It’s fairly easy to spot the Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence in Cape Town’s cityscape, but although its award-winning Art Deco design separates it from the rest of the city’s high-risers, its architecture isn’t the only thing that makes this luxury hotel stand out.
When we were invited to tour the hotel, we discovered that the interiors are equally as impressive the exterior. Desmond O’Connor, general manager of the Radisson Blu in Cape Town, says: ‘The iconic design of the building pays homage to the Art Deco language, and the same direction has been applied in the public areas and, to an extent, in the bedrooms as well. In conjunction with this style, inspiration was also drawn from the natural elements of the city. The decor of the rooms give them a cocoon-like feel and instills a welcoming calm in the traveller, which is something that is not commonly found in city hotels these days. It creates a sense of serenity.’
Glamorous without being over the top, the Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence is filled with pieces by local artists and designers. The first thing you’ll notice is its strict colour palette: a strong base of black-and-white patterns is offset by planes of deep blues and soft greys, which is all tied together by considered metallic details. The walls are adorned with photographic artworks by Henk Kruger, graphic artworks by Renée Rossouw and sketches of Cape Town by Source IBA’s Evon Smuts-Rogers, which have been printed as wallpaper by Zana. Dipped ceramic plates by Rialheim hold gourmet meals, while custom pieces by Concreate, upholstered furniture by Southern Hospitality, objets by Lisa Firer and display tables by James Mudge populate the hotel. From signature light fittings to ombré carpets, everywhere you look a new, innovative design element catches the eye.
Source IBA’s Evon Smuts-Rogers and Mardre Meyer, who we recently interviewed about the Afrotel for 100% Design South Africa, are responsible for the unique interiors. Speaking about his favourite design aspect of the hotel, Meyer says, ‘Its attitude. Despite an international trend for hotels to become less formal and more millennial, this hotel is proudly old-school, yet with a modern nod to a time when travel was uber-glamorous.’ And his favourite pieces? ‘I have three personal favourites. The tarnished brass sculptures in the lift lobby by Gary Froud of Craft Metal Works, the custom bar stools in the lobby bar by Dark Horse and the powerful black-and-white carpets designed by Source IBA and manufactured by Monn.’
As for the food, the hotel’s main restaurant, The Stratus Room, offers a dining experience that embraces seasonal local offerings. Although we didn’t sample the dinner menu, the breakfast buffet was more than enough to convince us to visit the Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence again. With almost every early-morning food option available, from perfectly poached eggs to healthy mini smoothies, we found ourselves in breakfast heaven and were in no rush to leave.
The restaurant looks down onto the Ghibli Bar and Pool Terrace, providing a serene view in the bustling city – and a welcome reminder to pop down to the pool terrace for a late lunch and a cocktail or two. At nighttime, the Sea Street Bar and Lounge is the place to be, so grab a seat at the bar, order a drink and chat to the very friendly staff.
Find the Radisson Blue Hotel & Residence at 22 Riebeek St, Cape Town City Centre. For more information or to make a booking, visit radissonblu.com/hotel-capetown-residence.