2 Western Cape Houw Hoek Ho­tel


South African Country Life - - Country Escapes - – Ann Gadd 028 284 9646, reser­va­tions@houhoekho­tel.com

When you step into the foyer of the three-star Houw Hoek Ho­tel, you’re step­ping into the old­est li­censed ho­tel and first coach inn in South Africa. It was the orig­i­nal farm­house in 1779, be­fore the farmer con­verted it into an inn. The ho­tel re­ceived its liquor li­cence in 1834 and the sec­ond floor was added in 1861. (Lady Anne Barnard of­ten stayed here). It was the site of the orig­i­nal Dutch East In­dia Com­pany’s toll gate, and this was a com­mon stopover for ox wag­ons, mail-coaches and horse-carts. There are three the­o­ries re­gard­ing the name of the Houw Hoek Pass, but most pop­u­lar is that the oxen had to ‘hou' (hold) as they de­scended the steep moun­tain. The ho­tel is a pop­u­lar wed­ding and con­fer­ence venue, but its also a great fam­ily venue, with sprawl­ing lawns and a chil­dren’s’ play area. I came here a cou­ple of times as a child, many years later bring­ing my chil­dren with me for a city break. Not much has changed – even the pop­u­lar din­ner/dance on a Satur­day night re­mains. There’s also a squash and ten­nis court, Putt-Putt course, quaint pub and an à la carte restau­rant serv­ing no non­sense piz­zas and burg­ers etc. Hik­ers and moun­tain bik­ers will en­joy the Ko­gel­berg Bio­sphere Na­ture Re­serve. There are also plans to add a Ginkgo Spa. Sip tea on the ve­randa and imag­ine the many his­tor­i­cal per­son­al­i­ties who have en­joyed the same ex­pe­ri­ence.

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