Cape Town’s latest fashion icon

MAY 2013 – This glossy glamour girl combines serious luxury with playful high-design and a perfect position in one of the world’s most happening cities. As one of Cape Town’s newest five-star hotel properties, it’s a design destination worthy of its jet-set clientele.

The long black trenchcoat-clad doormen (complete with wireless earpieces) and the ‘red carpet’ are the first clues that you have indeed arrived. The sparkling ruby-red quartzite floor in the street-level concierge lobby of African Pride’s 15 on Orange Hotel is the perfect foil for the parade of Jimmy Choos and the well-oiled wheels of Louis Vuitton luggage that sail through the doors of this designtastic Cape Town space on an hourly basis. The seven-floor, 129-bedroom hotel that opened in late 2009 is already the lair of business movers and shakers, parliamentary players and a glamorous glossy posse from all over the globe. Similarly, legal eagles from the nearby courts can be seen signing important documents over cappuccinos, while glamorous gals pop in after work for drinks and gossip, Sex in the City style.

Situated in the heart of the city’s legal, cultural and embassy hub, 15 on Orange Hotel is a thoroughly modern structure, rising up from what was once the site of the Dutch Reformed Synod. On entering this impressive new building, designed by well-known architects DHK, guests are whisked up in an all-black mosaic-tiled elevator to the arrivals lobby a floor above. And it is here that it becomes crystal clear that this is no ordinary hotel. An atrium of triple-volume proportions lets in light, views of the sky and snapshots of Table Mountain. Hip lounge beats set a cosmopolitan tone and everywhere you look you see glossy surfaces and brilliant flashes of colour, beckoning the first-time visitor to explore and to discover what the space is all about. A Haldane Martin Shongololo bench makes an enticing and undulating statement; a group of black chairs from Dutch design house Moooi begs to be sunk into; and a purple baize billiards table in the Judges Lounge says, ‘We’re serious about style but we hope you’re here for a good time.’

Guests make themselves at home in a variety of spaces designed for comfort and to set a mood. Most are on the atrium level, while some move up a floor – but thanks to dramatic floor-to-ceiling glass panels, the connection with the hotel’s central space is never removed. Twenty-four-hour service is key to 15 on Orange Hotel’s commitment to its guests. The suitably moody Judges Lounge is a low key all-day-and-night bar lounge that plays host to a private sound room and a 1 000-strong CD collection for after dinner socialising. And judging by the huddles of well-dressed duos whipping out their Mont Blanc pens to sign off all-important deals, it’s also a good spot for an informal daytime meeting.

This is a destination that clearly takes its inspiration from some of the great boutique hotels in the worlds. There are references to cult hotel designer Ian Schrager’s trademark plays on scale – giant Alice in Wonderland seats here, oversized chandeliers there and always a playful edge to set it apart. Across the marbled atrium is the vodka-and-sushi concept Murano Bar, where guests slurp oysters and sip on imported vodkas and French Champagnes while enjoying the dazzle that the extraordinary circular marble bar and the 10 000-piece Venetian glass chandelier overhead brings. A more private space where guests are encouraged to unwind after a long day of meetings, shopping or sightseeing, the bar offers some of the world’s best vodkas and Champagne, and a menu that includes caviar, cured salmon and mountains of just-shucked oysters – here it’s undeniably decadence for decadence’s sake.

Adjacent to this high-design concept bar is a variety of dining options – from à la carte menu choices at Savour Restaurant, with its menu of over 70 global dishes and dramatic show kitchen; The Atrium for light meals; and cosmopolitan Euro-café-style Cinnamon Coffee Shop, with rows of pretty pastries and pastel-coloured macaroons neatly lined up behind glass counters. The hotel’s ‘any menu in any venue’ policy gives it a sincere ‘your-wish-is-our-command’ edge.

15 on Orange Hotel has two wings of rooms on either side of its central atrium and a total of 129 bedrooms, including 12 penthouse suites. While all the penthouses have been sold to private investors, four are included in the hotel inventory for sale on a daily basis. To one side is a bank of generously sized deluxe suites complete with customised wallpaper, iPod docking station, DVD selection and details such as African Pride’s standard 350-thread count linen. Black granite, Italian marble and the likes of Marmoran crushed-glass feature walls set the tone for sheer indulgence in the bathrooms. On the other side of the atrium are the hotel’s much-vaunted Pod Suites. Here, Sci-Fi chic is the order of the day, with red Perspex surfaces and floor-to-ceiling glass wall giving guests a bird’s-eye view of what’s afoot in the atrium below. Each floor also has a two-roomed, interleading family-friendly suite.

If the armies of well-heeled business people that frequent it are anything to go by, and thanks to its supremely central location, 15 on Orange Hotel is already a major player in the business travel sector. A visit to the state-of-the-art conference and business facilities confirms this, with ample space for large and more intimate meetings easily available and all the mod cons necessary for seamless conferencing too. WiFi internet access is standard throughout the hotel – as evidenced by the number of guests poring over their laptops in the hotel’s central atrium.

Whether you have booked a stay at the hotel for reasons of work or play, no visit is complete without a treatment at the Suntra Spa. Dressed to calm the senses in a combination of gold, bronze and white, the spa is situated on the hotel’s top floor and is a serene and private oasis. The spa plays host to a number of treatment rooms, including their Love Room, which includes a Jacuzzi and is designed for dual treatments. Upping the ante for city spas is the mosaic-clad chamber in which traditional hammam treatments are offered, while the spa’s trademark Bellabaci massage, which uses vacuum suctions to massage the body, is the perfect antidote to jetlag. Adjacent to the spa is a rimflow pool; with its rooftop position and view of Table Mountain, this may well be one of the best places to visit after a long day bashing out contracts or visiting the city’s smart boutiques and design stores. With its world-class facilities and talk-of-the-town interiors, 15 on Orange Hotel is destined to go down in five-star hotel annals: luxury has combined with playful design details and an ideal situation to make an indelible impression on even the most well-travelled of its guests.

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