Carlson Rezidor recently launched its first Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence property in Cape Town. We chatted to General Manager Desmond O’Connor about the property which not only blends heritage with contemporary, but is also the company’s first mixed-used development in South Africa.
“The Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence is unique to Cape Town in the sense that it is one of only a few proper mixed use hotel and apartment buildings in the city. It is a concept that offers both hotel guests and permanent apartment residents access the array of services and facilities that one would expect in a five-star hotel,” says Desmond.
Based on the corner of Riebeeck and Long street on Cape Town’s foreshore, the five-star hotel is within walking distance of the city’s main tourist attractions and a kilometre from the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The building is also the Mother City’s highest residential building to date and, with a total of 214 rooms, will form a focal point in the city’s skyline.
“A truly great hotel expresses a view of the history and heritage of its location, and our award-winning architecture and design does just this, conveying a strong historical story and filtering through to each room,” says Desmond. “The art and classic décor of the hotel plays a major role in the theme of the Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence Cape Town and lends itself to a classic and elegant approach rather that the current trend of being contemporary and leaning towards a “trendy” look and feel. It all flows hand in hand with the Art Deco Architecture to the interior design elements that have the same overtones.”
The hotel aims to provide an understated level of sophistication, without losing focus of the requirements of a modern traveller. “Although we are targeting leisure groups and individual travelers, we are set to take advantage of the influx of corporate travelers as Cape Town fast cements its place as one of the world’s leading conference and exhibition capitals in the world. Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence Cape Town offers a state-of-the-art executive business lounge and a range of modern meeting and conference rooms, all featuring the latest technology and amenities,” says Desmond.
Facilities and services that are provided to guests include 24-hour room service, boutique shopping services, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, as well as the brand’s signature Stratus Room. “The Stratus Room offers a dining experience that embraces the local cuisine and encompasses a theatrical approach to service,” says Desmond. Casual dining is provided for too: “For those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town’s streets, The Ghibili Pool Bar and Terrace, located on the rooftop, provides a casual lunch setting.”
When asked what will set the new Radisson property apart from other hotels in Cape Town, Desmond says that “We will differentiate ourselves by focussing all our energies on guests’ needs and our five-star service philosophy, a trend that has taken a back seat in an era where the focus has been placed on financial results,” says Desmond. “The ethos of Radisson Blu is a service approach of “Yes I Can!”. It is a culture that is embodied in our daily interaction with each other as well as with our guests. We have a set training program that all new employees undertake before they are placed within their various and respective positions. This ethos is paramount to ensuring that our team makes every movement matter – both internally and to the guests we host.”