Hermanus had thirteen Hotels in the golden and olden days.
- Author: Jeanette du Toit
- Saturday, 31 December 2016
Related CategoryPlaces of Interest
List of the Hotels and their locations in and around Hermanus, South Africa. Quite amazing that Hermanus hosted so many hotels when it was just a little fishing village. One of the reasons could perhaps have been just that — the tranquillity of the place that people flocked to and the abundance of fish in the bay.
Victoria Hotel was first the home of Walter McFarlane before he changed it into a double story to be used as a hotel in 1892. Thus this is the first Hotel ina small fisherman's Village known as Hermanus Pietersfontein. It burnt down in 1954 and was rebuilt again and was renamed the Astoria Hotel. Nowadays you will know it as the Astoria Village shopping centre.
Windsor Hotel In 1986, Dr Joshua Jacobus Hoffman and Willem Hendrik Hoffman acquired a seafront plot from a lawyer by the name of William Kleyn, and built the Sanatorium. . The idea of a sanatorium was for “de bevordering van God’s Koninkryk” (the advancement of God’s Kingdom) where missionsaries and preachers could come and rest. David Allengensky, who also owned the Royal Hotel, bought it in 1931 and changed it to the Windsor Hotel after a trip on the Windsor Castle. Alex Luyt bought it in 1940, who in turn, sold it to Bill Record, after whose death it was sold to the brothers Humberto and Telentino Cordosa from Ceres. Basil Clarke-Brown bought it in 1981 and in 1996, Basil sold it to his son, Garth. Read the Full story here
The Marine Hotel also known as the "Grand Old Lady" in Hermanus was built by Walter McFarlane and Valentine Beyers in 1902. They were also joint owners of the Victoria Hotel. However, the relationship came to an end, after which McFarlane became the sole owner of the Victoria Hotel and Beyers of the Marine. Valentine Beyers invited his son-in-law, John Luyt to come and settle in Hermanus to manage the Marine Hotel. John later leased the hotel from his father-in-law and eventually bought from him for £5 000.00 in exchange for free lodging for the rest of his life. Him and his wife, Dollie, had a son and 3 daughters. After Dollie died in 1914, he married Joey van Rhyn a year later. The Marine was further extended in 1918 and in 1920 electrician, Swannie Swanepoel install the hotel’s own electricity plant. John Luyt was also responsible for the Royal Highness Prince Arthur of Connaught’s visit to Hermanus in 1923 to open the new golf course. The following year the Earl of Athlone was also invited by the Luyts. Another wing was added to the hotel in 1930. John Luyt died of cancer in 1940 at the age of 63. Joey sold the hotel in 1947 to Continental Hotels, followed by a Mr Hinder in 1968. In 1980, the hotelier David Rawdon bought the Marine. After 4 years of extensive renovations, it opened again in 1985. David also owned the Lord Milner Hotel in Matjiesfontein. In 1997 he sold it to Liz McGrath, owner of the Cellars-Hohenort in Constantia and the Plettenberg Hotel. Once again, the Marine was to undergo a complete make-over, and in 1998 it opened as a 5-star hotel. Read the Full Story Here
Esplanade Hotel (originally Stemmet’s Private Hotel, built in 1933). The hotel was later converted into the Esplanade Holiday Apartments on Marine Drive.
Birkenhead Hotel. A licence for a new hotel above Voëlklip beach was granted to J R de Jongh Luyt in 1951. This property was bought by Mr Henry Luyt from Mr A van Blommestein. He formed a company consisting of his family only before his death. J R de Jongh Luyt represented the family. Mr Henry Luyt obtained the property with the express purpose of erecting a hotel there. The hotel was run by Henry’s sons, John, Cedric, Henry (jnr) and their mother, Mrs Nettie Luyt. The hotel was officially opened 24 October 1952 - a fire occurred in one section only; it was rebuilt , but soon after totally demolished. It stood above the Voëlklip rock. Today the Birkenhead House, a boutique hotel, is on that premises. (Source: Hermanus News, 19 November 1955)
Central Hotel – was next to the Royal Hotel and was owned by Manie Boltman. He sold it to Mrs Goodman, who renamed it Regent Palace. It was later bought by Mr Ivor Nillson. On 30 March 1953 it burnt down. According to Mr Nillson, the damage was estimated at £50 000. It was gutted by fire in 1953. Sea Breeze Motors was built there in later years. Nowadays Steers, part of the Fashion Square occupy the premises.
The Royal Hotel, was built and owned by David & Minnie Allengensky around1900. There were several owners over the years: the Silkes, Abrahams and others - it was gutted by fire in 1981. Today it's known as the Royal Centre with Kentucky Fried Chicken and the adjacent parking lot occupy those premises.
Bay View Hotel - was originally the Roskeen Boarding School built in 1897 and run by the Morton family. After the death of Christina Morton, her husband, William, sold it to Thomas Vincent who in turn sold to Walter McFarlane in 1921. He enlarged Roskeen Boarding School and the Bayview Hotel began its distinguished career. Walter’s son, John, inherited it when Walter died in 1924. John only kept the Bay View for two years and sold to Bennet & Ashley in 1926. Son-in-law of Ashley, Basil Musson, managed the hotel. In 1936 it was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt during WWII and reopened in 1941. Basil Musson’s son Peter Musson took over in 1950 and ran it for 35 years. It was sold and demolished in 1985 when the Bay View Flats were built on the site.
Riviera Hotel – built by the Pooles in 1904, it was added to in 1917. John Luyt bought it in 1908. It was destroyed by fire in 1949 and rebuilt in 1952. Henry Luyt managed the Riviera Hotel until 1934. Once it was run as one of the first timeshare establishments in South Africa. It was demolished recently for redevelopment. The Riviera stood close to Riviera Beach, now known as Grotto Beach.
Seahurst Hotel (originally Goeie Hoop Losieshuis), than called theSea Hurst Boarding House, which later to become a Seahurst Hotel. It belonged to Girlie Allen and was gutted by fire in 1956. It became a block of apartments, known as 45 Marine drive, and today it's a self-catering tourism establishment owned by Basil Clark brown and manage by the Windsor Hotel.
Ocean View Hotel - It was originally a 7-bedroomed house built in 1919 for Mr and Mrs William McFarlane who had 10 children. At the time, it was one of the few houses on the seafront overlooking Castle Rock. Later it became a 50-bedroomed private hotel. Mr McFarlane who owned the whole block extending to the Main Street let the building to a Mr Sandiford, but took it back again after he left in 1928 and and turned it into a private residential hotel with 52 bedrooms. McFarlane’s son-in-law, Jack Esterhuizen, took the hotel over in 1942 and ran it for a year. It was demolished in 1970 - the Sea Village on the corner of Marine Drive and St Peter’s Lane was built there.
Cliff Lodge Hotel - burned down in 1942, soon after it was built in 1939. It was replaced by a residential home, situated on West Cliff Road near the cliff path.
Voëlklip House – a private hotel and boarding house which was turned into holiday flats under sectional-title. It is situated in Tenth Street, Voëlklip. It was owned by Johnnie Ham.
Photo's Courtessy of the Old Harbour Mueuem
- Old Habour Museum in Hermanus
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- Du Toit, SJ: Stanford Stories II, 2000
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- Tredgold, Aderne: Village of the sea, 1965