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12 Jul 2018

Muza Lab Belmond Mount Nelson refurbishment provides continuity rather than conversion
BY Luke Cloherty

Muza Lab has finished its ground floor public rooms refurbishment at Cape Town’s iconic Belmond Mount Nelson

Muza Lab has finished its ground floor public rooms refurbishment at Cape Town’s iconic Belmond Mount Nelson

Muza Lab has finished its ground floor public rooms refurbishment at Cape Town’s iconic Belmond Mount Nelson, with a focus on keeping traditional elements, while embellishing them with natural greens and subtle upgrades.

The new design has aimed to embrace “Belmond values” with a layout that is “connected to the heritage and location of the hotel” with an update that allows those who enter the lobby to have a framed view into the garden.

“The aim has been to light up the porte cochère and introduce additional layering and texture. The plain white ceilings have been treated like a decorative awning with the introduction of traditional stripes,” said Muza Lab, which also mentioned the use of “mirror detailing planting, seating, lamps and texture detail”.

The reception has held onto its original herringbone timber floor, wall panelling and reception desks. The latter have been revamped, with new marble tops and paint tones.

The refurbishment was led by Muza Lab founder Inge Moore and her team. Of the redesign, Moore said: “In redesigning the entrance and terrace, we were very conscious of our responsibility towards Mount Nelson’s unique heritage. While we have enhanced the guest’s emotional experience, we have done this entirely within the spirit of the history of the hotel and its legendary gardens. We are continuing the story, not reinventing it.”

The outdoor renovation has kept in line with the thinking inside too, with an eye firmly again on subtle adjustment as opposed to wholesale change. “The outdoor terrace is the essence of Belmond’s signature qualities – understated, sophisticated and engaged with the natural world around it,” the architect stated.

Meanwhile the conduit between indoors and out, the sun room and tea lounge, has been designed to act as a passageway that continues the theme of touching up the original features with flushes of green on white. A new set of stacking folding doors allow for a a traditional South African “stoep” space to open up while a large fireplace sits at one end of the room, surrounded by mirrors and plants.

Belmond Mount Nelson is one of a number of projects undertaken by the company since its 2016 inception, including the Rocco Forte hotel at Shanghai, the Belmond Andean Explorer train in Peru and the Four Seasons, Kingdom Tower, Jeddah.



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