WORDS Amelia Brown
Cape Town’s hippest new hotel, the Gorgeous George on tree-lined St George’s Mall in the heart of the CBD, is set to open in March 2019 and promises to deliver on design.
Award-winning interior designer Tristan du Plessis is responsible for the interiors, which are a celebration of contemporary African design and the perfect complement to the hotel’s ultra-cool blend of modern and heritage.
The 32-room hotel was originally built by the United Building Society and features an Art Deco entrance, while its conjoined building boasts traits of the New Edwardian style of the 1940s. A tower was devised to manage the buildings’ differing heights. It hosts the rooftop pool and allows for the bar and restaurant to be on the same level. There’s also a first-floor eventing space that can accommodate up to 150 people seated banquet style.
The design has embraced and united each building’s architectural features, while simultaneously offering different impressions depending on your perspective – one façade has steel window frames, while another has the original oak surrounds. Modern concrete and steel structures have been incorporated throughout the hotel.
Gorgeous George is the first hotel in Cape Town to join the Design Hotels stable. Each of the privately owned and operated hotels in the collection, which comprises 300 in over 50 countries, are known for their unique creative expressions rooted in a city’s design, architecture and hospitality culture.
According to Tristan: “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.” His design studio, Studio A, has shown its versatility with other cool spaces like Saigon Suzy, Naked Kitchen and Coffee Bar, and Bull Run opposite the JSE.
Tristan selected local art and furniture to capture the feel of downtown Cape Town. Lighting and furniture have been sourced from David Krynauw, Gregor Jenkin, Dokter and Misses, Wiid Design and Ceramic Matters, Studio 19, and Douglas & Company. A crocodile swing-chair-seating-pod from Porky Hefer is sure to be one of this photogenic hotel’s many Instagram-worthy angles. In addition to the murals by artist David Brits throughout, the foyer features an intricate mosaic mural created by Cape Town-based artist Lucie De Moyencourt. The Delft-inspired masterpiece is made of 1 800 hand-painted tiles depicting a map of the Mother City.
The kitchen will be headed up by executive chef Guy Bennett, who has worked with Reuben Riffel, Michael Deg and Bertus Basson and most recently helmed Grand Provence in Franschhoek, and suitably gorgeous cocktails, which will be served at the rooftop bar overlooking the city, will be dreamt up by mixologist Jody Rahme.