Although Cape Town's Central Business District did have its share of hotels before, such as the business-friendly Taj and the quirky Grand Daddy Hotel, there has never been the right kind of hotel in CBD. A hotel with a design-centric hideaway that channels the city’s creative energy, and places the avid traveller within walking distance of vibey cafes, bars and galleries that are growing stronger by the week. Thanks to the grand opening of the Gorgeous George in April this year, travellers no longer need to Uber back to hotels in Camps Bay or the Waterfront after a night on the town. With 32 rooms spanning adjacent buildings on the pedestrian St. George’s Mall in the heart of the CBD, this hotel has the perfect spot in Cape Town.
There is no mistaking where you are from your first steps into the hotel, where you stand in front of 1,800 blue-and-white tiles hand-painted by Lucie de Moyencourt to form a map of the area. As you then make your way up to your industrial-luxe room, Cape Town still follows you with South African furniture and a bar trolley by cult brand Dokter and Misses await.
The jewel of this gorgeous city, that promises to be even more popular with locals than with guests is Gigi, the glamorous rooftop restaurant inside of the Gorgeous George. Adorned with cosy couches, discreet corners and day beds, this restaurant is perfect for those wanting to work hard and play a little. No matter if you are spending your time corresponding with clients by the shadowed bookshelves or relaxing on a day bed you will be surrounded by Cape Town’s beguilingly motley skyline of Edwardian, Victorian, Cape Dutch, and Art Deco buildings, with some of the more atmospheric restaurants and bars just around the corner. Here are some of the most recent CBD additions that are worth leaving Gigi for.
When CBD began its revival ten years ago, Twins Jesse and Jamie Friedeberg opened Skinny Legs, a chic, art-filled café on Loop Street in 2011. They have now come back and opened Between Us, a chic spot on Bree Street. As you walk past the exposed brick walls of the Victorian building's roots you will see diners that have gathered for lazy brunches and work lunches. If the weather permits, you can grab a table on the narrow patio and gaze at Table Mountain.
FynChef Peter Templehoff was for years at the helm of one of South Africa’s finest restaurants, the Greenhouse. This elegant dining room at a Cape Dutch-style luxury hotel in the tony suburb of Constantia could not be more different from his newest venture in CBD. Fyn's ultra-minimal but ultra-modern interiors are home to the Gorgeous George's inventive African-Japanese menu. Our top tip is to try the Malay-spiced guinea fowl yakitori and rice-smoked duck breast with fermented pear and liver crémeux, all served kaiseki-style.
The giant, three-story maze of the Gorgeous George's Athletic Club and Social gives homage to an old-world gentleman's club. Years before this spot was the longtime watering hole where athletes of all backgrounds and races converged—even during apartheid. Now the beautifully restored building is a trove of vintage tennis racquets and sports trophies, where you can lose yourself in the plush sofas, surrounded by painstakingly sourced black-and-white photographs of sports vignettes.
It is clear to see that the CBD is a major hub for the Cape Town art scene. As it continues to thrive, one of the city's top galleries, Whatiftheworld has relocated to Buiten Street. View exhibits by a roster of A-list local talents such as Athi-Patra Ruga, Thania Petersen, and Lungiswa Gqunta (who are also exhibited in the Zietz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa).
Planning a holiday to Cape Town? Get in touch with us by calling 020 7843 3500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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