Cape Town hotel turns a young 115
Last month, South Africa’s cherished and popular Vineyard Hotel & Spa celebrated her 115th year as a hotel concern. It was in February 1800 that the famous Scottish historian Lady Anne Barnard and her Irish husband Andrew, moved into their new Cape residence “The Vineyard” which comprised of in today’s standards a humble home set on a farm of 20,000 vines.
In 1894 a Scottish Banker – James Mitchell, acquired ‘The Vineyard’. He decided to convert the property into a hotel, and a formidable Irishwoman named Mrs. O’Sullivan was appointed to run it as ‘The Vineyard Hotel’. Rudyard Kipling came out to the Cape in 1898 and stayed at the Vineyard for a while. He loved the surroundings and described the hotel as “a quiet place surrounded by oaks under the shadow of Table Mountain.
He described Mrs O’Sullivan and her helpers: “The hotel is kept by three thoroughly acid female devils, one with a moustache and no figure, who have made things just as unpleasant all around for the guests as the twelve hours of daylight would let ’em, but in spite of it all, we all got on very well!”
The Anglo Boer War broke out in 1899, a bitter battle between the British and the Boers, but Cape Town was crowded and financially buoyant. During this time the Vineyard Hotel flourished, where every room and every inch of space was occupied.
The following years saw the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 and during this time The Vineyard kept its place as one of Cape Town’s best-loved hotels. In 1948, after the Second World War, Mr and Mrs Turkstra bought the hotel. The Turkstra’s will be remembered as the people who brought the hotel’s now famous fountain to The Vineyard.
The tradition of The Vineyard, its history, its romance and elegance has been revised and extended by the Petousis family who came to the hotel in 1980. The Petousis’ who had previously owned the Criterion Hotel in Johannesburg and in 1973 built the Townhouse Hotel in Cape Town saw the huge potential and redeveloped the Vineyard into what is today, one of the finest hotels in South Africa. Giving herself a generous birthday milestone reward, the re-branded Vineyard Hotel & Spa is currently being lavished with a R25 million new wing, which is set to open in December 2009. The 15-month project will see the addition of 31 new rooms, 2 paraplegic rooms and 1 suite as well as a multi-car underground parking area. The 34 new rooms increases the total room count to an impressive 209.
The Vineyard Hotel & Spa is a deluxe hotel with currently 175 rooms and suites, situated in 6 acres of attractive landscaped parkland, on the banks of the Liesbeek River, overlooking the forested slopes of Table Mountain. It has two restaurants, The Square Restaurant a great favourite for breakfast and dinner, as well as a popular sushi bar and the award-winning Myoga Restaurant run by well-known Chef Mike Bassett renowned for his contemporary fusion style cooking. It also boasts two heated swimming pools – one outdoors, surrounded by loungers, and one indoors.
The addition of an award winning Conference Centre, a Health & Fitness Centre and an outstanding international Angsana Spa contributes to its position as ‘The Perfect Setting’.
Sister properties are the new-look Townhouse Hotel & Conference Centre in the heart of Cape Town and the recently acquired and historic d’Ouwe Werf Hotel in Stellenbosch.
For more information & reservations, visit Vineyard Hotel or Contact us now.