Swanky Cape Town hotel welcomes dogs

Allison Foat and her pet pooch, Franky, check in to the Radisson RED

06 December 2017 - 10:25
Franky in his studio apartment suite at Radisson RED.
Image: Allison Foat Franky in his studio apartment suite at Radisson RED.

I couldn't resist the tweet. "We love animals," it said, "so much so that RED is a #PetFriendly hotel."

I could hardly believe my Twitter eyes, so I called them on it, scooped up Franky the Frenchie and checked into Radisson RED, the stylish new bastion of anti-beige in the swanky Silo District at the V&A Waterfront.

Stats show that pet travel is one of the fastest growing sectors of the global travel industry.

Ask around in Cape Town, though, and it quickly becomes evident that not everyone is keen on having beasties for sleepovers.

Finding an establishment that will accept a reservation that includes Fluffy is more challenging than finding a flea on a llama.

Fortunately, Radisson RED has gone for the glaring gap in the market and smartly upstaged the competition.

When Franky's little bulldog butt waddled into the rouge reception, Baxter the Boston came bounding across the floor; resident terrier, hotel mascot and the cutest canine concierge you'll ever meet.

 Allison Foat and her dog.
Image: Allison Foat Allison Foat and her dog.

After initial nose-to-derrière formalities were out the way, he retired to his studio apartment for a dog nap in a designer bed in a room with killer views across the dry dock, Signal Hill and Table Mountain.

All the comforts a mutt could wish for were laid out for him, from biltong and biscuit treats to toys and a dog menu for his mom to peruse from the OUIBar + KITCHN.

As curator Dale Simpson put it: "We are proud and excited to be pet-friendly and to meet all the furries and fluffies!"

Radisson RED is a statement in vibrant innovation. Architecturally, it considers the surrounding dockland's heritage and relates well to adjacent buildings.

The vibrant interior showcases the handiwork of top innovators such as Cameron Platter and Haldane Martin, and appeals to a target traveller demographic and in-crowd with an eye for sophistication.

Employees, called creatives, work the floor in black sweaters emblazoned with a red stag, and the porters wear kilts.

Size counts and doggy customers must weigh in at no more than 8kg. Dogs can't be left in their suites alone and when out for walkies they should be on a leash at all times.

• This article was originally published in The Times.