Between the international prices of our hotels and the rustic charm of South Africa’s hostels, we have the realm of the B&B and guesthouse.
What are B&B’s?
Technically a B&B is generally a country home or inn where boarding and breakfast are provided at the same price. The term is used in UK, but not on the rest of the continent. You will also find B&B’s in English speaking countries that were once part of the British Empire.
In South Africa, these can be a comfortable and affordable place to sleep, without the hubbub of a hostel and the impersonal atmosphere of many hotels. B&B’s are most often owner managed, by people that love where they live. Otherwise they would be somewhere else wouldn’t they?
The advantages of staying at a bed and breakfast, is most often the price (R80-R300 and up) ($12-$40), the informative owner and the location. B&B’s are usually located just outside the “tourist” area’s, and on the cusp of suburbia, which is quieter and perhaps less intimidating for families and couples. Some B&B’s offer free cars for their guests use, otherwise a rental car is a must have for getting around.
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Another plus is the omission of the dreaded “continental breakfast’, which I have yet see being eaten with enthusiasm on any continent. Guest House and B&B owners strive to develop word of mouth and repeat business, therefore they know how to cook an egg!
Some guest houses in the Tableview area cater almost exclusively to “Sports tourists” who come to this area in droves every summer, for wind surfing, kite surfing and other extreme sports. This part of our coast from Milnerton all the way up to Melkbosstrand offers some of the worlds most reliable wind conditions, thanks to our famous “Cape Doctor” wind. The rest of the population finds it very annoying.
Travel further away from the major cities and you will find less and less tourist accommodation and more 50’s and 60’s “Bates Motel” types. These can have a distinct charm of their own, which might impart more about the country than any guidebook (SALogue excluded).
A very good resource for finding a B&B or guest house in the right area is capestay, which has a comprehensive list of what is available. My advice would be to book as early as possible especially if over any public holiday or holiday season.
The prices depend a lot on the location and the facilities offered. For a room in a B&B located in the heart of Camps Bay (Western Cape), expect to pay between R 280-430, depending on the season. The B&B is very well located at 10 min from the beach and 5 minutes from Table Mountain.
However, if you prefer a more stylish B&B (more like offering a 5 star hotel facilities) in the same area, expect to pay as much as R 1300-2200 per night for a room.
If you plan to head to Mossel Bay, you can stay in a 4 star B&B for R 325-497 per night during the summer season (R 225-400 during winter). Excellent location, great facilities and a good price as well.