Inge Moore and her London-based Muza Lab team have completed work on the renovated Belmond Mount Nelson hotel’s 48 guestrooms and suites in Cape Town. The redesign was steered by the property’s original grand spirit, which opened in 1899. The city’s heritage as a global seafaring port also guided the design narrative, accentuated with local materials, rustic timbers, beads, and clay to juxtapose the old with the new.
Windows and casings have been restored and painted white, while new, smaller pelmets and floral drapery frame views of the hotel’s iconic gardens and Table Mountain. Armchairs are fixed near windows to maximize the panoramic views and encourage relaxation. The bed is the centerpiece of the room with locally sourced riempies (the bench introduced to the Cape by early settlers) at the foot of each bed. Additional heirloom furniture pieces include dark timber tables and cabinets accented with brass and leather. Modern items, such as beaded mirrors, infuse a residential-style balance.
Bathrooms glisten in white and gray marble and feature elegant chrome taps and ample storage. The property’s original timber floors have been replaced with oak in select suites, adorned with locally woven rugs. Natural leather and linen are also featured throughout along with antique beveled mirrors to reflect the abundant natural light. New chandeliers and crystal wall lights amplify the internal sparkle, while new paint and sisal-inspired carpeting pay homage to styles from the late 19th century.
Select furnishings and oversized artworks from local artists and artisans span the property. “When we have the opportunity to develop art with local artists, it creates the meaning of the project and sets the tone,” Moore says. “For Mount Nelson, I wanted to celebrate the amazing Cape and bring this into the hotel.”