After a R120 million rejuvenation, Sea Point’s iconic 23-storey Ritz Hotel will be opening its doors again on the 15th of December. The hotel has been a part of Cape Town’s skyline since it first opened in the 1970s, and was bought by the Ritz Hotel Management Company (RHMC) in 2016.

“It’s a beautiful piece of local architecture that desperately needed a new lease on life. We had a very clear vision of what we wanted to create, and what Cape Town needed,” says, Lisa Carey, marketing & pr manager for The Ritz.

RHMC identified a gap in the market for an international-grade hotel that would marry a contemporary design aesthetic with world-class service:

“We are not creating a quirky boutique property or a stiff five-star hotel. We want to cater for that beautiful niche in the middle. We wanted to take luxury and design, and make it accessible”, Carey comments further.

The refurbishment process began with a complete overhaul of the insulation, plumbing and lift shafts, before the interiors could be kitted out with glamorous contemporary fittings.  The lobby looks set to wow all who step into the establishment, with a striking white marble front desk and golden palm trees, and personalised service will be the order of the day.

General Manager Johann du Plessis, brings decades of hospitality expertise to his role. “It’s so exciting for my seasoned hoteliers and I to be part of restoring The Ritz to its rightful position as one of the most sought after hotels in Cape Town,” says Du Plessis, whose wealth of experience spans luxury resorts, lodges and hotels across southern Africa. “The iconic design driven hotel is really going to set the bar for urban resorts, and we look forward to our first guests – and locals – discovering the understated luxury of The Ritz.”

The colour palette that runs through the hotel is dominated by black, gold and white. The hotel will have 213 rooms in total once they have all been completed in 2018, with the hotel reopening in December with 114 rooms. All will have panoramic views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean, and are decorated in a sleek, modern style.

On the Food & Beverage side, the 23rd floor will host the hotel’s Top of the Ritz Restaurant in the Western Cape’s only revolving restaurant. One floor below, on the 22nd floor, is the Dom Perignon Champagne Lounge, one of only a handful in the world and an ideal space for pre-dinner bubbles and sundowner cocktails, with local DJs spinning laid-back beats from late-afternoon every day. And on the 21st floor, The Hennessy Cognac Cigar Lounge is similarly set to become an address for after-dinner digestifs and late-night cocktails.

During the day, the happening spot will be on the first floor at the CASA Restaurant & Cabanas, which bring a touch of Miami South Beach glamour to Sea Point. There’ll be all day al fresco dining that ranges from brasserie-classics to sushi and wood-fired pizza. Tables flow out from the chic interior to a sun-splashed pool deck, host to a Veuve Clicquot Bar, pouring French champagne alongside chilled Whispering Angel rosé from acclaimed Côtes de Provence producer Chateau d’Esclans. Stop by for a bite on your way to the nearby Promenade, or settle in for the day at one of the exclusive poolside Ritz Cabanas.

“Just a few years ago, who would have believed that The Ritz would be home to a Veuve Clicquot bar,” enthuses Du Plessis, emphasising that CASA and the pool terrace is a space for both locals and hotels guests. “How do you create a buzz in a hotel? It’s the locals. Local residents are essential for creating the soul of a hotel, and we can’t wait to welcome them to The Ritz.”