Hotel Verde, a green oasis where you least expect it

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HOTEL VERDE, right by Cape Town International Airport, has been known for being the country’s greenest hotel and a pioneer of carbon-neutral accommodation and conferencing since it opened in 2013. It’s quite remarkable in many ways, and interestingly adjacent to a launch pad for fuel-guzzling aircraft, as if it can offset that in some way.

Embracing the trend for wellness, and wellness tourism, Hotel Verde recently launched its luxurious Verde Vita Spa and Wellness Centre, which offers a wide range of traditional and innovative treatments, including a state-of-the-art cabin which uses infrared light to detoxify and warm the body. All treatments are tailored to meet the individual needs of each guest.

I was invited to visit the new spa for a treatment followed by lunch, and I found myself pondering such deep thoughts as the juxtaposition of green and not very green at all. What I became quite aware of, is that there is no sound of planes taking off and landing. Once inside the property you could be anywhere but right next to a busy airport. I also considered who might visit the spa, and the obvious answer is hotel guests, although it is open to day visitors as well. These could be people who don’t live or work far away, or travellers with long layovers who feel like a bit of pampering in comfort rather than enduring the hideous seating that is ubiquitous all over the world, apparently deliberately designed to be as uncomfortable as possible. Business and first class passengers, you have your lounges; the rest of us must suffer.

Expanding on who might avail themselves of the spa services, Verde Vita provides a call-out service for businesses located within a three-kilometre radius of the spa. Corporate clients can call and reserve specific treatments with a Verde Vita therapist, who will travel to their location to provide the service. Additionally, the spa has implemented ways to reduce costs for local customers, including a loyalty card programme that offers discounts and complimentary treatments to frequent visitors. Furthermore, “Wellness Weekdays” will be introduced, which will offer a variety of special deals for pre-booked treatments during the week from 10am to 2pm.

Not all spas are created equal, and can consume a lot of energy while leaving a big ol’ carbon footprint. Verde Vita is leaning into the movement towards eco spas, and has been designed in keeping with the hotel’s unwavering commitment to sustainable living and eco-friendly principles. With access to the natural plant-filtered swimming pond as well as a jogging trail and outdoor gym surrounded by lush gardens, wetlands, and fynbos, guests will truly find themselves in an oasis within a hard, grey industrial area.

My treatment was a pedicure, a most luxurious one indeed, and a pleasurable experience. I thought about showing a pic of my post-pedi pretty toes but then I remembered there are a lot of weirdos on the internet (I’ve attracted a few of them with my slipper posts on Instagram, apparently a sub-fetish), and one can in fact sell one’s feet pics so why give it away for free? You will just have to take my word for it that I was extremely happy with the result.

Off I went for lunch and only much later did I think I should have stayed on-theme and ordered the Superfood Salad with roasted butternut, cacao nibs, poached pear, avocado (seasonal), grilled zucchini, baby spinach, soya spiced seeds and blueberry dressing, which I’m (now) sure would have been delicious. But instead I had a surf and turf vibe – a light meal – with steak, calamari and chips. With a zero-sugar Coke. There’s plenty to choose from, with pizzas and pastas, burgers and main meals. There was a large group who were having a buffet but that might have been just for them.

Next time I’m lucky enough to be jetting off somewhere, I’ll be sure to book myself into the spa before checking in.

For more information, click here.

About Hotel Verde:

This groundbreaking hotel has been awarded a six-star Green Star certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa and is the first in Africa, and the sixth globally, to attain LEED Platinum status (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for new construction. In addition, the hotel also received LEED Platinum certification for operations and maintenance, making it the first hotel in the world to achieve double Platinum certification.

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