Top 10: Historic hotels of South Africa

Lord Milner Hotel, Matjiesfontein Turrets of the Lord Milner Hotel, Matjiesfontein

1 The Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town

Welcome to the grande dame of South African historical hotels: The Mount Nelson - or 'The Nellie', as guests sometimes fondly call her. The Mount Nelson sports a guest list which reads like an international hall of fame for movie stars, politicians, royals, eccentrics, generals and business moguls. more

2 Dullstroom Inn, Mpumalanga

Every historical hotel in South Africa has at least 1 really funny legend that is told around the bar after dinner on most nights - and the Dullstroom Inn in the Mpumalanga Highlands is no exception. Ask the publican about the time the treasure hunters came to visit. more

3 Lanzerac Hotel & Spa, Stellenbosch

Relax among the vineyards of the Cape at this historical hotel, which has a pedigree that goes right back to 1692, in the birthing decades of European settlement in South Africa. It was a time of Dutch supremacy and style, evident in the architecture of this fine old establishment. more

4 Victoria Manor, Cradock

This outstanding Victorian Karoo hotel has seen the likes of Cecil John Rhodes and Olive Schreiner amongst its lineup of guests in the past 160 years. It even, at times, played host to a horse that fancied the odd beer in the pub - served in a Cadillac hubcap. more

5 The Drostdy Hotel, Graaff-Reinet

Once a popular hotel in a rowdy frontier town where lawmen had to work hard for their pay, The Drostdy Hotel in Graaff-Reinet is now a top spot for travellers crossing the Great Karoo. Its shady lanes and gardens are a welcome break from the punishing heat of the heartland.

6 The Kimberley Club

Back in the diamond boom days of the Northern Cape, if you were anybody worth your salt you were a member of the Kimberley Club. Today, this legendary watering hole and dining spot has become a boutique hotel that recalls the days of Rhodes, Barnato and the Siege of Kimberley. more

7 Houw Hoek Inn, Grabouw

The most fascinating gum tree in South Africa, the country's 1st liquor licensee and a historic hitching spot going back to the 18th Century ... the Houw Hoek Inn is a welcoming hotel complex at the foot of a pass that used to really challenge the wagon drivers of old. more

8 Cathedral Peak Hotel, Drakensberg

This mountain retreat is a long-established historical hotel in the Drakensberg. The Cathedral Peak Hotel is both a famous 'big family establishment' and a great getaway for honeymooners. You're surrounded by a magical ring of mountains and gifted with 1 of the most dramatic views anywhere in the world. more

9 Royal Hotel, Pilgrim's Rest

Pilgrim's Rest is a mountain village in Mpumalanga that recalls the old days of the gold panners and the good time saloons they drank in. In the centre of the village is the historical Royal Hotel, a perfect replica of early Pilgrim's Rest - complete with an eccentric old bar. more

10 The Lord Milner Hotel, Matjiesfontein

The Lord Milner is the main attraction of Matjiesfontein village in the Western Cape Karoo. It used to be a Victorian health hideaway, then a hospital for British officers during the South African (formerly Anglo-Boer) War. Today it's a tribute to the various visionary owners who have preserved its charm.