Cape Town’s new hotel on the V&A Waterfront embraces green innovations.
A closer look at the V&A Waterfront reveals the extent to which the Cape Town region is eager to go green from the inside out—and the city’s new Radisson RED hotel, opened in September 2017, is one way that message is hitting home with everyone from locals to tourists.
Dale Simpson, curator at the Waterfront Radisson RED, Africa’s first Radisson RED, says the hotel’s green features reflect both the V&A Waterfront’s ethos of pioneering sustainable approaches and the RED hotel philosophy—one that aims to connect the hip new chain with millennials through its eclectic yet environmentally aware culture.
“It’s important primarily to continue to value our precious resources and, with building and design, these are important considerations,” he says. “Later, of course, as an operational business, our clients now are much more interested in our approach with sustainability and responsible business as well as our team members. People want to work for and indeed with businesses who operate from design to delivery with sustainability embedded in their approach and ethos.”
In the design and build phase, the V&A implemented key green elements that reduced the building’s strain on resources (via the central seawater cooling system, spatially efficient design that makes use of daylight, and lighter wall thickness). Within the hotel, Simpson says, “We work on a ‘no food waste’ policy, meaning no traditional buffets, which reduces food wastage by over 30%. Our responsible footprint also continues as we have a ‘no paper’ policy in our studio rooms, again significantly reducing our environmental strains.”
Reducing waste doesn’t mean reducing convenience or amenities, though. This 252-room hotel offers everything from the standard two-sleeper studio to studio suites with balconies and water views (pet-friendly rooms are also available). Add a fully equipped gym as well as the famed RED roof (encompassing a pool, bar, and grill) where the hotel hosts regular barbecue events, and the space becomes much more than just a place to hang your hat.
Convenience-focused technology like free high-speed Wi-Fi, keyless entries, and an app for everything from ordering food to checking out to requesting more pillows are clearly aimed at the region’s increasingly mobile workforce and tech-savvy tourist culture. The OUIBar +KTCHN is a hub for local flavors, an extensive cocktail list, and socializing in bold spaces that bring art and architecture to life. Guests can even stream their personal video services like Netflix and Hulu right to their hotel rooms.
And you can do all this while feeling good about your choice. “The building and hotel fit perfectly,” Simpson says. “At the hotel, we create a sense of place in our destinations using inspirations of art, music, and fashion. These inspirations mean our guests feel a ‘local experience’ in our hotel, which is important and is a chance to showcase the best of local talent. After all, this is our community...we enjoy celebrating that, and we have a responsibility to our local community.”
Cape Town itself is bolstering businesses like this with enthusiastic support. Well known all over the world for its creativity and innovation, the city was recognized as the World Design Capital in 2014. “The fact that the city embraces this innovation in combination with a realization of how valuable our resources really are means the city is already well positioned [to act on] its status as a green hub.”