The Marly Camps Bay Has Expanded

WORDS Amelia Brown PHOTOS Claire Gunn and Charles Russell

Located in a prime position on Cape Town’s picturesque Camps Bay strip, The Marly Boutique Hotel and Spa has reopened after a five-month renovation that saw the addition of a new floor, 27 sea- and mountain-facing suites and an unrivalled roof deck.

The upgrade to the existing 11-bedroom hotel, which is discretely located on the top floors of a vibrant shopping and dining precinct, also includes a spa, boutique and state-of-the-art gym. Combine that with the array of trendy restaurants that form part of The Kove Collection’s greater offering surrounding the hotel, and The Marly really has it all.

This unique DNA makes for ultra-cool boutique hotel chemistry. “The success of The Marly formula is actually quite simple: Our guests can have it all,” explains founder and MD of The Kove Collection Paul Kovensky. “We’re catering to someone who appreciates unbeatable ocean and mountain views, five-star luxury accommodation in close proximity to the city, a world-class spa and gym, Camps Bay beach across the road, and seven incredible restaurants and bars to choose from in addition to the rooftop pool and lounge.”

Instead of a dedicated (and dare we say predictable) hotel restaurant, guests have the choice of one of The Kove Collection’s restaurants located in the centre, from brunch at La Belle, known for its exceptional patisserie, to a lazy lunch at the all-new Surfshack (check it out here), followed by sundowners at Camps Bay icon Paranga or its slightly more viby sibling and neighbour Chinchilla. That’s if you chose to leave the comfort of your suite or be torn away from admiring the panoramic views of Lions Head, the stretch of the bay and the Twelve Apostles from one of the loungers located in the pool.

Inspiration for The Marly’s design came from travel and research, explains Paul, who settled on the name while sitting at the Café Marly at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The Château de Marly was the Sun King Louis XIV’s decadent countryside palace within the Versailles complex; his summer retreat where he took his family to hunt and escape from the bustle of the palace. “The design process had already begun,” says Paul, “and the name immediately resonated with me and fit the property perfectly. I knew that I needed to combine this timeless old-world story with Camps Bay seaside cool.”

Paul worked with Jo and Gregor Bremer of interior design studio Soda Custom to take fussy French classicism and give it a contemporary, suitably glitzy Camps Bay twist. A fresh, white palette is complemented by modern neutrals. Plush fabrics and tufted upholstery are updated with minimalist mid-century-inspired designs, white and cream leather, blonde wood, chrome, monochrome marble and plenty of sparkling mirrors.

In the reception and along the passageway, ornate panelling has been flattened and stylised and turned into a two-tone print that complements the clean-lined moulding and contemporary lighting. Slim spotlights illuminate quirky room numbers: Individually created hands painted in a delft style hold the sleek chrome number cards.

In the bedrooms, Piero Fornasetti-inspired cloud wallpaper runs up the wall behind the bed and onto the ceiling in a dreamy modern trompe-l’oeil. Scandi-style minimalist lampshade chandeliers take the place of a more elaborate traditional version, yet on the wall hangs an ornate gilded mirror more in keeping with the Marly’s regal roots. Rather than old masters, however, the walls are adorned with charcoal portraits by artist Riaan van Zyl.

There’s a simple, satisfying and sophisticated formula that’s been deftly repeated, with consideration given to the guest experience, attention to detail and a playful spin on palatial ornamentation to create a 38-room pleasure palace fit for 21st century travel royalty.

“We want the guests’ first impressions to be about the decor, location, views, facilities and all-round luxury,” says Paul. “But what we want our guests to leave with, remember and talk about is the staff, service and absolute care they received from the team. Creating memorable guest experiences, that’s what will bring people back.” That and the views from Baptiste Rooftop, no doubt.

Find The Marly Boutique Hotel and Spa at 201 The Promenade, Victoria Road, Camps Bay, on Instagram (@themarlyhotel) and online