With just 11 suites, Cape Town’s The Marly is proof that big things come in small packages.

Named for Chateau de Marly, the 17th century leisure residence of Louis XIV, the hotel lives up to its grand moniker. An abundance of appropriately decadent materials such as marble, velvet and leather sit alongside high maintenance white on white interiors, while trompe-l'œil columns impart a sense of grandeur and are a clear nod to the famously design-savvy Sun King.

If it all sounds a little chintzy, it’s not. Interiors are tempered with modern details, and thoughtfully placed mirrors, minimalistic furniture and contemporary art smooth out any risk of the hotel appearing ostentatious. A kaleidoscope of configurations, including sea and mountain-facing rooms, make the most of the hotel’s beachfront Camps Bay location, just minutes away from central Cape Town. Balconies offer sweeping views of the Twelve Apostles mountain range or the ocean, while private outdoor jacuzzis, showers and sun loungers enhance The Marly’s consistent theme of luxury and unabashed splendour. 

In the hotel’s four restaurants the design is noticeably more pared back. At Umi, Marly’s Japanese restaurant, delicate cherry blossom arrangements are paired with muted leather upholstery and neutral ornamental wood wall panelling for an elegant atmosphere, while the Italian Zenzero conjures visions of La Dolce Vita with al fresco dining, leather upholstered walls and lush plants. The king would approve.