Kick off your South African getaway in style at this seductive boutique hotel.

The 35-room Queen Victoria Hotel sits amid a cluster of colonial buildings above the bustling V&A Waterfront. Step inside the white marble lobby and you're enveloped in a world of discreet sophistication.

Rooms are a glamorous blend of shimmering taupes, silvers and lilacs, with views (suites have balconies, pictured) that take in the Waterfront and the Atlantic on one side, or Table Mountain on the other.

Downstairs in the cocktail bar, join locals for a glass of pinotage or chenin blanc from the nearby winelands, then head to Dash for dinner.

WOW FACTOR: The French-Capetonian menu at Dash changes seasonally; when available, order the yellowtail fish or springbok antelope.

FLIGHT TIME: 12 hours

WHEN TO GO: Winter, Spring

GO: Doubles from £238 per night, B&B (www.newmarkhotels.com). British Airways (www.ba.com) flies from £697 return.