TOP 10 Quirky Hotels in South Africa

I orchestrate my mornings to the tune of coffee, and select my hotel rooms to the roar of quirkiness. From wild to whimsical, here are The TOP 10  Quirky Hotels in South Africa, a collection handpicked by THE TRAVEL LIZ – a South African travel blogger, quirky adventurer and visual addict.

The TOP 10 Quirky Hotels/B&B’s/Rooms in South Africa:

1 | THE GRAND DADDY HOTEL, Cape Town, South Africa****

Someone thought it would be quirky to get 7 American vintage Airstream trailers on the rooftop of an urban hotel and then invite local artists to design it according to cool themes. Someone was right! The Grand Daddy’s Airstream Rooftop Trailer Park is on top, over-the-top, and as quirky as the dream you didn’t have last night.

The Grand Daddy Hotel SOUTH AFRICA

TWITTER: @granddaddyhotel

QUIRKY TIP: Book the DOROTHY trailer if you hate squares.

2 | KAGGA KAMMA NATURE RESERVE, Ceres, South Africa **** 

In the heart of the wilderness, near the Cederberg Mountains, is South Africa’s most unique cave resort. The luxury cave rooms are nestled between sandstone formations and is even better than your freaky Fred Flinstone fantasy… because it’s real.


TWITTER: @kaggakamma

QUIRKY TIP: The OUTCROP OPEN-AIR ROOM gives a whole new meaning to “wild in the bedroom”. Try it and prove me right.

3 | CASTLE IN CLARENS, Clarens, South Africa*****

Kate took William, and Harry is a ginger, so I guess it’s finally time to make peace with the fact that we won’t become princesses after all. Softening the fall (of our broken hearts) is the Castle in Clarens, Africa’s own Rapunzel castle – a luxuriously quirky guesthouse with fairytale fantasy decor from around the world.     

 Castle In Clarens SOUTH AFRICA

TWITTER: (none)

QUIRKY TIP:  Book RAPUNZEL’S TOWER to feel high.    

4 | TSALA TREETOP LODGE, Harkerville, South Africa *****

The Tsala Treetop Lodge is not just another tree house hotel. This unique boutique resort offers luxurious high-design stone-and-glass stilted treetop suites - with wraparound decking and private infinity pools overlooking South Africa’s indigenous forest canopy. It’s a (glamorous) jungle out there! This is Africa.

Tsala Treetop Lodge SOUTH AFRICA


QUIRKY TIP: Wake up to the sound of monkeys.

5 | DADDY LONG LEGS ART HOTEL, Cape Town, South Africa ***

Staying here is like being part of an interactive art exhibition. Various artists, poets, photographers and even musicians were part of the interior design team who made the Daddy Long Legs Boutique Hotel  one of Cape Town’s coolest backpacker hotels. Each room has a different quirky theme and is as unique as the person staying in it.

 Daddy Long Legs Art Hotel SOUTH AFRICA 3

TWITTER: @art_hotel 

QUIRKY TIP: Stalk their website before booking your favourite quirky room.

6 | TANDA TULA FIELD CAMP, Timbavati Game Reserve, South Africa ****

South Africa’s first tented, luxury, non-permanent, eco-friendly, exclusive-use, walking safari camp! Tanda Tula Field Camp consists of 4 custom designed tents, with en-suite open-air bush bathrooms, and a communal lounge tent – drawing on the traditions of the classic East African-style safari. It’s a hotel room in a tent that puts luxury into the wild.

Tanda Tula Field Camp SOUTH AFRICA

TWITTER: @TandaTula

QUIRKY TIP: Don’t pack your Crocs… or do. Whatever.   

7 | PROTEA HOTEL FIRE & ICE!, Cape Town, South Africa****

This innovative design hotel’s iconic gourmet milkshakes brings all the boys (and girls) to the yard of quirkiness, the playground of cool in the city of Cape Town. Every inch of this hotel showcases a quirky adventure – from the shark cage themed lifts, to the smoker’s grave-inspired coughinroom and naughty bathrooms. Should I mention the perfect view of Table Mountain?  

 Protea Hotel Fire & Ice Cape Town SOUTH AFRICA

TWITTER: @FireandIceCT 

QUIRKY TIP: Try a HOT HICKY –  the hotel’s iconic chili chocolate milkshake. 

8 | NARIES NAMAKWA RETREAT, Springbok, South Africa

If complete silence, 4000 wild flower species and world-class South African cuisine and are not enough to convince you to relax in this countryside retreat in Africa, maybe this will: a luxury domed mountain suite – almost in the middle of nowhere.

Naries Namakwa Retreat SOUTH AFRICA

TWITTER: @nariesretreat

QUIRKY TIP:  Do a riel dance.  

9 | SANTOS EXPRESS, Mossel Bay, South Africa

Just 30 meters from the beach of Mossel Bay, you can sleep in a real train that doesn’t move. The Santos Express offers backpacker-style compartments rooms and private self-contained caboose with spectacular views over the Indian Ocean. The (absence of a) journey becomes the destination! 

Santos Express SOUTH AFRICA

TWITTER: @SantosExpress

QUIRKY TIP: Book THE ROYAL LADIES for comfort and a wow.

 10 | THE PHANTOM FOREST ECO-RESERVE, Knysna, South Africa 

 It seems that there are not enough green awards that this unique eco-friendly reserve can’t win. Here you can (try to) skinny dip in the open-air bubble barrel and sleep between the treetops of the Phantom Forest – a mystical place where the Ghost Moth is the celebrated creature.

Phantom Forest Eco Reserve SOUTH AFRICA

TWITTER: @PhantomEco

QUIRKY TIP: Experience the North in the South by booking the luxurious MOROCCAN TREE SUITE. 

So THIS is where I want to (lose some) sleep.

And you?

Want to see more? Follow  The Travel Liz on Pinterest for more quirky hotel room craziness.

DISCLAIMER: The Travel Liz does not own any of the photos used in this blog post. Click on the photo number to visit the original photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

10 thoughts on “TOP 10 Quirky Hotels in South Africa

  1. Elna E
    April 2, 2014 at 9:48 am

    A most enjoyable post – you really went to town to introduce quirky SA stays and ignite some ‘needs’!

    1. April 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Baie dankie!

  2. April 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Very interesting! #4 and #10 are on my list for future destinations now. Thanks!

    1. April 12, 2014 at 6:36 am

      Cool choices, Carl ( :

  3. April 8, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I thought #2 was going to be my choice, until I saw #8. That sounds right up my alley. Thanks for the cool read! Really, though, I would stay at any of these in a heartbeat.

    Also, the opening sentence of this article is awesome.
    Nathan Anderson recently posted…The Cherry Blossoms of GyeongjuMy Profile

    1. April 11, 2014 at 7:39 am

      Hallo Nathan

      Thank you for your kind words about my writing. I appreciate it!

      Happy travels ( :

  4. April 10, 2014 at 10:17 am

    I love those rustic places!

    Steve Miller recently posted…Korean Cafe StreetMy Profile

    1. April 11, 2014 at 5:36 am

      Me too! ( :

  5. May 2, 2014 at 9:01 am

    The Grand Daddy Hotel is sooooooo cute and it must feel calm, warm in there.

    1. May 6, 2014 at 1:27 am

      It’s very cute indeed! ( :

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