Five of South Africa's most historic hotels
South Africa has an unusual history and with an unusual history comes unusual places to stay with their own story to tell. Many hotels in and around the main cities have great historical importance for the heritage of the country, some dating back a hundred years or more.
This history often attracts many visitors. In their own unique way, these establishments serve as museums for the various areas in which they are located.
The Historic Pig and Whistle, Bathurst
This old establishment opened its doors around 1832 and is also the location for the oldest licensed pub in South Africa. Bathurst is a well-positioned location as it’s not far from other bigger towns in the area such as Port Alfred and Grahamstown. The hotel has also been declared a national monument and its pub occasionally hosts live music and a warm fire for those cold Eastern Cape nights.
The Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town
This beautifully kept building is widely considered to be ‘the grand dame’ of South African accommodation facilities.The Mount Nelson Hotel opened its doors in 1899 and since that day has been the location for ‘moguls and magnates, princes and politicians’. This prime area makes it the ideal location for executive tourists throughout the year.
The George Hotel, Eshowe
This is a great place to base yourself when you want to experience everything related to Zululand, this hotel has a history which dates back as far as the 1920’s and was built shortly after the land was acquired in 1896.The hotel first opened its doors in 1906 and has witnessed through many eras of South Africa history. Today it also features an art gallery, live music venue and a craft brewery. It’s situated extremely close to the iconic Dlinza Forest, another aspect which makes the area famous and is also close to many historical battlefields and museums in the area. You can book a vehicle with car hire George, any day of the week and enjoy your stay in this small town.
Drostdy Hotel, Graaff-Reinet
Graaff-Reinet has more than 220 heritage sites – no other South African town matches this. The Drostdy Hotel is a prime place to experience these amazing sites which include The Owl House Museum in neighboring Nieu Bethesda. The town was established in 1786 and is South Africa’s fourth-oldest magisterial district. Other activities in the area include hiking, bird watching, the superb church modelled on Salisbury Cathedral in England and able to accommodate 1,500 people and the unmissable Valley of Desolation.
The Dullstroom Inn, Mpumalanga
It’s not clear when The Dullstroom Inn first opened its doors but, it’s widely considered to be around the year 1912. It’s also not 100% clear when they first lit their cozy fire but, it’s believed to have been burning for over 33 years now, making that a historically significant occurrence in itself. They were also a part of the popular 90’s South African treasure hunt game, Finders Keepers, where an amount of R1 million was hidden at The Dullstroom Inn. It’s easily accessible from Johannesburg, making it a great destination to escape the city for the weekend.