Gail Behr: Baroness of the Bo-Kaap


Gail Behr: Baroness of the Bo-Kaap

Dear Reader, meet Baroness Gail Behr, artist, hotelier and creator of Cape Town’s hottest new hotel, Dorp...

"It’s not a hotel, nor a house, nor a pub. It is, instead, a kind of oddballs club.”

Baroness Gail Behr is reading me a poem she wrote recently about the hotel she built from scratch high on the slopes of Signal Hill, above the old Malay Quarter. She intends putting the poem on her website so that guests know what they’re coming to.

“You’ll know if you fit the moment you arrive. And if you don’t, simply reverse down the drive,” she continues with her poem, as a Chopin piano piece plays in the background. We are sitting in the airy plant- and antique-filled parlour of the Dorp hotel. In the background is the splutter of a coffee machine coming from the hotel’s bistro, christened Café Covid by Behr.

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Submitted by : Drummer on 2020-12-12 11:04:46
Pity you didn’t mention the controversy at the time of the development being approved. Very well written, but suspiciously sanitized. Not what I would expect. Behr is a controversial figure, to put it mildly. Vito and her make good bedfellows. This comes across as very much a puff piece. Not good. I am surprised and disappointed.

Editor's Note
We rely on critical readers like you to keep us informed and on our toes. In our profiles we generally allow our subjects to speak for themselves. And Gail Behr clearly does not lay claim to saintliness. But now that you raise the subject, subscribers might like to search our online archive for several references to Vito Palazzolo. Amongst them the following in our editorial in August 2006:
A "MAN OF HONOUR"
An Italian high court has found Sicilian-born South African citizen Vito Palazzolo guilty of "Mafia Association" and sentenced him to nine years' imprisonment. Particularly worth noting is that the Mafia association in question occurred in the time he has been resident in South Africa. But then, we told you so … how many years ago? We forget.
Anyway, now you know: apart from being adept at brokering arms deals and managing the offshore financial interests of less-reputable businessmen and influential politicians, he’s definitely a Man of Honour. All of which probably explains why our government is so reluctant to challenge his fraudulently obtained South African citizenship.
– The Editor

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