Hotel Verde: Africa's greenest hotel?

Posted by Kati Auld on 16 April 2013

I certainly had my suspicions when I first heard about the Hotel Verde being built just outside Cape Town International Airport. I don’t think I’m the only one who’s become a little wary of the word “green”, as what began as a genuine movement to protect our planet is now, in many cases, no more than a marketing tool.

But after meeting the owner, Mario Delicio, and speaking to the construction team, I have to admit that these guys are the real deal, large-scale hotel or not. From the shampoo to the electric shuttles, every aspect of the hotel has been scrutinised to be as environmentally friendly as possible. There’s nothing superficial about it, and it takes genuine passion to work this hard on building a green hotel.

They’ve got their work cut out for them: can you imagine how much power and water it takes to run (let alone build) a 145-roomed, three star hotel? A lot. But everywhere you look, appliances and shortcuts will be quietly saving and re-using energy. According to the plans, the roof is layered with solar panels. There are three wind turbines standing proudly outside the hotel.  The grey-water recycling system will save approximately 9 000 litres of water per day. There will be three adapted Kone electric lifts, which will regenerate up to 30% of the energy they use. The shuttles that transport guests to and from the airport will be electric. The list goes on and on: you can have a look around the Hotel Verde website for more information.

Mario Delicio, the owner, shows some traditionally Italian enthusiasm when speaking about preserving the natural world. However, he is also part German, which comes out in comments like, ‘You do not play around with things like environmental issues. You either do it properly, or not at all.’ Passion combined with meticulousness: a winning combination.

The aspect that appeals to me most about this project is how diverse and far-reaching the effects could be. Mario says, “Going green is a totally different way of thinking about how we interact with employees, with suppliers: it has to be more on a partnership basis.” This emphasis is what allows for initiatives such as First Aid courses for employees, sourcing vegetables for the kitchen from local gardens, and sponsoring art workshops for local school-children who will be involved in the decorating of the hotel.

At the moment, the hotel is expected to open for business in August. If you’re going to be needing accommodation close to the airport and are curious and interested in green development, they probably deserve a visit.


yoast-primary -
tcat - Responsible travel
tcat_slug - responsible-travel
tcat2 -
tcat2_slug -
tcat_final - environment