Located in the trendy Silo District in the V&A Waterfront the Radisson Red is a completely new concept aimed at the millennial market, with a focus on art, music and fashion.
From the moment that you enter the Radisson Red you will notice that it is not like any other hotel - there is no reception desk, and the staff don’t wear uniforms - so one might be confused as to why some random-looking dude approaches and starts chatting to you - it’s most likely to be a member of staff. We were immediately offered a welcome drink, and I was amazed at how much more swift the check-in process was with a double gin and tonic in hand.
The reception area is completely open and has a table-tennis table, games tables and a long trestle table with chairs for guests to plug in their laptops and work or tell chat with their mates via whatever online option they prefer.
The rooms are comfortable and basic - don’t expect any extra luxuries - remember that the Millenials are all about being seen out and about - they don’t hang out in their rooms.
Our room did have a spectacular view of Table Mountain and the Waterfront, with amazing blackout blinds (I slept until 8am - which is unheard of in my life).
In our room, we had a bottle of wine, a pair of sexy red socks, and a personalised thank-you note waiting for us.
These extra touches added a personal touch to our stay, which I loved. The amenities are the bare necessities - everything is about the recreational spaces.
Technology is king here - with free WiFi (obviously) throughout the building, guests can use the guest chat feature on the RED app to chat to other each other without having to meet face to face, or stream devices to the TV so you can watch your own Netflix.
The space is designed to be changed and curated according to the season or events - so don’t expect there to be consistency - it is a brand that thrives on inconsistency.
We quickly learnt that there are 2 main meeting places: OUIBar + KTCHN and the RED Roof bar.
We arrived on a perfect autumn evening in Cape Town - no wind and clear blue skies with temperatures in the mid 20’s, so we soon made our way to the rooftop bar. It was immediately clear that Radisson Red has captured the millennial market - it was packed with 20 - 30-year-olds ordering cocktails and craft beers from the bright red truck bar, nibbling on mac ’n cheese, burgers and pizzas.
As the sun set, we headed down to OUIBar and tried a selection of the deep fried balls which are great for sharing. We nibbled on cheese & jalapeño, chicken strips, beef & pesto, biltong & brandy and salt & pepper calamari.
As my friend and I sat sipping on our personally blended gin (the hotel offers personal gin blending - with the option of choosing your own flavours), a casually dressed guy dressed in track pants, a T-shirt and baseball cap flopped down onto one of the Fat Boy’s next to us and started chatting.
It took us a few minutes to realise that he was Dale Simpson, General Manager of the hotel - which is typical of the style of Radisson Red - relaxed, warm and welcoming.
Oh, and the cherry to the top - it’s pet-friendly - they even have their own resident Boston Terrier who hangs out at the hotel.