Nearly a century after it was first built; The Winchester Hotel has reopened after a comprehensive R90-million renovation that has transformed this much-loved seafront hotel overlooking Cape Town’s scenic Sea Point promenade.
From the first steps through the front door, where a sleek steel and glass porte cochére now replaces the canvas awning, the transformation is striking. A bold approach to the décor sees the hotel’s public spaces enlivened by an eye-catching monochromatic colour scheme of richly-detailed black-and-white tiles, offset by striking signature chandeliers and splashes of colour and character that celebrate the hotel’s long and rich history.
The minimalist look extends to the iconic central courtyard, which has been rejuvenated with new tiling, extensive landscaping and the installation of a refreshed signature fountain. Just beyond the courtyard, The Constance Room offers boutique conferencing facilities, overlooking the refurbished pool terrace, which features bold black-and-white striped sun loungers and new landscaping.
The 76 guest rooms and suites have also been thoughtfully updated, infusing a welcome dash of modernity into the décor and design. Carpets, bathrooms and fittings have been entirely replaced, while the careful selection of furniture pieces evoke a sense of contemporary style in tandem with celebrating the history of the hotel. The spacious en-suite bathrooms are a particular triumph, with expansive showers complemented by glamorous touches that hint at the golden era of travel, from elegant freestanding baths to champagne-hued brushed-metal fittings.
Shoreditch House, the hotel’s new flagship restaurant draws its inspiration, and moniker, from the vibrant district in London that has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance in recent years. The bistro-style seating on the spacious street side terrace is ideal for soaking up the bustle of the Sea Point promenade, or admiring the sunset over a selection of small plates and cocktails. Indoors the blonde wood furniture, deep-buttoned leather banquettes and copper trims create a more elegant space for a deep-dive into the culinary and vinous delights on offer. It’s an enigmatic blend of urban appeal and seaside chic.
Across the hotel lobby from Shoreditch House is Harvey’s Bar; the name is a testament to the family that has owned The Winchester Hotel for decades. Alongside sleek Scandi-chic décor and striking wallpaper by design studio Lemon, a sensitive refurbishment has lightened and brightened the new Harvey’s Bar, with glass doors and walls allowing sea views to wash in. Behind the bar, the focus is on classic cocktails done to perfection, while the handpicked wine list delves into some of the Cape’s leading boutique cellars, with an extensive selection available by the glass.
After nearly a century of standing watch on the Atlantic Seaboard, a true Cape icon has been beautifully reinvented for a brave new world of global travel. Come pay her a revisit!
For booking enquiries, visit www.newmarkhotels.com