Carly de Jong, curator of the new Radisson Red Hotel that’s opening in July, is bringing a fresh energy to the vibrant Oxford Parks corner of Rosebank.
You may have noticed Usha Seejarim’s imposing angel-wing installation made of repurposed iron called The Mundane and the Magical from Oxford Road. The super-Instagrammable artwork has set the tone for a hotel that aims to cater to young professional millennials, digital nomads, connected young families, and their pets.
The hotel asked prospective staff to submit video applications, and that should tell you something about the culture of the place.
From curator down, the new terminology speaks to a brand ethos where the line staff are called creatives and, according to their curator (“general manager” in more traditional settings), are encouraged to bring their authentic selves to work and to engage in a personable, humane way with the clients. “It’s a fantastic brand. I come from a very traditional, corporate, five-star environment and this is really where the future of hotels is going,” says De Jong.
The hotel has 222 bedrooms, two all-day dining facilities, and a prospective hub for delightful post-Covid socialising on the seventh-floor Red Roof bar and terrace, where De Jong hopes to consolidate the Red experience of sophisticated, fun and relaxed hospitality. Designed to reinforce the surrounding urban art, fashion, and music hub, the Rosebank Radisson Red is all about location.
In Denmark, the Red is in the opera and theatre district; you will find one in Greenwich London; and in Glasgow’s media hub and working harbour — much like the Cape Town version next to the Zeitz Mocaa. “We have strong ties with Sony Music, right next to us in the design and art capital of Joburg. With fabulous galleries within a 3km radius, we are perfectly positioned to drive home those three pillars,” says De Jong.
The building has an industrial feel with a double-volume atrium, lots of natural light, muted tones with bold accents, and African-inspired street art and custom wallpaper. The free-flowing creativity is reinforced by the rotational art in place.
The first installation, a favourite of the owners, is a selection of work from Prince Gyasi, a popular Ghanaian photographer. The technology includes inroom Chromecast streaming and a digiwall in the public spaces that will bring live exhibitions and events in the surrounding area to life and into the hotel.
Personally, I can’t wait to warm up socially on the seventh floor.
• From the June edition of Wanted, 2021.