With one foot in the past and one firmly in the future, the understatedly glamorous hotel LABOTESSA makes a strong case for personal luxury experiences.
The brand-new hotel, which opened in Cape Town on 15 August 2019, harmoniously blends history and forward-thinking modern hotel trends to create a hospitality brand that combines the best of all worlds. An intimate establishment made up of six luxury Signature suites and one grand penthouse boasting three bedrooms, its focus is on old-world elegance with all the bells and whistles of contemporary hotel living.
Hoteliers Jan Fourie and Johan du Plessis were inspired by the beautiful circa 1700s building when conceiving the look, feel and attitude of the hotel. They drew on its heritage when creating the interior, while at the same time remaining cognizant of the need to cater to a very discerning type of traveller, expectant of every amenity.
“We’re thrilled with the way the hotel has turned out,” says co-owner and hotel manager, Du Plessis. “The result is incredibly faithful to our original vision for this truly special heritage building, and we can’t wait for our first guests to experience the way in which we have recalibrated the scale of luxury!”
The spaces have been designed with a sense of occasion as well as convenience in mind. High ceilings and generous proportions were cued by the site and are in keeping with the building’s inherent elegance.
Finishes and furniture follow suit – a mix of modern and antique pieces, Calcatta marble, French oak floors and Persian rugs continue the European-inspired but globally informed aesthetic. In the Signature Suites, the rich palette of deep blues, umbers, ochres and burnt oranges is both modern and timeless, sophisticated but also warm. While there is a dominant colour palette that is consistent throughout the suites, no room is the same as the next.
Carefully curated accessories create a layered and established effect that, although polished, is also relaxed and unstuffy. Think chandeliers and fireplaces alongside cosy armchairs and custom-made designer furniture. Carefully selected contemporary artworks by rising Cape Town artists such as Pierre Fouche and Emma Aspeling complete the picture.
This is the feeing the hoteliers wanted to create – a sense of home. That while perfectly luxurious, is also incredibly welcoming.
With that comes all the creature comforts you’d expect from a hotel of this level – the Signature Suites are a generous 65 square metres in size and each one offers private elevator access and panoramic views of the city and Lion’s Head. Modern amenities with old-world finesse – like a French armoire disguising a minibar kitted out with crystal flutes for celebrations – are the types of subtle touches you can expect.
The crowing glory is the palatial Governer’s Suite – one of the city’s largest penthouse offerings. It is named after Simon Van der Stel, the first Governor of the Cape and once a resident at this very address. The 300-square-metre, three-bedroom space spans two floors at the top of the hotel and features hard-to-top touches like a floating staircase and private plunge pool situated on a wide balcony overlooking historic Church Square, the Slave Lodge, Parliament and Company Gardens.
Here the colour palette is lighter and neutral, accentuated by the jewel-like tones found in the rugs and scatter cushions. Beautiful wallpapers by Cole and Sons create feature walls with depth and drama. A fully equipped kitchen, 10-person dining table and two lounge areas make it ideally suited to groups or families wanting to settle in for an extended period.
When inspired to venture out, you’ll find yourself on historic Church Square in the heart of Cape Town’s central business district. Close to sites of cultural significance, the hotel is also just a hop and a skip away from Cape Town’s finest leisure attractions – from various cocktail bars and culinary hotspots, to shopping at the V&A Waterfront or sunning on the Cape’s best Blue Flag beaches.
But the hotel’s owners have also catered to those who’d like to stay put and enjoy what the space has to offer. An in-house restaurant – a new outpost of the much-loved local café Starlings – will serve all-day breakfast from an organic and ethically inspired menu. Starlings at LABOTESSA is located on the ground floor in a space that spills out charmingly onto the square in a manner inspired by continental café culture.
For those bent on a little retail therapy, there is a dedicated perfumery boutique on site that carries prestigious international brands such as Diptyque, Penhaligon’s, Dr Vranjes, L’Artisan Parfumeur and Comme des Garçons, where you can indulge in exquisite gifting. Furthermore, LABOTESSA is one of only 11 hotels in the world to carry Diptyque in all its rooms.
This focus on quality and detail, and very importantly – atmosphere – extends to every aspect of your stay at LABOTESSA and applies not just to the main features and essentials, but also to the tiny touches that make a stay seamless – from the concierge service and complimentary daily newspapers and wifi, to valet parking and luxury transfers. And the hotel, in much the same effortless manner as it has bridged past and present, balances the comforts of home with the best of luxury hotel living.
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