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Cape Town Voted Best City in Africa, Hotels Scoop Top Spots at World Travel + Leisure Awards

24 September 2021

Statement by the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Alderman Dan Plato

As Mayor of this beautiful city, it gives me great joy to see the hard work of our residents and business owners rewarded with global recognition.

The Cape Grace, The Silo Hotel, and Ellerman House took the first, second and third spots respectively, with the One and Only hotel taking fifth place in Travel + Leisure’s  ‘World’s Best’ awards.

Cape Town was rated as the best City in Africa and the Middle East. It was followed by Marrakesh, Jerusalem, Fez, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Abu Dhabi, Petra, Muscat and Essaouira, completing the top 10.

City of Cape Town prides itself on good governance and providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Tourism provides major employment and skills development opportunities for our residents and we have always supported this industry wherever possible.

In 2020 we helped local businesses bounce back after a tough national lockdown that left almost no business untouched, and we continuously fought for the easing of lockdown restrictions to help businesses and save livelihoods.

2020 the City distributed over 13 000 Covid-19 toolkits to SMMEs, 10 000 kits for informal traders, thousands of masks and sanitisers, signage to help small businesses open safely after the hard lockdown and launched a number of business support programmes. To see these hotels acknowledged on the global stage is testament to the resilience of Capetonians and our commitment to looking after our future and always bouncing back stronger than before.

Many other independent organisations have acknowledged the good governance and resilience of the City of Cape Town. The Ratings Afrika sustainability survey of July 2020 acknowledged Cape Town as the most financially sustainable metro in South Africa, which was capable of absorbing the financial shock of the Covid-19 pandemic. The accolades announced this month is testament to this acknowledgement.

Some of the comments from travellers (listed below) outline why Cape Town is a firm favourite.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities. This year, readers strongly favoured South Africa — the top five city hotels are all in Cape Town and Jo’burg. –

This coastal city has a tendency to make even the most wanderlust-fueled traveler consider settling down.

Survey responses provide more than enough evidence for this. ‘One of the most beautiful places on earth,’ wrote one reader, with another saying, ‘I’d definitely retire here!’ A third had a similar reaction: ‘When my husband and I arrived, we both immediately thought…should we move?’

Known for its temperate climate and prime position between mountains and sea, this city is a draw for travellers seeking a mix of urban exploration and nature experiences — with outdoorsy excursions like a hike up Table Mountain or a tasting tour of the winelands within easy reach before dinner and drinks on the waterfront. –