and hospital beds are all part of the eclectic mix at one of the continent’s funkiest hotels.”—Gemma Pitcher, coordinating author, Lonely Planet Africa. All 13 rooms designed by a different Cape Town artist or celebrity, including architect André Vorster and the pop music group Freshlyground. Also offers five separate, stylish apartments with kitchens. 134 Long Street, City Bowl; tel. 27 21 422 3074. www.daddylonglegs.co.za

De Waterkant House

Restored Cape Georgian mansion amid Cape Town’s premier gay district. Nine elegant rooms all with private bathrooms; pool; wireless access. Management company has several similar properties in area. One Loader Street, De Waterkant; tel. 27 21 409 2500. www.dewaterkanthouse.com

Kopanong

“Run by [local activist] Thope Lekau, a strong woman who contributed her share to the struggle against apartheid.”—Marc Zandhuis. One of the township’s longest running guesthouses. Two private rooms with their own bathrooms. Tip: Register in advance for the half-day “Cook Up” course to learn how to make spicy vegetable chakalaka or another traditional South African dish. Site C329 Velani Crescent, Khayelitsha; tel. 27 21 361 2084. www.kopanong-township.co.za

Fritz Hotel

Boutique-style hotel, with 13 rooms all with private bath. Appealing pick-and-mix decor from the 1920s to contemporary. Four rooms have balconies with Table Mountain views. Free Wi-Fi access and off-street parking. One Faure Street, Gardens; tel. 27 21 480 9000. www.fritzhotel.co.za

$$$

Camps Bay Retreat

Handsome manor from the1920s, and the contemporary-design Deck House provide the twin wings of this luxury, 15-room retreat. Spacious grounds include a natural pool fed by a mountain stream, tennis court, and spa. Seven Chilworth Road, The Glen, Camps Bay; tel. 27 21 438 3972. www.campsbayretreat.com

Cape Heritage Hotel

Elegant boutique hotel in gracefully restored 18th-century building. Burnished hardwood floors and teak ceilings. Some of the 15 rooms have four-poster beds. All have satellite TV and DVD players. Free DVD library and free Wi-Fi. 90 Bree Street, City Bowl; tel. 27 21 424 4646. www.capeheritage.co.za

The Grand Daddy Hotel

“A top choice for visiting style mavens and fashion conscious queens.”—Patrick Farrell. Formerly The Metripole; Ostrich-leather-trim frames set the camp tone for this ritzy 25-room boutique hotel in the heart of city. Includes the innovative Veranda restaurant and the Versace-adorned M Bar. 38 Long Street, City Bowl; tel. 27 21 424 7247. http://www.granddaddy.co.za/

Vineyard Hotel & Spa

Elegant 175-room hotel east of Table Mountain near Newlands rugby and cricket stadiums. Lush gardens, top-class gym, two swimming pools, and luxurious Angsana Spa. Colinton Road, Newlands; tel. 27 21 657 4500. www.vineyard.co.za

Winchester Mansions Hotel

“Lovely, sedate establishment with just 76 rooms and a surprisingly rare—for Cape Town—sea-facing location.”—Patrick Farrell. Has both traditional and modern design rooms, some facing the mountain, others the sea. Its central courtyard restaurant is a popular spot for Sunday brunch with live jazz. Heated pool and sun deck. 221 Beach Road, Sea Point; tel. 27 21 434 2351. www.winchester.co.za

$$$$

Ellerman House

“There’s a three-bedroom private cottage in their garden with designer furnishings and travertine marble bathrooms that’s pure rock star.”—Gemma Pitcher. Exclusive mansion with sweeping coastal views from terraces. Nine sumptuous rooms and two suites. 180 Kloof Road, Bantry Bay; tel. 27 21 430 3200. www.ellerman.co.za

Kensington Place

Boutique beauty cocooned in a wind-free spot on the upper slopes of Table Mountain. Interior design throughout is tasteful and contemporary. Pool in the landscaped garden. Free wireless access and latest electronic gizmos in all eight rooms. 38 Kensington Crescent, Higgovale; tel. 27 21 424 4744. www.kensingtonplace.co.za

Mount Nelson Hotel

“The preferred haunt of the moneyed set—old money, not new.”—Sherly Ozinsky, author, Don’t tell Cape Town. Grand Dame of the local hotel scene offering 201 spacious rooms and suites, some with stylish art deco makeovers. Lush surrounding gardens include a huge swimming pool that can be enjoyed during the hotel’s legendary buffet afternoon tea. 76 Orange Street, Gardens; tel. 27 21 483 1000. www.mountnelson.co.za

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