Spring has brought nothing but rain and snow over the last few months, however, with that comes the opportunity to travel inland to experience entirely different landscapes and meet new people. Which is exactly what we did after taking the opportunity to travel out to a charming boutique hotel in the outskirts of Swellendam known as Rotterdam Boutique Hotel.
Rotterdam Boutique Hotel forms part of a collection of private accommodations under tourism outfit Oena Escapes, a company that manages and markets luxury accommodation experiences in the Western Cape.
Rotterdam dates back to 1794 and boasts with a rich history and heritage like no other. Famous for being the home of the late Grand Prix racer Mr Ian Fraser Jones and still owned by the family today. The farm shares its rich heritage by offering Boutique accommodation in two of its historical buildings namely, De Wagenhuis and Fraser Jones. The perfect choice for your destination wedding, honeymoon, bachelorette party, family holiday, business retreat, or simply a well-deserved break from it all to recharge and do absolutely nothing and simply soak up the view. The Hotel is managed by OENA Escapes. – Rotterdam Boutique Hotel
The hotel sits on an impressive expanse of land historically known for its rich farming capabilities and has two main accommodations, De Wagenhuis and Fraser Jones. Upon our arrival, we checked in and were taken on a tour of the premises and property in which we learnt of De Wagenhuis’ seven luxury rooms, three of which were situated on the second floor with gorgeous en-suite bathrooms and a private rooftop lounge overlooking the giant mountains and rolling green fields. In comparison, the Fraser Jones property houses twelve spacious en-suite rooms suitable for couples. All the rooms are equipped with the finest Egyptian cotton and soft towels freshly replenished for your daily comfort.
Now that you are clued in on the technicalities of our trip, it’s time to discuss my experience as a person of colour as it seemed to be a popular question with quite a lot of you who lived this trip vicariously through my Instagram feed.
The owners were very warm and welcoming, adorning bright smiles and providing us with an engaging, vivid background into the history of Swellendam and the Rotterdam Boutique Hotel’s origins. I personally think he would have made for an amazing history teacher! The groundskeeper, who happened to be on landscaping duty on the day of arrival, also made us feel comfortable and the overall atmosphere was that of a quiet hubbub in which everyone got on with their assigned tasks. It really was beautiful!
What we initially believed to be a room assigned to us turned out to be an entire house fit for two as our guesthouse boasted a spacious kitchen with a sizeable dining table, a large lounging area fit for a family and a dining room-cum-hallway which held a smaller dinner table. The room is fitted with furniture and features made from wood of the finest quality and I was pleased to make note of several recycled and refurbished wagon wheels reworked to become rustic chandeliers hanging from a high ceiling – this just added to the charismatic ambiance of the house. The bedroom has an en-suite bathroom containing a well-equipped shower and toilet with everything you could possibly need at a self-catering accommodation.
I am pleased to share that you can fully embrace the heat of spring or summer lounging by a big pool and, yes, I will absolutely be returning to enjoy my slice of summertime sunshine! If you are a person who enjoys large annual gatherings or you’re seeking something cosy and comfortable for your wedding day, this hotel is everything you need and more.
At this point you are probably wondering what cons might leave you looking at the accommodation sideways and, honestly, there is not much I can warn you about except the following:
Considering that we were visiting off the backend of August and the beginning of September, the weather was still chilly (clearly reflected by the scenic snowcapped mountains yonder in the distance). We expected to find a heater mounted to a wall in each room or at least some kind of traditional central heating system in the form of a fireplace, however, that was not the case. This resulted in cold, goosebump-raising stay leading me to feel that the hotel is best suited for summer or spring stays as the cool concrete floors will be great for tempering the brutal summer sun in the Western Cape.
The hotel also has a restaurant, however, due to the pandemic and adjusting to the newly implemented regulations, it was closed. It will be reopening soon though, so no worries if you plan on visiting later into the summer! In our case, we had no choice but to self-cater and, boy, was this a mission as our ineptitude clearly shone through as we soon realised we neglected to purchase cooking basics like salt and oil.
Aside from the above, it was a top-of-range experience! There is ample space suitable for kids to run around and I’m certain they’ll appreciate the energetic, gregarious-natured family dogs. One incredible fact about this accommodation – you will be expected to part with between R409 to R1090 for an en-suite room per night depending on what you are booking. That, lovely people of this here app, is a bargain as you know we are all about penny pinching and concealing coins!
Shoutout to Hot Oven Marketing for making this possible!