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The Winchester Hotel, the classic Cape Revivalist landmark overlooking the Sea Point promenade in Cape Town, has reopened after a R90mn renovation. This much-loved icon, which is almost a century old, was updated to suit the needs of the contemporary traveller while maintaining a strong sense of its heritage, cognisant of the nostalgia generations of local and international visitors associate with it.
“The building comes with an enormous history, personality and charm,” says Mardré Meyer, creative director at Source Interior Architecture, which guided both the refurbishment and rebranding of the hotel. “In reimagining what the hotel could be, it was important for us to reference and respect that past, while also creating a more contemporary experience that fits with the needs and desires of today’s global traveller.”
The hotel’s public spaces were enlivened by an eyecatching monochromatic colour scheme of richly detailed black-and-white tiles, offset by striking signature chandeliers and splashes of colour and character. All 76 guestrooms and suites have been thoughtfully updated, too. Carpets, bathrooms and fittings have been entirely replaced. 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 faucets from Mier, available from Flush Bathrooms.
“Our backdrop is all about black and white, and we used it in a very bold way,” says Meyer. “It gives us a beautiful stage for the faucets.”
He says that one of Source’s main reasons for selecting Meir faucets was the fact that the range looked appropriate without merely copying an historical style.
“The Meir champagne tapware has elegance, romance and proportions that feel appropriate to this kind of building,” he says.
They enabled the modernisation of the bathroom experience while maintaining a sense of coherence and appropriateness in keeping with the romance and glamour of the historical architecture. In fact, the Mier range ended up taking centre stage and “really became the most decorative items in the bathrooms, because the colour is strong, so it really becomes the hero of the bathroom.
“The bathroom refurbishment for this building is the heart of what this renovation is about.”
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