The world is downsizing. Whether it is tiny homes or minimalist living, these days less is definitely more. But it’s not just housing that is embracing the minimalism trend, the travel industry is sitting up and taking notice too. Considered the ‘tiny houses’ of the hotel industry, micro-hotels have been popping up all over the world.
Sometimes, when you’re travelling for business or have a busy itinerary, all you need is a place to rest your head. Even if you want some time to relax, hotel rooms often have more wasted space than functional space. Millennial travellers are the biggest fans of this new minimalist travel trend which is why hoteliers are getting smart and building small, functional and visually exciting rooms that provide a big experience in a compact space.
The concept of the micro-hotel is all about getting the guest out of their room and into shared, public spaces. Whether it’s the trendy hotel lounge, rooftop pool, or sight-seeing at nearby attractions, micro-hotel guests are social butterflies who are eager to explore.
Loving the vibe
Embracing this new travel trend in South Africa is Best Western International’s newest hotel offering, Vïb Cape Town. Short for ‘vibrant’ and pronounced ‘vibe’, this trendy hotel in Cape Town’s much-loved Green Point offers travellers a stylish and technology-centric hotel specifically created to meet the needs of today’s urban traveller.
Situated close to the V&A Waterfront and within walking distance of many famous local landmarks such as the Green Point Urban Park and Sea Point Promenade, and a host of other amenities and attractions, the conveniently situated eight-storey hotel not only affords visitors magnificent views but plenty to do within its walls and beyond. The hotel offers a casual dining restaurant and bar, rooftop pool and lounge, art gallery, and gym to keep guests entertained and stimulated.
Boasting incredible views of the mountain and the ocean, the rooftop pool and lounge at Vïb is undeniably one of its best features. A peaceful, but oh-so-stylish spot you’ll be tempted to spend all day up here if your schedule allows. There’s a large, comfortable lounge area where guests and locals can enjoy a drink and socialise as well as a striking glass-walled pool that overlooks Green Point, with deck chairs just begging you to sit back, relax and read a book.
For culture and art-loving travellers, the hotel’s Jaffer Modern art gallery aims to promote both established and aspiring Pan-African artists while also offering a quiet space for guests to sit and reflect. It is indeed refreshing to have a space like this to enjoy in a hotel. Travelling can be quite demanding at times, especially if you’re travelling for business and the gallery offers the ideal space to gather your thoughts.
Eat your heart out
Another highlight of the Vïb experience is Eye Bar, an open-plan restaurant, bar, lounge and terrace on the ground floor of the hotel. Offering a laid-back atmosphere with delicious breakfast, all-day light meals, and dinner dishes to both guest and local residents, this easy-going restaurant isn’t your typical hotel restaurant. While hotel restaurants can often be lacking in creativity, offering sub-par dishes with exorbitant price tags, Eye Bar offers a relaxed café feel with food and cocktails to rival any trendy bar or eatery on the Green Point strip. The meals and drinks are competitively priced and offer excellent value for money.
Offering a contemporary menu of vibrant modern cuisine featuring sushi and tapas-style sharing dishes alongside favourites like deli sandwiches, grilled steaks and gourmet burgers, Eye Bar is the type of restaurant I would go back to time and time again. In fact, its welcoming atmosphere and great dining options have solidified it as one of my favourite go-to spots in Green Point.
The boyfriend and I got the chance to enjoy evening drinks, dinner and breakfast at Eye Bar during our stay, with the spot becoming one of our favourite hangouts of the weekend. For dinner, we tucked into a soup of the day starter (R35), followed by the Teriyaki Beef Burger (R120) and the Yakitori Chicken Burger (R95), both served with a side of chips. The juicy, moreish burgers were good enough to compete with the likes of popular gourmet burger spots like Hudson’s and Roccommas and the generous portions sizes insured we were too stuffed for dessert after our meal.
