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August 2019

Issue: August 2019

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Welcome to a world of travel, entertainment and culture, curated from a global collective of writers, photojournalists and artists. Each article of our award-winning magazine is sure to inspire, no matter which of our destinations you call home.
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Travel to Cape Town


Feeling Gorgeous in Cape Town

1 August 2019

With staff who redefine hospitality, this South African stay is filled with thoughtful touches

Walking along a bustling pedestrian promenade in the Cape Town Central Business District, you might miss the two doormen waiting to greet you outside the Gorgeous George. Once inside, you won’t miss another detail: hand-painted artisan tiles display a walking map of the city, black hallways contrast with floral carpets and rooms are outfitted with Dutch “Delft Blue” ceramic tea cups, pink painted exposed pipes and dramatic African print rugs. Beside the bed is a “pillow menu” to satisfy even the most anxious sleeper.

After being purchased by a young German real estate developer, the century-old industrial building underwent a three-year transformation before opening in April. Keeping the room number small allows space for public access at the rooftop restaurant and poolside bar, Gigi Lounge, where locals enjoy craft cocktails, Cape wines and chic lunches alongside hotel guests. Lush succulents, city views and comfy couches complete the atmosphere of a city oasis fit for George of the Jungle, Curious George, King George, St. George and the other “Georges” that inspire the hotel.

However, it’s not the contemporary design elements that make the Gorgeous George so endearing, it’s the genuine warmth and hospitality of each and every member of staff. The receptionist already knows your name (she gave me a hug on departure!), each bellhop can give concierge recommendations and directions, and a personal hostess greets you with a welcome drink and tour of the rooftop bar once you’ve settled in.

The George staff take time to chat at the relaxed, unhurried pace of Cape Town life, making you feel like the insider who knows how to make friends with that secretive bartender.

From the concierge

The Company’s Garden
Walk the lush paths where the Dutch East India Company set up a stopover garden along their trade route in the 1600s. Today, it’s a green lung to the city, surrounded by historical museums, monuments and the National Gallery.

Eastern Food Bazaar
Choose from regional Indian foods of nearly a dozen vendors in this affordable and tasty Indian food market. Try a unique South African-Indian dish from Durban, “Bunny Chow,” made from a hollowed half-loaf of bread, filled with the Indian curry of your choice.

District 6 Museum
In a historic building constructed by slaves, former tenants of this central district lead guided tours about their forced displacement during apartheid, South Africa’s brutal legacy of racial segregation, and today’s wave of gentrification in Cape Town.

Words: Emily Manthei