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August 20, 2013

Stay the night at Hotel Verde in Cape Town, Africa’s Greenest Hotel

Hotel Verde, the latest eco-friendly accommodation venue in Cape Town, is the hot new "green" attraction in the Mother City. Photo courtesy of Bon Hotels

Ask some people about their thoughts on staying in an eco-friendly hotel and chances are they ‘ll reply that it will be a cost-effective experience, using recycled water and paper crockery ... that is not the case at Cape Town’s new responsible accommodation-kid-on-the-block, Hotel Verde, Africa’s Greenest Hotel.

Owned by Mario Delicio and managed by the Bon Hotels group, Hotel Verde strives to maintain its LEED Gold certification, awarded by the stringent programme spearheaded by the US Green Building Council.

I had the privilege of spending the night at Hotel Verde, conveniently located close to the Cape Town International Airport for layover travellers, on Tuesday 13 August,2013 and was pleasantly surprised not only at its façade, services  and gourmet prowess but by its sustainability practices too.

So, what sets Hotel Verde (so named because Verde means “green” in Italian) apart? Embracing its self-titled Africa’s Greenest Hotel moniker, Hotel Verde is eco-friendly thanks to the following:

The Green Facts:

Hotel Verde uses wind turbines as one of its main power generators. Photo courtesy of Hotel Verde

- Keeping it inland: The hotel is big on using local producers for everything from its hand lotions and body washes in the loos, to its in-room coffees and restaurant wines so that there is less of a carbon footprint from the delivery of the goods and to sustain local job creation.
- Recycling with a difference: The state of the art gym offers an electrifying workout, literally, as it uses power-generating equipment which feeds power back into the hotel while a rooftop garden insulates hot air so that the reception area below is always warm and cosy.
- Feeling the natural power: All of the power used in the hotel is generated organically – from wind turbines stationed outside of the hotel, to solar panels and geothermal energy by drawing water at 19°C for use in their air conditioners.

The Rooms:

The luxurious rooms are fitted with all modern conveniences. Photo courtesy of Hotel Verde

Although Hotel Verde is rated as a three star hotel, their furnishings are four star and taking one look at its luxurious rooms, it’s easy to see why.

Besides the stunning décor, each of the 145 rooms are fitted with LCD flat screen TVs (which even has features to display your bill and live flight information for the airport), electronic safes, Wi-Fi, universal plug points and air-conditioning.

The Art:

Art by local creatives such as this mural in the parking lot adds to the allure of the hotel. Photo by Fazielah Williams

The owners have a keen appreciation for art, and as is the case with everything in the hotel, the artworks are sourced from home-grown creatives with flair.

From the cool street art in the parking lot to the breath-taking ocean-themed suspended installations by Justin Fiske in the foyer and the huge lift shaft mosaic – Jo de Freitas, there is something to please everyone.

This fascinating wave suspension installation is a stunning feature of the bar. Photo courtesy of Hotel Verde

The Food:

Everything is eco-friendly throughout the hotel, even a honey comb for breakfast. Photo courtesy of Fazielah Williams

The hotel has three excellent options for dining: The restaurant, which has an excellent kitchen that whips up the most tasty creations and serves, wait for it, honey for your breakfast directly from a bee comb; the bar, which makes fabulous cocktails (don’t leave without trying their signature cocktail, The Verde, a divine concoction of vodka and wheatgrass) and the Bon Voyage Deil which is perfect for that on-the-go snack  for red-eye travellers (or overnight guests feeling peckish at 3am).

Hotel Verde will open to visitors and the public on Friday 27 August, 2013. For more fascinating information and reservations at Hotel Verde, Africa’s Greenest Hotel, please visit www.hotelverde.com

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