One&Only Cape Town Reimagined

Iconic South African resort reveals new design that honours the destination’s ocean, land and heritage in a celebration of modern Cape Town

One&Only Cape Town has unveiled an extensive reimagining, with a new design showcasing a refreshed take on ultra-luxury, modern accommodation. Situated in the heart of Cape Town, at the fashionable V&A Waterfront overlooking the marina and with panoramic views across to Table Mountain, One&Only Cape Town is a tranquil enclave on the doorstep of the vibrant city. The refurbishment spans the full 133 rooms and suites of the resort, as well as the entrance lobby, Vista Bar & Lounge and landscaping, with new flooring, fittings and fixtures.

The reimagined resort takes inspiration from shapes, textures and colours found amidst one of the world’s richest destinations. Each element pulls from the city surrounds, richly layered in the ocean, land or heritage of the beautiful Cape Town region, from the topography of the majestic Table Mountain, to the city’s mythology, and the thousands of indigenous plant species that occur nowhere else in the world.

“This is an incredibly exciting project for the One&Only Cape Town team and a testament to our confidence in the positive future direction of South African tourism,” says Anne Scott, General Manager, One&Only Cape Town. “We’ve proudly incorporated local suppliers and artisans to create something magical – paying homage to African culture while retaining the innate One&Only ultra-luxury ethos.”

Vista Bar & Lounge

The resort has weaved a distinct style of storytelling into its design narrative for the revamped Vista Bar & Lounge at the heart of the resort, highlighting the local legend fondly known as ‘The Watchers’, the story of the creation of Table Mountain. Cape Town-based Kenyan artist, Stanislav Trzebinski, was commissioned to create a centerpiece Watchers sculpture for the Vista Bar & Lounge, standing tall above the bar display and in perfect alignment with the view of Table Mountain. His use of the human form combines with natural components, depicting the relationship between humanity and nature - some more distorted and others in contrast with it.  Intricate patterns adorn the new carpeting, replicating the topography of Table Mountain – an imaginative interpretation and execution of the city’s beauty within the interior décor space.

Guest Rooms and Suites

Guest room interiors have been crafted using thoughtful textures and organic materials, creating not just a space, but a whole experience and story. Entering the bedroom, warm lighting and an earthy colour scheme set the tone, the Kente cloth-adorned entrance, using fabric inspired by the traditional Northern African mud cloth, creates an authentically African welcome.  The space is a perfect blend of metals and minerals, modernity and tradition. Every element is carefully considered, from the curved headboard of the bed which harmonises with the contrast of structural shapes and angles, to the handmade ceramics in organic shapes representing the textures and colours of Table Mountain: the golden yellow of the sun, the green of the plants and the blue of the sea, and the black texture of the Cape pine trees and silverleaf pine.

Considered the gemstone capital of the world, almost half of the world’s gemstones are found in Southern Africa. Sparkling accents are added throughout the guest rooms, with details of Tiger’s Eye drawer pulls and facetted artworks adding an ornate touch to modern African luxury. Gemstone-shaped shields, made by artists that are community figures in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, adorn Marina Rise’s headboard walls and are symbolic of the Sun and Moon. The beaded pots in all the rooms were created by Zimbabwe-born Richard Madongwe and his team of bead artists. The jars are representative of the vessels carried on the heads of the people of Africa, transporting the lifeblood of earth - water - to their families.

The Cape Kelp Forest, one of the most intricate ecosystems in the world, found in the ocean waters off the coast of Cape Town, also influenced touches of the design in the guest rooms and suites with bespoke carpeting and scatter cushions reflecting the exquisite sea forestry. Frames have been handmade for the bedroom mirrors by Coote and Wench in Johannesburg, each unique and hand carved by Ben Tuge, a master wood sculptor, with a design based on the kelp forests.

The suites offer space, repose and a journey of discovery. An extension of the overarching design concept but dotted with touches of green, the suites are a playful alternation of texture, use of lighting and colour, layered with honest natural minerals and unexpected objects. Limestone and African Ash feature tiles in the lobby, as well as statement tables and structural seating, complement the arrival experience. Both the reception and lounge spaces showcase individual identity with a balance of shadow and light, a colour palette of calm neutrals deep browns and warm earth tones, as well as exquisite African patterns.

Works by local artists decorate the suites; Johanny Twala has contributed intricate structural ink line mountain contour drawings of Lions Head, Signal Hill and Table Mountain to the dining areas of the Marina Rise suites, while Claude Chandler, utilising the longitude and latitude of Table Mountain, has created his artworks which proudly feature in the lounges.

