Dale Simpson, the curator of the Radisson RED, is as vibrant as the place he put together.Photo by Eben Photography
Dale Simpson, the curator of the Radisson RED, is as vibrant as the place he put together. Photo by Eben Photography

Situated at the Silo District at the V&A Waterfront, the Radisson RED is the coolest hotel in the city. From the minimalist design to the quirky millennial art and decor that runs from the entrance hall to the rooms this establishment is pleasantly different.

Some highlights include the sought-after rooftop bar and pool where you can enjoy the views of the city and mountains while grabbing a bite to eat and a drink. Then there’s the gin distillery, where you can make your own signature gin as well as their latest edition, the Chilli Bang Bang experience where you can get a 45-minute massage on the rooftop.

Dale Simpson, the curator of the Radisson RED, is as vibrant as the place he put together. He talks to us about his background and industry trends.


Please tell us more about your background and life prior to being the Curator of Africa’s first ever Radisson RED? I was born and raised in Bushmills, Northern Ireland. I attended Napier University, where I completed my Honours in Tourism Management, followed by a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. My career kicked off in 2009 when I joined the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. During my time within the prestigious group, I took on a variety of roles, ranging from general manager to Food and Drink director for the group’s corporate support office in Brussels.

Why have you chosen to go by curator instead of general manager? A curator is quite simply a custodian or keeper of a collection. I choose to go by this title as I curate spaces and experiences for every guest at RED.

Each element of the hotel is perfectly and meticulously selected to add value and a personal touch that enhances the guest’s experience. Our elements are bundled up and fall under three categories: art, fashion and music.

What are the key trends that are impacting the hotel industry as we know it? From a technology perspective, online check-ins, key-less door entry and using your phone to book tours, concierge facilities, ordering room service, chatting to the team and guests.

Sustainability is paramount in our thinking and after one year of being open, we were awarded the Green Key Award, which was a great indication of how important that is to us, which is essentially just part of our culture. We do buffets as this reduces food waste by 35%. We are paperless in the most part and we actually engage with our clients.

In the future, I think you will see over-the-top guest personalisation in hospitality spaces, whether that be through apps and visuals in rooms or spaces that can adapt and showcase clients’ likes. Maybe in a hotel room, that can be your preferred artwork, family photos or just preferential settings.

What is the next big thing for Radisson RED? One of my latest creations at Radisson RED is Chilli Bang Bang. Chilli Bang Bang is an open-air spa concept on the rooftop where we are offering simple massage treatments to all locals and international guests.

The space has graffiti on the walls of the Chilli Bang Bang gang characters and the spa beds are inspired by Indian tuk-tuks. It uses the natural roof environment of heat pumps, sounds and smells, and has amazing views of Table Mountain. Chilli Bang Bang has almost taken the trend of having secret bars and applying it to a spa concept.

* Connect with Radisson RED at www.radissonred.com