On the slopes of Signal Hill, this magnificent property is unlike anything you’ve experienced.
The “one-of-a-kind” cliché is hard to avoid when it comes to Dorp. There truly is nothing like this utterly original and impossible-to-classify property in Cape Town. Slotting seamlessly into the vibrant and historical Bo-Kaap neighbourhood, this hillside hotel feels like it’s existed there forever, but was actually constructed from scratch towards the end of 2019 by designer and hotelier Gail Behr and her team of designers, builders and landscapers. Everything from the ancient olive trees to the Georgian-style buildings was conceived by Gail.
Your own private dorpie
Instead of the usual trappings found in most five-star properties (spa, conference centre, gym), Dorp has a collaborative drawing room, an adopted kitchen cat and fairytale gardens. “Dorp is my home,” explains Gail, “and I want my guests to feel safe and comfortable and private. I absolutely hate it when people walk in and start filming the space. I am becoming Draconian in my need to afford people privacy and to allow my generally wondrous guests to meet and conspire with other like-minded guests in peace. This salon room provides just that. I love it.”
Rather than a formal hotel restaurant, a counter service offers a tasty selection of eats such as the famous Dorp roast chicken and chips, which you can enjoy in the outdoor seating area or in the lounge. You’ll have everything you need in this model town – gym-time will be the least of your worries as you sip G&Ts on the roof terrace that overlooks the entirety of Cape Town.
The supremely stylish bedrooms are individually decorated, and each boasts a different outlook – some face Table Mountain, others open onto private courtyards, but they’ve all been given the same unmistakable Gail Behr aesthetic therapy. Colours, plush textures and hyper-personal touches take centre stage instead of the sleek lines and whitewashed furnishings that seem to be the look du jour in most modern properties.
“I have a large personal collection of furniture and paintings and china and books, which went a long way to filling the endless rooms with well-loved pieces,” explains Gail. “I bought a huge amount from auction houses and my kids own Pezula Interiors, so I was able to lean on them for softs and pictures and lamps and all sorts of lovely things. The rest was from junk shops, Gumtree… This part was fun, unlike the build.”
The rooms are significantly larger than the average hotel, which reinforces Gail’s philosophy that comfort and privacy are of utmost importance. Room features include:
- en-suite bathroom with shower and/or bath
- private terraces, patios and courtyard areas for select suites
- pool access for select suites
- fully equipped kitchens with Smeg appliances in select suites
- underfloor heated bathrooms
- smart TV with full media centre
- luxury Dorp toiletries
- homemade linen dressing gowns
- complimentary wifi
- continental breakfast delivered to your bedroom every morning
Like Da Vinci and the Mona Lisa, you couldn’t have Dorp without Gail. Born in Johannesburg, Gail spent 20 years living in Plettenberg Bay before moving to Cape Town where she has lived for the past 12 years. In Plett, Gail started Homework – a clothing and homeware brand – and The Grand Hotel. It was upon moving to Cape Town that she fell for the Bo-Kaap and started the five-year process of creating the Dorp we know today. “I am fatally allergic to sanitised suburbs or shopping centres. I found the Bo-Kaap very real and loved that it was a bit of everything, with a few suburban horrors thrown in… like Liquorice All Sorts,” she recalls.
Despite endless challenges, the hotel – in all its quirky glory – is finished (for now). There is arguably no more unique space in Cape Town, nor one with better views of Table Mountain.
Please note The hotel does not have a liquor license out of respect for the Muslim community of Bo-Kaap, however, you are welcome to bring your own drinks or request the hotel to purchase for you. All mixers are available.
Distance from CT 5 minutes
Child friendly? Yes, from 14 years.
Pet friendly? No
Where to find it 273 Longmarket Street, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town
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