Located on the popular Atlantic Seaboard, the Ritz Hotel Cape Town was to re-open amid much fanfare following massive renovations undertaken by businessman Nicky van de Walt in 2018.
The hotel opening never happened.
After a soft launch with media, the Cape Town High Court ruled van de Walt’s management company had displayed “chutzpah of the first order” by occupying the Sea Point hotel since March 2017 without paying a cent to Ritz Plaza‚ which owned the property.
They were then ordered to vacate the landmark building.
Some shots of the room, pool and restaurant renovations that Nicky van der Walt's management company did. The hotel's interior would still look like this as it has not been touched since. pic.twitter.com/4YsjaGynfo— Ash Müller (@askashbroker) November 24, 2023
Those familiar with The Ritz will know the hotel was known for its innovative design, including its revolving restaurant, giving patrons a 360 degree view of the city.
Recently, property broker Ash Müller shared some interesting details on the hotel with her 45K followers.
This is an image of what The Ritz originally looked like before it was converted into a 23-storey hotel pic.twitter.com/MK7P77KLaR— Ash Müller (@askashbroker) November 24, 2023
“The bathrooms and bedrooms were all pre-built off-site and dropped in one by one from the top of the hotel,” explained Müller.
The hotel which was owned by Barney Hurwitz, saw many celebrity guests check in. Late president Nelson Mandela stayed at The Ritz after his release from the Victor Verster Prison.
During the hotel’s heyday, it ran on 80% occupancy, and even had a “weekend stay special where hotel guests would pay R19,50 for the entire weekend.”
Some old school shots of The Ritz hotel in its heyday. pic.twitter.com/Da5s1jR9do— Ash Müller (@askashbroker) November 24, 2023
“For many years, this hotel was infamous for the amount of suicides that took place in the building,” added Müller.
“Sadly there are records of some guests who jumped out of hotel bathroom windows and fell 21 stories down to their deaths.”
She also made reference to an axe murder had taken place in room 1803, dominating national headlines for several days.
A massive refurbishment and extension of The Ritz was proposed in 2020. The retail component was going to be demolished and transformed. The project never went through. See renders below. pic.twitter.com/ruq4t09nrZ— Ash Müller (@askashbroker) November 24, 2023
Unfortunately after the van de Walt dispute, the building remains unoccupied. The hotel remained closed since July 2018.