The Onyx Hotel – New York chic in Cape Town

Posted by Nidha Narrandes on 23 July 2019

The best part about overnighting in the Cape Town city centre is exploring your surroundings. When you step outside you see everything through fresh eyes. Buildings you’ve driven past a hundred times suddenly look taller from the ground. Little shops you didn’t think existed appear out of nowhere. Hidden cafés selling freshly-baked almond croissants and hippie fresh wheatgrass juices become your favourite places to recommend.

The Mother City never loses her charm – you have to love how very different she is at every corner.

With all travel, the most important aspect is location, location, location. I have uncovered a great one, whether you are travelling for business, vacation or staycation.

At the end of 2018, there was a buzz in the Foreshore District – murmurs of a vibrant new space opening called the Onyx Hotel, which had been refurbished from an office block, promised something different.

The view from the Granite Bar on the 4th floor.

Mixed-used buildings are all the hype in Cape Town. The more hotels can offer their patrons, the more popular they are. The Onyx, which is part of the Newmark Hotels, Residences, Reserves & Lodge group, is a shiny reflection of how hotels are changing their offerings to cater for a changing market.

Amenities at the hotel include:

Concierge service
Room servicing daily
Laundry and dry cleaning services, at an additional cost
Secure parking
WiFi throughout the hotel
Swimming pool with city views

The aesthetic of the hotel is very New York-chic – every corner I turned in the building reminded me of my stay in Times Square in the Big Apple. The simmering buzz all around, the night lights, the tourists sauntering in and out of the entrance – the atmosphere is electric and you can feel it in the air.

Friendly greetings and staff who go out of their way to make your stay a memorable one is always a bonus. When I open the door to our suite, it is nothing quite like I expected. A functional well-equipped modern kitchen lies to the right of the entrance and a dining room table sits in the middle of the room. A small, yet stylish lounge area in deep blue hues and Art Deco matching furniture face a big-screen TV. Big glass balcony doors open out onto the city from both the lounge and the bedroom and there it is: Table Mountain in all its stunning world-class glory.

Large balconies look out onto the vibrant city centre.

The bedroom has a large open space between the bed, the built-in cupboards and the bathroom. It is far more spacious that I had anticipated, which is very unexpected in most new hotels. The bathroom is styled with modern touches and enough space to move around in comfortably.

Now to explore a little… the Granite bar on the 4th floor is perfect for afterwork drinks or a celebratory evening out. An outside deck looks out onto Heerengracht Street and the city’s glow gives you the false impression that it’s earlier than it really is well into the night – a little more of that New York feeling. Order a cocktail and a light meal, sit or stand, walk around and mingle, it’s that kinda space.

Do yourself a favour and make a reservation at Yu Restaurant next to the foyer of the hotel – you will thank me later. Yu is an Asian eatery that is all about big flavours, the freshest ingredients and great service. Their sushi is incomparable in taste, and remember this is Cape Town, so that’s saying a lot. From nibble plates which include soft-shell crab in a sesame mayo, spicy edamame packing a powerful kick and chicken wings marinated in siracha, honey and soya, to velvety dim sum or light and fluffy bao buns with fillings rich in meaty flavour dripping with Asian sauces, along with salads, soups and main dishes, they really do cater to every taste from the east.

The delicious light and fluffy bao buns.

The desserts will bowl you over, if you love sago make sure you try the coconut sago pudding with passionfruit coulis. If you prefer something sweet and tangy, then definitely go for the caramelised pineapple, black sesame compote and coconut ice cream. It is the perfect conclusion to a well-balanced meal.

I took solace in the fact that when I rolled on out of Yu, I was a few steps away from a luxurious night’s sleep. There is something about that dreamy mattress that gives you the ultimate night’s sleep.

At first light I stepped out onto the balcony to watch a city of people start their day off. Scurrying with cups of coffee in hand, some lost in conversation, others deep in their own thoughts. As I stood there and watched I realised we are a vibrant city of people and things and places and we keep evolving to suit the different stages of our lives – much like the building itself.

Breakfast is served downstairs in MRKT restaurant, which again has been fashioned on New York-style cafés. Choose from an overflowing buffet table or the hot dishes, either option is served with attention to deliciousness. Try their cappuccinos, exactly what you need for a-wake-me-up in the morning.

The hotel suites are large and modern in design.

Situated opposite the CTICC, the location couldn’t be more perfect – you can plot your holiday or business trip quite easily from the hotel. It is exciting to see parts of the city keep their charm and others update their charm.

Right now, the Onyx Hotel is exactly what it needs to be, right where it needs to be and you have to come visit for yourself to enjoy the beauty of it all.


Images: Supplied

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