Top 10 Hotels in South Africa
As you may have seen from our recent mailer and social media posts, The Old Rectory was recently listed as the no. 8 hotel in South Africa in the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards 2023.
This accolade is incredibly meaningful to us – not only does it shine a spotlight on a property that has been a labour of love from the moment we laid eyes on its crumbling ruins a decade ago, but it validates the passion and dedication of our extremely hard-working team. As a small, family-owned and -operated business, the recognition of such a well-respected publication has the potential to be a real game changer and presents an exciting opportunity to take the hotel and brand experience to the next level.
New team members
We are delighted to introduce you to Bianca Snyman, our brand new GM! Bianca has lived all over the world, working in management and guest services positions in places as far afield as Thailand, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zanzibar and Switzerland. She has experience working in some of Africa’s most well-respected hospitality brands and is a passionate lover of the outdoors, couting scuba diving, water skiing, cycling and fishing among her favourite hobbies.
In addition to Bianca’s appointment, we also have a number of new faces in the front of house department, including PJ, Travis and Wisdom, our three new Duty Managers, and charming Kush who you will find manning the front desk and taking care of reception day to day.
One of the most thrilling recent developments at The Old Rectory is the installation of our supplementary solar power system, which came online at the beginning of October. Finding a solution to the problems posed by load shedding has been an extraordinary challenge for us and we are delighted to now be able to offer guests a much more seamless experience. The 80 new panels adorning the roof of our Garden and Pool-Facing Suites should lower the hotel’s consumption of electricity by 60–70%, dramatically reducing our reliance on the national grid and fossil fuels in general.
The food has always been an important part of an Old Rectory stay and, judging by recent reviews, our guests agree. In fact, Restaurant 1777 placed in the Top 50 of the best restaurants in South Africa in this year’s Dineplan Reviewers’ Awards, which were announced today. As part of a group-wide review of the culinary offering at our properties, Chef Dayne Bailey and his team are working on refining the food philosophy and menus even further, finding inspiration in the rich history of our heritage home as well as South Africa’s colourful cultural tapestry. Watch this space!
Plett the no. 1 whale watching destination in s.a.
Whale sightings in Plettenberg Bay have been off the charts recently, with daily reports of these vast marine mammals breaching, fluking and spyhopping in our warm blue stretch of the Indian Ocean. Whales are in fact so prolific here that last month Getaway magazine named Plett the number one whale-watching destination in the country!
This is in addition to the town being awarded Whale Heritage Site status by the World Cetacean Alliance. One of only three such sites in South Africa – the others being The Bluff and Algoa Bay – and only seven worldwide, this initiative aims to acknowledge destinations that collaborate to safeguard, respect and celebrate cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and their habitats.
new vintages of kay & monty wines
In case you haven’t visited yet, Kay & Monty Vineyards is our sister property in The Crags; about 20 minutes from the hotel and part of the Plett Wine Route. The farm produces four easy-drinking boutique wines – an ultra-crisp Cap Classique, a refreshing rosé, an SMG red blend and an aged sauvignon blanc. This year’s vintage of the Pretty Polly rosé has just hit the shelves, and will soon be followed by updated versions of the other three wines, all with beautiful new labels.
The charming tasting room and restaurant offer a relaxed location for long, unhurried lunches served family-style in a converted orchid greenhouse, which also transforms into an elegant wedding venue for celebrations both large and small. Kay & Monty is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 11am to 4pm and transfers can easily be arranged by the front desk – please chat to our Reservations or front of house team for more details.