The hotel has undergone a R120-million reconstruction, having been gutted from the inside to make way for new walls, flooring, water piping, electric wiring, and air conditioning. The Ritz, now owned and managed by Shimmy Luxury Collection (SLC), is set to be the place to be in Cape Town’s thriving hospitality hub.
For Nicky van der Walt, the co-founder and CEO of SLC, this is a dream come true. “Since I was a child I always wanted to be a hotelier,” he says. Van der Walt is also the owner of luxury ventures Shimmy Beach Club and Bloemendal Wine Estate, and the Ritz follows on from these, with design-driven, accessible luxury.
From the minute guests arrive, the hotel will announce its decadence with porte cochère lighting, while its 3mx8m shimmering sign will add a bit of Vegas-like glamour to the building. Upon stepping into the 212-room establishment, guests will be greeted by a white marble reception area, with gold inlay design. Golden palm trees will reach up into the open-plan restaurant Casa, which will be situated on the first floor.
The tropical theme will extend into the 340-seater restaurant, with its green and white décor, including bucket chairs that were upholstered using 5 000m of green velvet. Residents of the hotel will have a range of rooms from which to choose, ranging from city rooms from the second to the fifth floor, to the deluxe luxury suites, sky villas, and penthouses that enjoy a better view higher up in the establishment.
The rooms — designed by Kirsten Di Clemente from Di Clemente Interiors in collaboration with Zander van Niekerk from Create Luxury, and with input from van der Walt himself — are a surprise, departing from the typical starchy white employed by most hotels. The rooms are mostly black, mixing modern fitting, such as carefully concealed LED lights, low-hanging light fixtures, and velvety headboards. The marble tops add a classic touch, with fashion lovers set to be thrilled by the black lacquer wardrobes that open up to reveal a bright red interior, inspired by Christian Louboutin shoes. Despite their smoky, Tom Ford-inspired interiors, the rooms feel spacious and light, thanks to the breathtaking vistas of the Atlantic Seaboard.
Each room will pay homage to Sea Point, with black- and-white images of the promenade decorating the walls. As part of the guest experience, van der Walt says there will be “some quirky but interesting things”, including a dedicated champagne button in each room for guests looking to toast the good life at any hour of the day.
Undoubtedly the crown in the jewel is the Top of The Ritz, the only revolving restaurant in the country, which will offer spectacular 360° views of Cape Town, stretching right across to Blouberg. The show kitchen in the middle will be manned by renowned chef Bertus Basson, and will offer an eight-course set menu.
The floor immediately below will host cognac and cigar lovers, with lovers of champagne enjoying a luxury bar that leads out onto the pool deck — where guests can book individual cabanas while taking in all that the Atlantic Seaboard view has to offer. The Ritz is due to open its doors on March 1.