Sitting on the buzzing Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the Table Bay Hotel has one of the best locations in Cape Town, with views of Table Mountain, the harbor and notorious Robben Island. It was, in fact, the prison’s most famous former inmate who opened the hotel in 1997: then-President Nelson Mandela. The neo-Victorian architecture exudes old-world elegance, as does the attentive service, which extends to helicopter transfers, personal shopping and the therapies at the Camelot Spa. Dining and cocktail options include the award-winning Atlantic Grill, relaxed Conservatory, two bars and a lounge for afternoon tea. Don’t miss the bronze statue honoring Oscar, a seal that often visited the waters by the hotel as it was being built and so charmed the staff that he became their mascot.