Historic Port Alfred Hotel Opens
Thursday, 20th August 2015
One of the Sunshine Coast’s best-known hotels, the Royal St. Andrews in Port Alfred, is reopening on the fourth of September after a R130 million makeover, as part of the Mantis Collection.
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, which 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, which feeds reverse osmosis water to the guest room cold taps, softened water into the hot taps, and municipal water into the toilet system.
Retired businessman Bekker, who decided to buy the almost derelict St. Andrews Lodge after spending a Christmas holidays 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, according to Wessel Benson, general manager of 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 Royal St. Andrews Hotel will be able to 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 would include other Mantis Collection properties in the area,” says Benson.
A modern 180-seat conference facility, which is the biggest in Port Alfred, will attract national conferences to the town with, a spin-off for other accommodation establishments and restaurants, he says.
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.
Article by Alan Straton. Photo: Royal St. Andrews owner Martin Bekker (left) with general manager Wessel Benson in front of a picture of the refurbished hotel.