Situated in the heart of Cape Town, at the fashionable V&A Waterfront overlooking the marina and with panoramic views across to Table Mountain, One&Only Cape Town is a tranquil enclave on the doorstep of the vibrant city. The reimagined resort takes inspiration from shapes, textures and colours found amidst one of the world’s richest destinations. Each element pulls from the city surrounds, richly layered in the ocean, land or heritage of the beautiful Cape Town region, from the topography of the majestic Table Mountain to the city’s mythology, and the thousands of indigenous plant species that occur nowhere else in the world.
“This is an incredibly exciting project for the One&Only Cape Town team and a testament to our confidence in the positive future direction of South African tourism,” says Anne Scott, General Manager, One&Only Cape Town. “We’ve proudly incorporated local suppliers and artisans to create something magical – paying homage to African culture while retaining the innate One&Only ultra-luxury ethos.”
Vista Bar & Lounge
The resort has weaved a distinct style of storytelling into its design narrative for the revamped Vista Bar & Lounge at the heart of the resort, highlighting the local legend fondly known as ‘The Watchers’, the story of the creation of Table Mountain. Cape Town-based Kenyan artist, Stanislav Trzebinski, was commissioned to create a centerpiece Watchers sculpture for the Vista Bar & Lounge, standing tall above the bar display and in perfect alignment with the view of Table Mountain. His use of the human form combines with natural components, depicting the relationship between humanity and nature – some more distorted and others in contrast with it. Intricate patterns adorn the new carpeting, replicating the topography of Table Mountain – an imaginative interpretation and execution of the city’s beauty within the interior décor space.
Guest Rooms and Suites
Guest room interiors have been crafted using thoughtful textures and organic materials, creating not just a space, but a whole experience and story. Entering the bedroom, warm lighting and an earthy colour scheme set the tone, the Kente cloth-adorned entrance, using fabric inspired by the traditional Northern African mud cloth, creates an authentically African welcome. The space is a perfect blend of metals and minerals, modernity and tradition. Every element is carefully considered, from the curved headboard of the bed which harmonises with the contrast of structural shapes and angles, to the handmade ceramics in organic shapes representing the textures and colours of Table Mountain: the golden yellow of the sun, the green of the plants and the blue of the sea, and the black texture of the Cape pine trees and silverleaf pine.
Considered the gemstone capital of the world, almost half of the world’s gemstones are found in Southern Africa. Sparkling accents are added throughout the guest rooms, with details of Tiger’s Eye drawer pulls and facetted artworks adding an ornate touch to modern African luxury. Gemstone-shaped shields, made by artists that are community figures in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, adorn Marina Rise’s headboard walls and are symbolic of the Sun and Moon. The beaded pots in all the rooms were created by Zimbabwe-born Richard Madongwe and his team of bead artists. The jars are representative of the vessels carried on the heads of the people of Africa, transporting the lifeblood of earth – water – to their families.
The Cape Kelp Forest, one of the most intricate ecosystems in the world, found in the ocean waters off the coast of Cape Town, also influenced touches of the design in the guest rooms and suites with bespoke carpeting and scatter cushions reflecting the exquisite sea forestry. Frames have been handmade for the bedroom mirrors by Coote and Wench in Johannesburg, each unique and hand carved by Ben Tuge, a master wood sculptor, with a design based on the kelp forests.
The suites offer space, repose and a journey of discovery. An extension of the overarching design concept but dotted with touches of green, the suites are a playful alternation of texture, use of lighting and colour, layered with honest natural minerals and unexpected objects. Limestone and African Ash feature tiles in the lobby, as well as statement tables and structural seating, complement the arrival experience. Both the reception and lounge spaces showcase individual identity with a balance of shadow and light, a colour palette of calm neutrals deep browns and warm earth tones, as well as exquisite African patterns.
Works by local artists decorate the suites; Johanny Twala has contributed intricate structural ink line mountain contour drawings of Lions Head, Signal Hill and Table Mountain to the dining areas of the Marina Rise suites, while Claude Chandler, utilising the longitude and latitude of Table Mountain, has created his artworks which proudly feature in the lounges.
The Cape Mountains are synonymous with the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest of the planet’s six plant kingdoms, yet the most diverse. One&Only Cape Town’s love of fynbos and protea varietals is reflected in the fresh flowers throughout the resort and in many of the décor touches dappled within the rooms and common areas. Cape flowers remain an ongoing inspiration for the team, building constantly on the small touches and novel ways in which to incorporate them on the resort.
By weaving the inspired design in collaboration with local artists and artisans, One&Only Cape Town has created a destination reflective of its setting – Africa in a fresh, nuanced way that is inclusive and expansive, and with an elevated residential feel that makes guests instantly feel at home. The resort retains its inimitable location and unique offering of inner-city yet resort-style accommodation – a sense of detachment from day-to-day life. This exceptional location, now coupled with the reimagining, speaks to the ultra-luxury and modern while retaining an authentic local feel.