We also enjoyed a few cocktails before dinner and whet our pallets with the Amber Cup G&T, made from Inverroche Amber gin, cucumber, mint, green apple, and ginger ale (R80 | R210 1.7 l jug) and the Mangito G&T made with Bacardi Oakheart, mango, chilli, and lemonade (R60 | R150 1.7 l jug). The cocktails were beyond delicious and some of the best I’ve had in a long time.
Breakfast was just as memorable with a full continental breakfast of pastries, cereals, fruit, yoghurt, coffee, tea, and juices included with our stay. Hot breakfast is an extra R50 per person and includes a variety of options for hungry guests who like to start their day off with a bang.
The restaurant is also open to non-hotel guests for breakfast with an a la carte menu offering individually priced breakfast options. The boyfriend and I both ordered the English Breakfast (R110 for non-hotel guests) which included 2 eggs, bacon, sausage, rosti, mushrooms, cocktail tomato, and toast.
Small spaces with big design
With 76 expertly designed and environmentally conscious hotel rooms, Vïb offers a real community feel that is sure to appeal to those who don’t enjoy the anonymity of larger hotels. The standard rooms may be compact, but they offer big wins on the design and amenities front. The rooms are trendy and chic with a queen-sized bed, 40-inch smart TV, and a generous bathroom.
The bathroom was my favourite part of the room. With its white subway tiles and phonebooth shower design, with rain shower head, it’s a real luxury space that serves to remind you that you’re staying in a top-notch hotel and enjoying a fabulous holiday.
The large bed, covered with marshmallow-soft linens and cushions, is also extremely comfortable and is another reminder of your luxury holiday experience. Other amenities that are sure to appeal to millennial travellers include a Nespresso machine, individual workstations with ultra-comfortable Herman Miller task chairs and a dedicated individual ethernet cable and WiFi access point.
The room does a great job of catering to the needs of both business and leisure travellers and while the large work station/desk may seem cumbersome to some, for business travellers who need a comfortable and functional workspace in their room it will no doubt be a lifesaver.
The room is cleverly designed and offers all the small creature comforts and tech essentials a millennial traveller could want (like a compact steam iron, USB charging ports, safe, alarm clock, and more), and clever under-bed storage drawers and a suitcase compartment, so you’re not constantly tiptoeing over your suitcase while trying to get around the room.
Is micro-hotel travel for you?
Of course, the idea of small hotel rooms isn’t exactly new; travellers have long had the option to choose minuscule accommodations in the form of bunk beds at hostels to basic hotel rooms in budget hotels. But, while in the past, entry-level hotel and accommodation put a priority on price, the new micro-hotels have loftier aspirations. Where in the past, ‘micro’ was associated with cheap and small, today, this micro focuses on higher-quality, design, and experiential travel.
If you’re the type of traveller who doesn’t want to spend money on empty space in a room and enjoys hotels with larger public spaces that encourage guest interaction, then Vïb Cape Town is the place for you.
The hotel is ideal for anyone who is planning on enjoying a brief visit to Cape Town and wants to be in the thick of the action. If you’re travelling for a conference or love spending all your time exploring outside of your hotel, but still appreciate a little bit of luxury and top-notch amenities, then Vïb will be a great fit.
Says investor Muslim Jaffer, owner of Vïb Cape Town: “Vïb hotels are pitched at both the workation and staycation market, providing the right blend of amenities to cater to a businessperson on the move — particularly those in the techpreneur and start-up space — as well as the domestic traveller seeking a dynamic designer stop-over. Our Vïb Cape Town combines all the modcons with one of the most jaw-dropping pools in the Mother City and also pays homage to Cape Town as a creative capital.”
Closely situated to Cape Town’s major freeways, providing quick and easy access to all of Cape Town’s business districts, the Vïb Cape Town experience is perfectly suited to the discerning business market and young professional traveller.
What’s more, as part of the hotel’s commitment to supporting all things local, South African guests will automatically receive a Local Rate on bookings made directly through the hotel. Brilliant!
For more information and to book your stay now, visit the Vïb Cape Town website.
Review originally published on WomenStuff.co.za.