Review from Vania Reyneke, Alive2Green
I was extended an invitation to spend a weekend at Hotel Verde, known as the greenest hotel in Africa for quite some time, but who wants to spend a weekend at or close to Cape Town International Airport if you are not flying, right?
Last weekend an opportunity came about where I could eventually take them up on the invite, packed my case, and grabbed a friend to join me.
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As we got out of the taxi at the door, we felt the tranquillity and peace and commented on how quiet it was, especially considering we were a stone’s throw away from the airport.
Check-in went smoothly and we took the lift up to the first floor. Instead of staring at one’s own reflection in a mirror, you are met by Verino, the hotel’s environmentally friendly rhino and mascot who makes one aware of one’s contribution to all green initiatives starting with the lift which uses regenerative braking on its “light” travel cycles saving 30% of the energy it would normally use.
The rooms are spacious with one’s shower, a wet room forming part of the bedroom. Without continuously being monitored or worrying about being a responsible tourist, it is all done automatically, however one is reminded just how responsible one is being as a traveller. All lights are energy efficient LEDs. Taps and sanitary fittings are “low flow” and aerated to minimise water usage. The dual flush toilet is supplied with biologically recycled grey water from showers and baths. All bedrooms are kept at a comfortable, energy efficient temperature. Our room was at such a comfortable temperature there was no need for us to use the airconditioner. Actually, now that I think of it, I was comfortable throughout the hotel at all times. The advanced system achieves extraordinary efficiency using a geothermal loop field coupled to ground source heat pumps for central heating/cooling and domestic water heating.
Because we used our towels more than once, we were awarded with a Verdino, an in-house coin to a certain value that one can credit towards one’s account, buy a snack or beverage from the deli, save and collect to use next time or cash in against your invoice.
Throughout the weekend, I was continuously amazed at the peace and quiet. Windows are double glazed and sound proof. Where one looks out, from all angles the yellow daisies were in full bloom, planted on all levels around the hotel. I have always found daisies to be uplifting and positive.
I am the worst critic for any hotel, as I am myself an international trained hotelier and find that most South African Hotels fall short on the breakfast buffet.
When my eyes fell on the platter of salmon roses and lemon, I knew I would not fault this hotel and I could not. What a pleasure to have your butter served in a dish at a temperature that makes it easy to spread and not struggle with little plastic tubs and lids one can never get to peal off easily. Preserves and jams were served in glass jars and I smiled when I lifted the glass sugar pourers that took me back to the days of jorr. Again, no paper to tear, the sugar poured out in perfect measurement, just as one would remember from the ‘50’s diners.
There was bergamot water which assists one with a hangover, double apple juice, orange juice and real juice I’ll add. Fruit displays, yogurts, cold meats, cheese platters and on the hot side, egg cooked to your choice, lamb and pork sausages, lightly spiced tomatoes, mushrooms, beans and more.. a lot more.. a cheese platter with every cheese you could imagine and nuts and seeds to your choice.
Not only was the food excellent, the décor, the tranquility and friendly staff make the hotel homely and comfortable, also giving it a homely feel. All facilities are easy to access, the business centre, bar and lounge all open plan.
There is a music corner in the lounge with a piano and other musical instruments for the use of anyone who may want to play a tune.
The eco pool is right next to the wetlands area where at night the frogs do a song and dance. Walking along the eco-trail you can’t help but get the feeling that here, nature is in balance, making a happy medium between eco friendly and stress of travelling.
By Sunday only did I start relaxing and decided to extend my stay by one more day. I just had to go to sleep to the sound of the frogs and wake up to the merry chirping of the birds one more day.
Hotel Verde, congratulations! If you can do it, so can the rest of the world!
Thank you for a wonderful experience and 100% for taking the extra mile on going green!
I can honestly recommend a stay at Hotel Verde for any occasion or event or even just a one night sleep-over