STAYCATION IN LIEU OF VACATION
I love playing tourist in my own town. There’s no shortage of exceptional ways to spend one’s leisure time, at any time of the year. As the festive season rolls around and I typically find myself unable to take leave, I look to staycations for light relief, a night or two snatched somewhere close by. It can be ten minutes from home or a road trip away. but wherever it is, it’s about immersing myself in different surroundings and indulging in a rejuvenating mini vacay. The change, as they say, is as good as a holiday.
15 ON ORANGE HOTEL, AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION – THE NEW LOOK
15 on Orange rose into the Gardens skyline in 2009, a 5 star property originally named the African Pride Hotel. It is located in a prime part of the city with the Planetarium and Company Gardens on one side and the historical Herbert Baker buildings of UCT’s Hiddingh Campus on the other. A major refurb is currently underway with the atrium being the first part of the high end venue to be completed, a no-expense-spared multi million Rand overhaul. Alterations have also been made to the bar and pool and deck area, and renovations are set to continue throughout this year. The extensive use of open plan design and glass facades allows the outdoor beauty to infiltrate and lends to an airy atmosphere. The decor thread – ‘urban oasis’ – is a cool juxtaposition between natural and glam elements as delicious monsters, fresh fleurs and skinny palms give way to plush carpeting, hanging brass origami birds, velvet covered chairs, delicate beaded drapery and stunning pieces like Haldane Martin’s gorgeous Songololo Sofa. For those looking for a quiet environment to catch up on work or have a business meeting, it’s a perfect coffice option too.
The pool area (also open to the public, for a fee) invites a serious bout of languishing on wide chaise lounges as you eye the killer views across Table Mountain, Signal Hill and the City Bowl over the rim of a martini glass.
A diverse offering, curated by chefs Alain and Tamsyn, awaits at Savour restaurant. I had the Thai poke bowl for lunch in the pool bar area, and the gnocchi for dinner, both excellent and paired with the Graham Beck brut rosé and Neil Ellis cab sav (2016), respectively, the latter being particularly superb. The restaurant’s ‘bistronomy’ is sure to satisfy with changed up menus and new dishes that have been added to cater to varied preferences, healthy living and dietary requirements.
From the warm welcome by GM Douglas Allen to the concierge desk, housekeeping, chef team, bar staff and waitrons, the service at 15 on Orange is faultless. I’m looking really forward to the opening of the signature Amani Spa in April and to seeing what they do with the upgrades to the suites, 129 in all, 77 being deluxe rooms.
- This hotel forms part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, a worldwide suite of hotels which is known for being like nothing else. Each hotel is individual and, to that end, the experience promises to be unique. Formerly African Pride, 15 on Orange, the hotel has taken on its new identity: 15 on Orange, Autograph Collection as of the last quarter of 2018.
Disclaimer: My stay was fully comped- all opinions are my own