Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA__
Fine art, fine food, fine wine a stroll from cafe-filled Kalk Bay
Perched overlooking the sea in the breezy village of St. James, quietly refined Rodwell House is the ideal stay if you want to escape Cape Town's tourist bustle. Lovingly restored to its parquet-floored, marble-columned, clipped-lawn glory, this 1930s mansion is not only an elegant boutique hotel, but it boasts an impressive collection of 20th-century modern South African art as well as a huge walk-in wine cellar stocking rare, celebrated bottles. Also making it worth writing home about is the fact you're only a short drive from some of the cape's best wildlife and horticultural boasts.
Wow factor The beautiful pool is fed by a mountain spring and flanked by chaises longues to stretch out on. Walk down to the tidal pools below the gardens for an invigorating saltwater swim.
Rates Low season, R1,500–R3,500; high season, R2,000–R6,000. Includes full breakfast and VAT. (From about $168.)