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Historic Port Alfred hotel reopens after Makeover

Online since 2.11.2015 • Filed under Advertorial • From Issue 16 page(s) 50
Historic Port Alfred hotel reopens after Makeover

A welcome investment in the Eastern Cape brings an iconic hospitality brand to a seaside town.

In September, one of the Sunshine Coast’s bestknown hotels, the Royal St Andrews in Port Alfred, reopened as part of the Mantis Collection after a R130-million makeover. The investment by owner, Martin Bekker, has seen the historic 10-room lodge built in 1924 being transformed into a 60-room up-market hotel, conference centre and spa that blends tradition with modern design. It is one of the biggest investments in the Sunshine Coast tourism sector in the past decade. All 10 of the original ‘heritage’ rooms in the hotel have been upgraded, with a new wing housing an additional 50 rooms. Equipped with all modern amenities – including free hi-speed Wi-Fi – the hotel

is designed to make the modern connected teen, business person or leisure traveller feel at home. A first for the Sunshine Coast is the hotel’s water system that feeds reverse osmosis water to the guest room cold taps, softened water into the hot taps, and municipal water into the toilet system. Bekker, a retired businessman who decided to buy the almost derelict St Andrews Lodge after spending a Christmas holiday in Port Alfred, has retained the Highlander Pub – one of the best-known taverns on the Sunshine Coast. ‘Now with a combination of gastro-pub and traditional dishes, Highlander caters for the whole family,’ explains Wessel Benson, general manager at the St Andrews Hotel. The Thistle Restaurant has also been completely revamped and offers fine dining. Breakfasts are served in the new Paper Nautilus Deli. The Eastern Cape’s second Camelot Spa will also be opened in the hotel. The hotel is being marketed as part of the Mantis Collection, which will include The St Andrews Hotel in the group’s global marketing campaigns. The Mantis Collection is made up of privately owned upmarket properties located on all seven continents. Its specialist areas include boutique hotels, game reserves, eco lodges, ski lodges and chalets and boutique cruises. Guests of the Roya St Andrews Hotel will enjoy the ‘Mantis eXtreme’ Rhino Adventure with well-known conservationist, Dr Will Fowlds. ‘This will put Port Alfred on the global tourism map at the centre of a Sunshine Coast experience, which includes other Mantis Collection properties in the area,’ says Benson. ‘A modern 180-seat conference facility – the biggest in Port Alfred – will attract national conferences to the town with a spin-off for other accommodation establishments and restaurants,’ he adds. The hotel is working with the Royal Port Alfred Golf Course (the St Andrews Hotel is a short chip away) to promote golfing tourism to the area.

The St Andrews Hotel

Wessel Benson

T +27 46 624 4703



Issue 16

Issue 16

November 2015

This article was featured on page 50 of
To Build Magazine Issue 16.

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