A box is a box is a box, no matter how you dolly it up, I’ve always felt regarding hotel rooms. Not at the Grand Daddy. Built in 1895 on Cape Town’s trendy Long Street, it is, by today’s standards, boutique rather than grand but it’s a grand place to stay- stylish, trendy and, well, sexy.
The façade is as it was back then, as are the beautiful, spiralling door handles as you enter and the lift- at 122 the oldest working lift in Cape Town.
The Grand Daddy is all understated chic, evoking favourite flick flashbacks and, on the roof and straight out of many a movie, are seven gleaming Airstream trailers. These well-travelled classics, imported from Ohio, USA, were craned up to the roof one quiet Sunday and I was chuffed to spend my time at the hotel in one. They are one of the reasons Conde Nast Traveller voted the Grand Daddy one of the five most unique hotels in the world.
The 26 rooms, including two gorgeous Daddy Suites, below are lovely, shimmery and well insulated from cold and city noises by double glazing, but the trailers have a certain cachet.
They surround the hotel’s Sky Bar, which calls last round to the public at 8.30 pm so that trailer residents have some privacy- and the bar- to themselves. They’re individually themed (I was in Safari) and, apart from the stretch version that is Winelands, are cosy, with a queen size bed, some floor space surrounded by cupboards, kettle, fridge and seating- beyond which is a wet room with shower/basin/loo. Nice design, but nicest for me is the cocooning sensation.
I wasn’t tired but the bed was one of the most comfortable I’ve lain on and next thing I knew there was laughter outside as peeps gathered for sundowners. Nicely ambient and not at all intrusive. I showered, changed and stepped out.
Conversation all but stopped and eyes locked on me as I fumbled with the key- and followed me as I headed for the stairs. I came back five minutes later to get something. Same reaction. I’m no fashion plate but the fact that I was staying in one of those trailers superseded that. All I’m saying is that a Grand Daddy trailer will enhance your pulling powers. With names like Daddy Cool for the downstairs bar, the Sugar Daddy suite etc. the hotel plays on this sexiness.
Apart from the gleaming trailers, if there’s a shine in the hotel it’s most likely copper. Lovely copper accents are everywhere, even in the fabrics and most especially in Thirty Ate restaurant.
At breakfast I asked Chef Deon why he doesn’t bottle the exquisite jam that accompanies the Badass bacon jam and avo toast that is a menu perennial. He just smiled, but was gracious enough to divulge the secret to the excellent chicken schnitzel. Go and find out for yourself. Beside other mouth-watering options, on First Thursdays (the first of every month) and selected Friday evenings Thirty Ate has live music.
First Thursday’s is a cool concept involving the surrounding art galleries and creative community, including Grand Daddy’s GM Brenda Campbell’s carefully curated collection on the first floor. The hotel also has regular open air cinema viewings on the rooftop, the odd silent disco and always a warm welcome.
Call 021 424 7247 and visit https://granddaddy.co.za