Stylish, elegant & ‘green’

Filed in Places to Stay, Western Cape by on May 19, 2011
Mannabay Fine Boutique Hotel, Cape Town

MannaBay Fine Boutique Hotel, Cape Town (© Mannabay Fine Boutique Hotel)

Cape Town has its fair share of spectacular establishments, ranging from five star hotels and penthouse suites to boutique hotels and a whole lot in between. What sets this collection of boutique hotels into a category of their own is that their commitment to the environment and their local communities is something they take to heart… so much so that they have committed to the Greenline programme.

In the heart of Cape Town and at the foot of Table Mountain is the elegant MANNABAY FINE BOUTIQUE HOTEL. With uniquely designed suites that set the bar for contemporary luxury, MannaBay is synonymous with timeless quality and modern comfort. The space and views are unsurpassed and with just seven suites, MannaBay offers one of the most intimate experiences available in the fairest Cape. The team at MannaBay is dedicated to optimising every guest’s experience – nothing is too much trouble, and added to this they support sustainable tourism and the environment, which is why they wanted to prove their credentials with GreenLine – ‘so guests can see that it’s not just lip service’. They strive to reduce their carbon footprint wherever possible and look for business partners with that same approach such as the Bean There – a coffee company passionate about sourcing Fair Trade coffee. When decorating MannaBay, great care was taken to use refurbished furniture where possible. Energy & water reduction targets have been set and a waste recycling programme is in place. The team is passionate about using tourism revenue to uplift poor communities, and support an orphanage in the Khayelitsha township called Khumbulani where Gloria Bebeza cares for 160 HIV infected and affected children. MannaBay will gladly arrange day trips for guests to see the orphanage and meet and interact with the wonderful children.

The VILLA ROSA, a charming Victorian mansion which has been owned and run by the same family since 1990, is situated below Lion’s Head in warm and wonderful Sea Point.  Wander up the front path through mingled scents of star jasmine, chives and roses to the rosily stained glass front door.  All eight rooms, including one self catering unit, are all individually decorated with local artworks adorning the walls. The Villa Rosa decided to join Greenline because ‘doing our bit towards saving the environment is important to us’.  An energy audit was done which made it possible for them to accurately understand their electricity usage, enabling an informed decision regarding the installation of solar heating and heat pumps. They recycle as much as possible and are currently recycling at least 60% of their waste, make their own compost, have a worm farm, as well as grow some of their own vegetables organically – they use and serve as much organic food as possible and are serious about supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs. The Villa Rosa is committed to job creation, have a strong social conscience and support a wide range of charities, from abandoned and abused children to animal rescue, the environment, the homeless and local crime prevention.

Tucked into a quiet street in central Gardens, and set within a private and tropical walled garden with a sparkling swimming pool is DUNKLEY HOUSE. This compact boutique hotel is a place where guests are encouraged to feel at home, and offers nine spacious en-suite bedrooms, three with their own private patios and two with their own decks and plunge pools, as well as a two bed roomed apartment. The home cooked breakfasts, served in the dining room or on the patio beside a sparkling pool, are prepared from free range products are a delight, with the freshly squeezed orange juice hard to resist. The team at Dunkley House will also assist their guests to book tours in and around Cape Town with local tour companies, as well as make and entertainment reservations. Their aim is to ensure that each stay at Dunkley House is memorable and enjoyable.

Owners Mike and Sally Oughtibridge bought DONGOLA HOUSE in 2009.  Having worked in the hospitality Industry for decades and possessing a keen interest in the environment, creating the guest house as a responsible tourism business was a natural progression. They had become aware of Greenline whilst working for Orient Express Safaris, where they had seen the Heritage plaque on the wall of the Mount Nelson and were inspired by their worm farm. The first step was to identify their environmental impacts and to measure resource usage – water, electricity and waste. They then set about creating a worm farm, started recycling, and set goals for the reduction in resource use – replacing CFL’s where possible, setting geysers at 55 degrees and have plans to reduce energy consumption further through the future installation of heat pumps and LED light bulbs. To ensure that the greater community benefits from their business they supports ‘Learn to Earn’, a training facility in the township of Khayelitsha, Cape Town’s largest township, which provides training for employed residents and Southern Sun’s Book-a-Guesthouse programme and have donated equipment to three of these guesthouses and hope their involvement in this project will assist these entrepreneurs to provide a quality, authentic Western Cape experience to their guests whilst providing much needed employment.

FEATHERS LODGE, located in the northern suburbs of Cape Town is a 20 bedroom boutique hotel which opened its doors in ‘98 with one goal in mind, ‘get ‘bums in bed’ – this was how it started for Feathers Lodge, and after a decade of success and numerous awards to boast it was time to rethink their strategy. Danie Reitman, owner of Feathers Lodge felt that for the business to have a lasting impact in years to come they needed to shift some of their focus to the community and are involved in a number of initiatives. To take their environmental commitment to another level they joined the Greenline program; this has presented new exciting challenges as targets are set for a reduction in energy and water consumption, an existing recycling system is revised and community projects are developed. One project that sparks excitement in the Feathers Team is the training of underprivileged ladies from Langa on how to establish and run their own small businesses.  Danie’s challenge to other establishment owners is to be inspired by his story and then ‘get out from behind your computer, work at reducing your carbon footprint and reach out to those around you’.

 

Greenline Responsible Tourism Certification Programme

Tel: +27 12 665 1028

www.heritagesa.co.za

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