Hermanus Hotels

Windsor Lodge Hotel formerly The Sanatorium


The Hoffmans who had the Sanatorium came from a strangely eccentric family.  Their father farmed at Speelmansrivier, Caledon.   Around 1875 the Hoffman family made a pact to leave all their possessions to the church until the end of the world.  It included the father Dirk Wouter, his wife, a sister and the nine children.  Together the family who was described as reclusive and religiously fervent also decided that none of the children would marry and that they would all be buried in a  sealed mausoleum on the farm to share their final resting place.

One of the sons, Sebastian SB Hoffman broke the pact, moving to the Transvaal to marry.  Until 2000 his grandson Pieter leased the former family farm  from the NG Sendingkerk, which inherited the estate.

Dr Josua Hoffman, the second youngest son also married.  His bride was Maria Smuts, sister of General Smuts.  They had no children.  In 1896 Dr Joshua and his brother Willem built the Sanatorium on Marine Drive.

The health-giving qualities of Hermanus are fully recognised by the medical fraternity who have always recommended patients requiring health-recuperating holidays to stay in Hermanus.   Not only patients who came for the healthy air visited the Sanatorium, but Dr Joshua also encouraged dominees and missionaries to come for a rest.  The well-known Dr Andrew Murray once stayed there for a time of rest.  Some of the local teachers also made it their home.

Both Dr Joshua and his wife Maria died in 1923 and were laid to rest in the family vault on the farm.  The next owners were Parker & Kruger (1919), Margaretha Steyn (1920), followed by David Allengensky (1931) – one of these probably changed the name to Windsor Hotel and made improvements.  Alex Luyt bought it in 1940.

In 1958 Bill Record bought the Windsor and he decided to get the support of the local community when other hotels closed their doors during the quiet season.  There were few restaurants then and the Windsor became the place to dine out.  AA Rand for a rump was Bill’s eye-catching advert in the Hermanus news – and that rump steak was delicious.   Basil Clark-Brown became owner in 1980’s and much later his son Garth Clark-Brown when the establishment became the Windsor Lodge Hotel.

Information and copyright:  S.J. du Toit                  Photos: Old Harbour Museum and Windsor Hotel

The Windsor Hotel today (2010)

Categories: Hermanus, Hermanus Historical, Hermanus Hotels | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Marine Hotel – The Grand Old Lady

The Marine Hotel

In 1902 Beyers and McFarlane, who were brothers-in-law, bought land from Willem HT Hoffman and built the Marine Hotel.  It was a much grander affair than their first hotel, the Victoria, although they still had no electricity or running water in the rooms.   Many visitors came from Cape Town, overcoming the hardship of a three day ox-wagon ride.  In 1915  the partnership between these  two men ended and Valentine Beyers kept the Marine while McFarlane took the Victoria.

Soon after this new arrangement Pieter John Luyt,  son-in-law of Valentine Beyers came to manage the hotel and when Beyers died, John became owner of the hotel, which he extended, enlarging the kitchen and added more rooms and bathrooms.

During the 1920s the Marine with its ballroom became extremely popular and many wealthy and famous people stayed there for  holidays. Among them was Sir William Hoy who stayed at the hotel annually for many years.    Princess Alice  visited in 1923.

After John Luyt’s untimely death in 1940, the hotel was still run by the Luyt family.  Joey Luyt  and her daughters, with the help of Miss Hodgkin kept the Luyt tradition going and the Marine fame as high as before.  When the hotel was eventually sold in 1947 to Continental Hotels with Mr Colbeck as manager, the Luyt era of more than three decades, ended.

In 1968 the hotel became known as Hinder’s Marine, when Mr Hinder of the Arthur Seat Hotel in Sea Point owned it.  He developed the San Marino  on the adjacent plot.  It had extra bedrooms, a ballroom and  casino.   The manager at the time was Hans Mäjlman.

David Rawdon bought the Marine in the early 1980’s.  He closed the hotel for four years while renovations were carried out.  It was only in 1985 that the hotel was opened once more and over the following thirteen years the old hotel regained its former fame and glory.

Shortly before the end of the nineties, David sold to Liz McGrath of the renowned Cellars-Hohenort and The Plettenberg.  More  restoration followed and it opened with style and elegance as a five-star hotel.

The grand old lady are preparing for her first centenary celebrations with dignity  as a world class hotel.

Information and copyright:  S.J. du Toit                  Photos: Old Harbour Museum and Marine Hotel

Categories: Hermanus, Hermanus Historical, Hermanus Hotels | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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