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Gordon's Bay Hotel is the flagship for new West African ones

In a South African first, a smartphone app makes visiting the new Ndiza Gallery at the Krystal Beach Hotel, Gordon's Bay, a deeply immersive experience. Not only is the 200m² gallery a significant focus of the hotel's lobby space but the art is also a differentiator in this property and much of it, even in the suites and in public areas, is curated and available for sale.

Gordon's Bay Hotel is the flagship for new West African ones

The inaugural exhibition by veteran artist, Arlene Amaler-Raviv entitled Drone features many pieces in which she collaborated with photographer Dale Yudelman. What makes this exhibition special is that the Krystal Beach app, created by DigiCape, responds to blue-tooth beacons next to each image to automatically cue relevant media, in this case, videos of the artist discussing the work.

Curated art a key focus

Michelle Roelofsen, George Reeves, Michaela Limberris and Gavin Furlonger are the creative team behind the project and are working in tandem with the four-star graded hotel management to provide a quality and curated art focus, distinctly different from the usual cookie-cutter “art as decor” approach that most hotels employ.

Gordon's Bay Hotel is the flagship for new West African ones

Even the hotel’s exterior is enhanced by artist brush strokes that make it pop against the blue sea and sky of its position on Gordon’s Bay Harbour Island, about 45-minutes from Cape Town.

The Krystal Beach app extends to beyond the gallery space to other images in the public areas like striking black and white images by photographer Ken Gerhardt and photographer Roel Roelofsen’s composite skycaps.

Into Africa

The 112 roomed hotel, opened in March this year, is special in that its West African owners are using a Cape Town property to springboard further development in Africa including soon-to-open resorts in Douala, Yaounde and Kribi in Cameroon.

Hotel interiors are fresh and contemporary with greys and muted turquoise tones that speak to its seaside location. I was impressed that even the furniture cushions were feather stuffed making for a luxurious and deeply comfortable experience. And, being newly kitted-out, wall-to-wall free Wi-Fi and desk level multi-plugs including USB chargers meets today’s travellers’ needs.

Gordon's Bay Hotel is the flagship for new West African ones
Gordon's Bay Hotel is the flagship for new West African ones

Operations manager Chris Eiserman, previously of The Upper East Side hotel in Woodstock and Devon Valley Hotel, says he’s very excited about this project which also includes the Krystal Komfort Spa and an Art on the Boardwalk showcase for local talent on the first Sunday of the month.

There are four conferencing rooms which combined can seat 260 people banquet style. Aside from a good food offering inside the hotel, there are affordable yet quality options within easy walking distance and Gordon’s Bay’s Bikini Beach is a stone’s throw away.

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