Why we love it: a design-forward boutique hotel in Cape Town’s Central Business District, close to the buzz of bars, galleries and eateries
- Unique design and furnishings in each room
- A rooftop pool and innovative conservatory-style restaurant, GiGi
- An event and exhibition space, often used in partnership with the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
The review: Opened in spring 2019, Gorgeous George occupies two adjacent heritage buildings poised between the pedestrian St. George’s Mall and Greenmarket Square, one of the city’s most charming areas. The Central Business District serves as a cultural hub, showcasing South Africa’s emerging design scene. The hotel slips perfectly into this creative, cosmopolitan setting, blending Art Deco, Victorian and New Edwardian elements with the industrial-luxe notes like raw concrete and exposed steelwork. Layered on top are splendid grace notes, from books to plants, wood paneling, brass lamps and vibrant Moroccan cushions.
Cape Town’s first member of the Design Hotels stable, Gorgeous George has 32 rooms, full of curated treasures and edgy graffiti art by David Brits. Even the basic studio rooms have extra-length king beds, generous walk-in rain showers and elegant steel desks designed by South Africa’s Gregor Jenkins. Accommodations range up to two-bedroom suites, which also feature the hotel’s signature single-basin sinks with hand-turned legs. Other standout features include a separate lounge, freestanding bath and record player with vinyls. All have the Bluetooth speakers, Smeg kettles and Nespresso machines, plus well-stocked minibars.
Save time for sun-filled pool sessions to slide into lavish meals at GiGi Rooftop, the eatery on the sixth floor. Breakfast remains straightforward with older classics (eggs Benedict, English fry-ups) and newer ones (shakshuka, avocado toast). The menu’s palette expands later in the day, romping from cauliflower risotto to Korean fried chicken and spicy lamb ribs with mielie salsa and pickled-cucumber relish.