Planet - Cape Town's first champagne and cocktail bar

Wednesday, 28 January, 2004
Gregor Farmer
The Mount Nelson Hotel
February 2004 - Cape Town's legendary Mount Nelson Hotel has recently created a stylish and contemporary new bar called Planet where fashionable Capetonians and international visitors can gather to sip champagne and exotic cocktails under a twinkling fibre optic Milky Way, the fascinating ‘orrery’ or al fresco beneath the African night sky. The reception and lounge areas of this much loved hotel have also been completely renovated.

The design of Planet is a tasteful amalgam of old and new, with a mix of mink and taupe-coloured velvets, satins and pearlised leather. The décor is inspired by the many chapters of the Mount Nelson's history - as a port of call for ocean liners in the 1950s, as a sister property to the Hotel Cipriani in Venice and as a fashionable social venue for over a century. Custom-made 1940s-style Murano glass wall sconces and a dramatic, underlit onyx bar are complemented by a mink coloured leather banquette surrounded by 1950s-style Union Castle shipping line chairs. The fascinating centrepiece is an orrery - a large mobile hanging from the ceiling and showing the relative positions and motions of the planets in the solar system.

Another of Planet's ceilings features an impressive fibre-optic light system representing the Milky Way and stars of the Southern Hemisphere. Planet opens out onto one of the Mount Nelson's magnificent garden terraces, allowing guests to take full advantage of the beautiful African night sky.

Planet is Cape Town's first champagne bar selling an excellent selection of local and international wines and champagnes by the glass, and is well placed at the heart of a region renown for its award-winning wines. Additionally, the quality and variety of South African sparkling wines (methode cap classique) has improved dramatically in recent years and they now compete very successfully in the international arena. Planet offers a full-service bar and cocktail menu, with a wide selection of Champagnes and wines available by the glass and an assortment of delicious light snacks.

In the same refurbishment project, the lobby of the Mount Nelson has been given a decidedly more contemporary feel, using modern alabaster lighting, Hungarian style parquet flooring in panga-panga zebra stripes, brass-bound palm stands and rich, tobacco-coloured damask curtains.

The lounge at the Mount Nelson is legendary as the venue for the continent's most elegant afternoon tea and this area has also been revitalized. Unlined taffeta curtains diffuse Cape Town's brilliant sun, bathing the lounge in welcoming natural light. The sofas and wing-backed chairs have been reupholstered in rich fabrics of warm creams, taupes and duck egg blue. The wall panels have been picked out in eight shades of white, while dramatic ceiling cornices have been highlighted with silver leaf and the oak floor has been re-laid.

The Mount Nelson is consistently acknowledged among the best hotels in Africa and has been synonymous with Cape hospitality since 1899. Crowned heads of state, dignitaries and other notables have selected it as their place of residence while visiting Cape Town, ensuring privacy, comfort, attentive service and sumptuous cuisine. Recent guests include Samuel L Jackson, U2, Jay K (Jamiroquai), Lenny Kravitz, Jean-Paul Gautier, Wesley Snipes, Alicia Keys, Tiger Woods and Janet Jackson.

Mount Nelson Hotel and Orient-Express Safaris
Contact: Gabrielle Palmer, Public Relations Manager
Tel: +27 21 483-1928
Tel: +27 (0) 21 483-1000

Issued by: Gregor Farmer