Local Layers

The Cape Mountains are synonymous with the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest of the planet’s six plant kingdoms, yet the most diverse. One&Only Cape Town’s love of fynbos and protea varietals is reflected in the fresh flowers throughout the resort and in many of the décor touches dappled within the rooms and common areas. Cape flowers remain an ongoing inspiration for the team, building constantly on the small touches and novel ways in which to incorporate them on the resort.

By weaving the inspired design in collaboration with local artists and artisans, One&Only Cape Town has created a destination reflective of its setting – Africa in a fresh, nuanced way that is inclusive and expansive, and with an elevated residential feel that makes guests instantly feel at home. The resort retains its inimitable location and unique offering of inner-city yet resort-style accommodation - a sense of detachment from day-to-day life. This exceptional location, now coupled with the reimagining, speaks to the ultra-luxury and modern while retaining an authentic local feel.

For reservations or more information, please visit oneandonlyresorts.com.


Notes To Editors

Working with Local Artists

One&Only Cape Town has a long history of supporting African creatives and talent, and the resort is privileged to hold a collection of artwork from esteemed regional artists including Norman Catherine, Walter Oltmann, Willem Boshoff, Johnny Thwala, Claude Chandler, Stanislaw Trzebinski, Ben Tuge, Deborah Bell, Kevin Brand, Esther Mahlangu and Jeremy Wafer, as well as being home to a contemporary African Art Gallery, positioned on the first floor which is managed by the Johannesburg-based Melrose Gallery team.

For the reimagination, the resort wanted to hero emerging artists. The brief was to create unique handcrafted art pieces while providing opportunities for training and job creation through improved skillset development. One&Only Cape Town strongly supports the creation of employment opportunities and supporting local artisans.

The Shattered Gem Artworks Project

Malibongwe Mangele, recruited and trained as the Project Leader of the Shattered Gem Artworks Project, has facilitated the creation of gemstones hand painted on rounded shields. The shape of the shields is symbolic of the Sun and Moon, and the unusual, rounded shield canvases were specifically created to add an unexpected dimension rather than the traditional flat canvas surfaces. A total of 89 were created for the resort and adorn the bedrooms of the guest rooms and suites of the Marina Rise.

The artists that contributed to the project are community figures hired in the Eastern Cape and the project a great opportunity for all involved, both for local upliftment and skill creation.

Meshack’s Ceramics

Meshack Masuku, the founder and owner of Meshack’s Ceramics in Kenton-on-Sea, works within the rich tradition of studio pottery. With the large deposits of Kaolin in the region he creates pottery and other items as a form of cultural celebration. With this, he utilises his exceptional talent to employ and teach others to develop a similar skillset in order to create enterprise from this natural resource.

Designed by Meshak, the ceramics for the guest rooms are organic shapes representing the textures and colours that one sees when walking on Table Mountain. The 89 ceramics were handmade for the refurbishment and created employment for three ceramic artists.

Beading: Richard Madongwe

Beading is one of the many crafts widely practiced in Africa and there are many well-known beaders in South Africa who create wonderfully shaped and detailed beadwork.

The beaded pots in all the rooms were created by Richard Madongwe and his team of bead artists.

One&Only Cape Town is privileged to be able to showcase the talents of Richard and his artists. The jars are representative of the vessels carried on the heads of the people of Africa, transporting the lifeblood of earth – water - to their families.



Created exclusively for the ultra-luxury market, One&Only is conceived as a hallmark of excellence. Set in some of the most beautiful locales in the world, each award-winning resort offers guests a distinctive style and personality borne of its local culture, a genuine hospitality and a lively energy that is unrivalled. The exclusive collection includes One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives; One&Only Le Saint Géran in Mauritius; One&Only Royal Mirage and One&Only The Palm in Dubai; One&Only Palmilla and One&Only Mandarina in Mexico; One&Only Cape Town in South Africa; Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in The Blue Mountains in Australia; One&Only Desaru Coast in Malaysia; and One&Only Nyungwe House and One&Only Gorilla’s Nest in Rwanda. As part of the new portfolio, One&Only will be opening One&Only Portonovi in Montenegro in 2021. Additional resorts in development include One&Only Kéa Island in Greece and One&Only One Za’abeel in Dubai as well as communities of One&Only Private Homes around the world. More information on One&Only is available at oneandonlyresorts.com