The Capital 15 on Orange
The Capital 15 on Orange (Image supplied)
  • The iconic 15 on Orange hotel has been given a R20 million makeover.
  • Now the Capital 15 on Orange, taking over from Marriott International's African Pride, the 129-room property offers luxury hotel suites and serviced apartments.
  • It's just one of the latest investments undertaken by Capital Hotels and Apartments, which looks to capitalise on the post-pandemic boom in tourism and business.
  • The one- and two-bedroom apartments, up to 120 square-metres in size, feature spacious living rooms, dining areas, and fully equipped kitchens.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Cape Town's 15 on Orange Hotel, now run by Capital Hotels and Apartments, has officially relaunched following the completion of a R20 million makeover aimed at attracting long-term occupation.

The Capital 15 on Orange, located in the heart of Cape Town, has a new look and vision. The hotel reopened its doors in August after three months of renovations. Prior to Capital Hotels and Apartments taking over, the hotel was part of Marriott International's African Pride collection.

The Capital 15 on Orange
The Capital 15 on Orange (Image supplied)

Following months of poor occupancy rates in the wake of a total halt on operations due to the coronavirus-induced hard lockdown in March 2020, Marriott threw in the towel. Capital Hotels and Apartments, which operates 11 properties throughout the country, stepped in.

Founded by Marc Wachsberger in 2008, Capital's business model was unique and, at the time, a rarity within the hospitality sector. With owner-managed, fully serviced luxury apartments and hotel rooms under one roof, the Capital has managed to attract tourists and long-term tenants alike. It's this symbiosis between the two business streams which, according to Wachsberger, has allowed Capital to weather the Covid-19 storm.

The Capital 15 on Orange
Marc Wachsberger, founder and managing director of the Capital Hotels and Apartments (Photo: Luke Daniel / Business Insider South Africa)

"The hotel room and apartment, in our group, is always designed to be synergistic and provide flexibility to our guests. From a business perspective, flexibility is what got us through Covid-19," Wachsberger tells Business Insider South Africa.

"We ran an average occupancy of through Covid of 65% and the reason why we did that is when Covid hit hard we were able to take these hotel rooms and apartments and connect them to each other and put them into other markets, like long-stay quarantine."

The Capital 15 on Orange
The Capital 15 on Orange (Image supplied)

Adding new hotels to the portfolio during a global pandemic – Capital also recently took over the Zimbali Resort on KwaZulu-Natal's north coast and construction has begun on the new 150-room property in Mpumalanga – is risky. But Covid-19, like the global financial crisis in Capital's founding year, has provided opportunity.

"I'd been trying and trying to get another hotel in Cape Town [Capital also has the 70-room Mirage in De Waterkant] but Cape Town is such an exuberant city where when things are going well, you can't get in," says Wachsberger. "You have to get in when times are bad, like they've been with Covid."

"We were born from the global financial crisis. We've seen bad times."

The Capital 15 on Orange
Kitchen (Photo: Luke Daniel / Business Insider South Africa)

And Wachsberger believes these bad Covid times are turning, with Capital's recent investment spree primed to take advantage of the post-pandemic travel and business boom. Capital 15 on Orange, which launched to much fanfare on Thursday 30 October, stands poised to benefit from Cape Town's allure to tourists and international film crews alike.

The Capital 15 on Orange
Lounge area (Photo: Luke Daniel / Business Insider South Africa)

Much of the R20 million used to revamp the 129-room property has been spent on converting hotel suites to apartments. These one- and two-bedroom apartments, up to 120 square-metres in size, feature spacious living rooms, dining areas, and fully equipped kitchens. High-speed uncapped Wi-Fi, air conditioning and 55-inch TVs come standard.

"We converted 21 rooms into apartments, so that was a big part of the renovation," says Wachsberger.

"The rooms here were the original rooms from 2009, this hotel originally opened for the 2010 World Cup, and they hadn't been renovated. So, they were the best rooms in town in 2010 and all of a sudden, they're some of the worst rooms in town in 2021. So, we brought it back with furniture, fittings, new carpets, new décor. That was really the biggest part of the upgrade."

Single-bedroom apartment (Photo: Luke Daniel / Business Insider South Africa)
The Capital 15 on Orange
Apartment bathroom (Photo: Luke Daniel / Business Insider South Africa)

The Capital 15 on Orange also features the Emerald Lounge Restaurant and Bar which offers an all-day menu and 24-hour in room dining. A designer spa, cafè, fitness centre, and pool and deck are also open to all guests.

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