6 South African art hotels worth visiting

Posted on 15 February 2024

Art hotels, around the world, offer areas where creativity and style meet. Furniture, fittings, architecture and art all collaborate to create an interesting atmosphere that leaves a lasting impression.

Many of these hotels feature contemporary art work by leading local and international artists. Here are some unique and stylish art hotels in South Africa:

1. Karoo Art Hotel, Barrydale

Address: 30 Van Riebeeck Street, Barrydale

Contact: 0285721226; karooarthotel.co.za

The Karoo Art Hotel is a country hotel in the farming village of Barrydale, just 2,5 hours away from Cape Town. This family-friendly hotel was previously known as the Barrydale Karoo Hotel. There are fifteen rooms, each with individual personalities.

The Karoo Art Hotel aims to celebrate artists from the area as well as creating a spark of rediscovery of artwork for their guests. The art in the hotel gallery is updated regularly and the space exhibits not only painting, drawing and sculpture, but music, written work and design. Artists who have had their work featured at the hotel include: Laresa Perlman, Andrew Hofmeyr and Maggie Smit.

2. Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel and Spa, Cape Town

Cloud 9 has two plunge pools and a sun deck, for you to soak up some sunshine in the summer. Image by Ondela Mlandu

Address: 12 Kloof Nek Road, Gardens, Cape Town

Contact: 0214241133; hotelcloudnine.com

Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel and Spa is made up of five heritage properties in Tamboerskloof. The neighbourhood is known far and wide for its energetic and diverse atmosphere with a variety of bars and restaurants.

This hotel has 47 sound-proof rooms, a spa treatment area and tranquil courtyard for your indulgence. The art gallery at the Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel and Spa showcases African contemporary art.

An art gallery forms part of Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel showcasing contemporary African art. Image by Ondela Mlandu


3. Graskop Hotel, Graskop

The art gallery you can sleep in. Image supplied

Address: 3 Hoof Street, Graskop

Contact: 0137671244

The Graskop Boutique Art Hotel is located on the Panorama Route outside the Kruger Lowveld. This 37 en-suite room hotel has a 70s theme, with 19 of the rooms decorated by contemporary South African artists.

The rooms are named after some of South Africa’s celebrated artists, such as Sandile Zulu, artist Debbie Cloete, visual artist Andrew Milne and photographer and writer Anthony Dalton.

The bedrooms have been decorated by different contemporary South African artists. Image supplied

4. 12 Decades Art Hotel, Johannesburg

The rooms at 12 Decades Art Hotel are designed and conceptualised by some of South Africa’s most celebrated artists and designers. Image supplied

Address: 302 Fox Street, Maboneng, Johannesburg

Contact: 0116140163; curiocitybackpackers.com/joburg-curio-pads

Did you know that in the heart of the Maboneng Precinct you’ll find art apartments, known as The 12 Decades Art Hotel? The purpose of the 12 Decades Art Hotel is to share the story of Johannesburg’s history from the period 1886 to 2006.

All the rooms are designed by South Africa artists with different themes that are closely linked to the City of Gold. One of the rooms is called 50 Stories (image below). The narrative behind 50 Stories is the history of the suburban mall, the Carlton Centre, which remains the tallest office building in Africa, since 1973.

12 Decades of Joburg history is displayed in each of the rooms at the hotel. Image supplied

5. Radisson RED, Cape Town

The spacious, colourful rooms at the Radisson RED Hotel in Cape Town. Image supplied

Address: Silo 6, Silo Square, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town

Contact: 0870861578; radissonred.com/cape-town

The Radisson RED is the first of its kind in South Africa. The bold and colourful hotel is designed to display the architecture of the building by creating an eclectic ambiance. The Radisson RED makes a point to combine art, fashion and music. Besides creating interesting, artistic spaces, the hotel is a two-minute walk away from the largest art museum in Africa, the Zeitz MOCCA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa), that opened in the Silo District in September 2017.

Radisson RED Hotel Cape Town

The amazing rooftop area at the Radisson RED Hotel. Image supplied

6. Thandekayo Art Gallery Guesthouse, Hout Bay

African hospitality, art, wine and relaxation all in Hout Bay. Image supplied

Address: 14 Luisa Way, Hout Bay, Cape Town

Contact: 0217910020, [email protected]

Thandekayo means ‘warm welcome’ when translated from Zulu. Thandekayo Art Gallery Guest House overlooks the Hout Bay village and is owned by Martin Osner, a South African fine art photographer. All the en-suite rooms at Thandekayo are designed with a South African theme.

Artworks from contemporary South African artists, on display here, include photography by Sandy Mclea, wildlife photography by Klaus Tiedge and landscape photography by Koos van der Lende.

The bay and mountain ranges surround the Thandekayo Art Gallery Guest House. Image supplied

Have you stayed at any of the above hotels? Please share your experience with us?

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