BY Wesley Diphoko 4 MINUTE READ

South African townships were not designed for better living and quality of life. When Annette and Bulelani Skaap launched their hotel on the 4th of December 2021 in the middle of Khayelitsha they began a process that may turn around South African townships. The owners of “The Spade Boutique Hotel and Spa” have challenged the architects of townships by building a 4 star rated hotel where no one expected luxury and good life. They have done so by creating a classy building with luxury furniture filled with comfort and all things beauty. The boutique-style hotel features luxurious en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, unlimited WIFI, complimentary tea/coffee making facilities, remote control Smart TV,hairdryer, safe, and a mini bar fully stocked with beverages, MNet and DSTV. Guests have the added advantage of enjoying room service, an in-house Gym, a Spa, a heated outdoor swimming pool, restaurant and bar, and business services facilities as well as complimentary shuttle services.

In a country that is experiencing power challenges with frequent power cuts, this hotel has a built-in power generator that keeps the lights on all the time.

Annette who was once in the aviation industry for 10 years was inspired by her travels around the world and asked herself “why can’t we have the same lifestyle at home?”. She believes that “The Spade Boutique Hotel” concept can be replicated across the country to bring people into townships.

She also believes that by building such hotels in townships one can improve local economies. This is what The Spade Hotel has done for Khayelitsha. 90% of items in the hotel were designed by the community of Khayelitsha particularly the youth.

Local designers and artists created the artwork, sculptures, and furniture within the hotel. Local communities have been beneficiaries and will continue to benefit as the hotel continues to operate in the community.

While working with local communities the hotel has not compromised on quality. Sonia Bell from the Tourism Grading Council pointed out during a launch event that they have worked with “The Spade” team to create a world-class hotel deserving of a 4-star rating.

A fitting venture and partnership between Annette and her husband, businessman Bulelani Skaap, popularly known as Ace. He has pioneered the lifestyle and entertainment industry locally. In 2007, Ace opened what would eventually become a premium double-story lounge, starting with just one house. . They have built establishments: Kwa -Ace Lounge, Kwa – Ace Kitchen and Kwa – Ace eParkin based in Khayelitsha.

The couple views the hotel as just another environment that brings leisure to the township economy sector. Soon, the hotel will be available for bookings online via: and other booking platforms. The hotel is 24 km away from the Cape Town International Airport, 35km away from the Cape Town City Bowl, 25 km away from the Cape Winelands, 25km away from Muizenberg Beach, 34 km from Table Mountain, and 36 km away from the V&A Waterfront.

If the Xiniwe’s, who built the first black-owned hotel, were alive today, they would be proud of Annete and her husband for taking the baton in the hospitality sector.