We are delighted to announce that we have been accepted to join the prestigious portfolio of Historic Hotels Worldwide, the first inducted destination in South Africa! We are truly honoured to have been selected and look forward to getting to know and enjoying our new global family.
Historic Hotels Worldwide is an official programme of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (in USA) representing the finest global collection of historic hotels in more than 30 countries. The focus is to promote heritage and cultural travel to prestigious historic treasures. Hotels inducted are authentic historic treasures that demonstrate historic preservation and celebrate historic significance. Embracing luxury hotel brands, chains, collections, and the finest independent historic hotels, participation is limited to distinctive historic hotels that adhere to the following criteria:
- The hotel building’s age is a minimum of 75 years or older.
- It is historically relevant as a significant location with a historic district, historically significant landmark, place of a historic event, former home of a famous person, or historic city centre.
- The hotel celebrates its history by showcasing memorabilia, artwork, photography, and other examples of its historic significance.
- The hotel is recognised by national preservation or a heritage building organisation.
- The hotel is located within a UNESCO World Heritage Site OR presently used as a historic hotel.
The Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa certainly meets the above criteria, boasting a fascinating history spanning three centuries. Below a condensed timeline of ownership, construction and renovations:
- Willem Adriaan van der Stel succeeded his father Simon as Governor of the Cape and acquired 413 morgen of land in the Hottentots Holland valley. He called the farm ‘Vergelegen’. The giant camphor trees in the Vergelegen and Erinvale gardens and many oaks he imported are still in the area nearly 300 years later.
- 1707: Van der Stel’s virtual control over food supply did not endear him to the free burgers. A petition was brought against him for misconduct and corrupt practices. As a result, he was recalled to Holland, his estate confiscated and sold by auction. The area northwest of the river was bought by Jacobus van der Heiden and later divided into three portions: one of which is mostly Lourensford, the second became Vrede-en-Hoop and Oakwood (now part of Lourensford) and the third portion is now called Erinvale. The nucleus of the latter area was initially called ‘Welgelegen’ and ownership passed through many Cape families.
- 1817: The original homestead is believed to have been built by Helena Munnik.
- 1868: Edward Strangman, an Irishman, bought the property and changed the name in memory of his home country to ‘Erin Vale’ (Irish Valley). Edward’s son, Frederick, passed the farm on to his two daughters Doreen and Kathleen in 1942.
- 1951: The old home was demolished by Doreen and Kathleen Strangman, after a fire. The existing Manor House was rebuilt on part of the foundations of the original homestead. The only part now identifiable is the original chimney of the old kitchen. The L-shaped thatched rooms were constructed within the footprint of the original stables and the Georgian-style block was built within the footprint of the original stable barn. Our smaller conference centre used to be the old tractor shed. Our main conference centre was the old pigsty. These original structures are over 300 years old and contribute to the historical claim of the property.
- 1989: David Gant bought the farm and the Erin Vale farmhouse was sold to Peter Baragwanath.
- 1990: Municipal permission was granted for the development of the golf estate.
- 1994: The Erinvale Estate Hotel was established in November 1994.
We are extremely excited to depart on what we’re confident will be a beautiful and mutually rewarding journey with Historic Hotels Worldwide, proudly preserving and celebrating the collective heritage of magnificent establishments in diverse locations all across the globe.