South Africa is a country with an extremely diverse history, and some of its hotels date as far back as the 1600s. From South African war hospital sites, to elite clubs and Victorian architecture gems, here are our top ten historic hotels to stay in.
Set in the Drakensberg Mountain Range, a World Heritage Site, the Cathedral Peak Hotel opened on Christmas Day 1939 and was initially used as a recuperating site for troops during World War II.
Dullstroom is a quaint countryside town that comes alive over weekends, as locals and tourists flock there to take in the scenery and relax. The Dullstroom Inn opened in 1912 and is the oldest hotel in this quaint town. The hotel was the first hiding place of the first Sunday Times‘ “Finders Keepers” treasure hunt prize of one million Rand. The English pub in the hotel is, to this day, a popular meeting place for locals and visitors.
Graaff-Reinet has over 220 heritage sites, more than any other South African town, and showcases some of the best examples of Cape Dutch and Victorian architecture. Completed in 1806, The Drostdy Hotel was originally the residence of the local magistrate.
The Houw Hoek Hotel, previously known as the Houw Hoek Inn, is one of the oldest hotels in South Africa, and its history is traced back to 1779. The hotel was originally an overnight stop for travelers from Cape Town, until demand became extremely high and a proper inn was opened.
Founded in 1881 by Cecil John Rhodes, many historic decisions have been made at the club impacting the diamond industry, which flourished in this Northern Cape town. The club was a haven for wealthy governors, sovereigns, princes and princesses, however, residential accommodation was only later added to the club.
Steeped in a history dating back to 1692 and nestled in the foothills of the idyllic Jonkershoek Valley of Stellenbosch, the 325-year old Lanzerac Wine Estate is synonymous with old-world charm and rich Cape heritage.
In the 1800s, Cradock was a bustling town set in the ox wagon route, and was home to carpenters, harness makers and other handymen. The Victoria Manor, built in 1848, was claimed by British forces during the South African War and the cellar was used as a jail for Boer prisoners. The hotel was renovated in 1994 but still reflects its original Victorian magnificence.