Travel, Decor and Design

Gorgeous George Design Hotel to Open in Cape Town in March 2019

The latest stylish new addition to the Cape Town hotel scene, Gorgeous George, features South African design and art


Gorgeous George design hotel to open in Cape Town in March 2019 | House and Leisure

Combine its cool Cape Town location – in heritage buildings at the corner of St George’s Mall and Longmarket Street – with interiors and artworks by some of the country’s freshest designers and artists, and it’ll come as no surprise to learn that the House and Leisure team has been stalking Gorgeous George for months. Ever since the hotel started appearing on our social-media feeds in mid-2018, we’ve been popping past on the regular to check on the progress of the renovations, and even managed to inveigle our way into the roof-wetting party last spring... in short, you might say we’re very much looking forward to this one! And now, we’ve learnt that the property will officially open in March this year.

Combining classic and contemporary design

Created across two beautifully restored heritage buildings, Gorgeous George is the first hotel in Cape Town to be part of the Design Hotels stable, a worldwide collection of privately owned and operated hotels that share a focus on great design. Plus the hotel very much wants to be more than a mere place for visitors to stay – it also aims to function as a stylish inner-city gathering place for locals. ‘We want to create an interactive social hub for everyone to enjoy,’ says Neilen Tolmay, general manager of Gorgeous George.

The hotel’s entrance is Art Deco, while the conjoined building boasts traits of the New Edwardian style of the 1940s. The biggest challenge in marrying the two buildings was their different heights, and the solution gave rise to the tower that hosts the rooftop pool, and allowed for the bar and restaurant to be on the same level. The uniting design embraces each building’s architectural features, while at the same time allowing for different moods depending on the viewer’s perspective.

‘We wanted to take this fantastic conjoined building that has a rich history of Cape Town and create a modern, timeless hotel using South African designers as part of the design DNA,’ says award-winning Joburg-based designer Tristan du Plessis, who was responsible for the hotel’s interior design. Each of the 32 rooms expresses South African contemporary style, interlaced with a vintage edge.

Gorgeous George design hotel to open in Cape Town in March 2019 | House and Leisure

Du Plessis has used carefully chosen South African art pieces and furniture that capture the chic look and feel of downtown Cape Town. Lighting and furniture were sourced from David Krynauw, Gregor Jenkin, Studio 19, Douglas & Company, and Dokter and Misses, with a feature crocodile swing chair from Porky Hefer, while murals by artist David Brits are featured throughout. The foyer is home to a tiled mural created by Cape Town artist Lucie de Moyencourt. Made up of no less than 1 800 handpainted ceramic tiles that together depict a map of Cape Town, it’s undoubtedly set to become one of the city’s most Instagrammed spots. 

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Top chef and mixologist on the staff

Guy Bennett, who cut his culinary teeth in the kitchens of top South African chefs Reuben Riffel and Bertus Basson, and most recently helmed Grande Provence in Franschhoek, will be the executive chef. 

Cocktails made by renowned mixologist Jody Rahme will be served at the rooftop bar overlooking the cityscape. Rahme began his mixology journey in Johannesburg at Sin + Tax before joining Gorgeous George. 

Gorgeous George design hotel to open in Cape Town in March 2019 | House and Leisure

Find out more about the hotel – and book your room – on the Gorgeous George website.