Hot Spots

The 2010 It List

by Ondine Cohane

South Africa

The host of the 2010 World Cup has spent the last few years preparing for its moment in the spotlight, with a slew of new stadiums and a fresh crop of hotels and restaurants springing up in their path. Most of the soccer action will take place in June and July in Johannesburg and Cape Town (pictured), but the latter is our top choice for its myriad other attractions: gorgeous beaches, world-class vineyards, stylish nightlife, and a relaxed vibe. Among the new hotel arrivals: the One&Only Cape Town, which landed in early 2009 with a gargantuan infinity pool, a Nobu restaurant, and spectacular views of Table Mountain. The Taj Cape Town opens its doors in January 2010 with 166 rooms, three restaurants, and a Jiva spa, all spread across two landmark buildings in the center of town. The justly beloved Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa just completed a major renovation of its 70 rooms perched between the eponymous mountain range and the Atlantic. From the Cape region, it's an easy transfer to the northwest, home to South Africa's best safari options (bonus: prime viewing months coincide with the World Cup). Stay in the brand-new Cliff Lodge, the latest addition to Sir Richard Branson's Ulusaba Private Game Reserve; the two-bedroom retreat has its own swimming pool and dining room. If you're more interested in watching theatrics on the playing field than on the savanna, keep in mind that World Cup tickets are very hard to come by. Outfitter Destination Southern Africa is offering tailor-made itineraries that include good seats at top matches, along with accommodations at different price points.

Next: Keeping score? See our previous years' predictions ›

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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