Diving into a little history in South Africa, taking a walk through Ellerman House is like stepping into the beautiful mansions of the Cap d’ Antibes on the Mediterranean coastline of France. The South African version of this fine hotel has to be Ellerman House perched on the hillside of Bantry Bay overlooking the mighty Atlantic Ocean. The hotel takes centre stage as a Relais & Chateaux property steeped in history and reflecting all that is typically South African. This seaside hotel conjures up thoughts of the cool blue Mediterranean Sea, lush gardens, fine foods, wine and martinis!
Once the home of Sir John and Lady Ellerman, distinguished shipping magnates and investors, Ellerman House, has become a one of a kind hotel, attracting the likes of A-List celebrities and guests from around the world. The brainchild of Paul Harris, bought in 1988, the home was converted into a hotel in 1992 and today remains privately run by Harris.
But Ellerman House is much more than a hotel. It’s more like the home you’ve always dreamed of owning. It’s elegant, but laid back. You’re free at any time to help yourself to the kitchen pantry and a delicious selection of tasty treats. There are no set meal times, no dress code and none of the other set features you’d expect at a luxurious hotel.
“Food, art and wine are the inspiration behind our hotel,” says Chef Veronica Canha-Hibbert. Using only the freshest local ingredients and organic fruits and vegetables, the hotel focuses on delighting guests with their vibrant recipes. Menus are changed daily and food is based on modern European-style dishes.
The house as you will discover is all about art. Art is reflected not only in the paintings that adorn the walls but also in the creation of food dishes and more recently in their wine cellar that has been reconstructed into a magnificent gallery.
The Ellerman Gallery is located in an underground alcove beneath the pool. Works by William Kentridge and Irma Stern are just some of the legendary South African artists whose work can be found here. The collection ranges from the mid-nineteenth century to present and tells stories of the great social and cultural changes of the land and the historic South African experience.
There’s a spa (for true relaxation) a gym, a library and bar. We could also simply sit for hours mesmerised by the changing colours of the sea. The outside living space is reminiscent of a country club with beautifully manicured lawns, soft and comfortable chairs and a sparkling blue pool.
The hotel has eleven rooms, two suites and a private villa. Of the eleven rooms, ten have sea-facing views. A highlight is the view of the calm Atlantic where, if you are fortunate, you may even catch sight of whales and dolphins as they move along the coast… The arrangements of orchids and South Africa’s national flower, the protea, are not to be missed as you walk from one room to another.
There’s detail in everything that can be seen, from the walls to the floor and no two rooms are the same, each with their own unique look and feel.
The fresh sea air, the glamour, and the comforts of Ellerman will ensure that your stay here is memorable. This is a place to return to, complete with the finest arts in Africa.
Ellerman House is the essence of luxury, refinement and exceptional service…
MORE ABOUT ELLERMAN HOUSE:
THE CLICK FOUNDATION
Like the Londolozi crew who work closely with the Good Work Foundation; Ellerman House work closely with the Click Foundation. The Click Foundation is an educational organisation that was set up as a response to South Africa’s education crisis. Their aim is to give people without access to education a way to discover and learn through non-conventional and technology based programmes.
Every year, Ellerman House hosts the ArtAngels gallery as a charity auction for the benefit of the Click Foundation. The event sees people who support and buy artworks that have been generously donated by South Africa’s leading artists. It’s a chance to take part and support South African work and a charity that is helping to shape the future for people in South Africa.
THE WINE GALLERY
The Ellerman Wine Cellar holds more than 7,500 unique South African wines…
Certified Sommelier by Court of Sommeliers Americas, Manuel Cabello of Chilean origin, is in charge of nurturing this incredible collection. The vast selection is designed to promote vertical tastings whereby different vintages of the same wine are sampled.
The new wine gallery offers an experiential wine tasting centre, bar and interactive wine library with a total size of 202.76m2.
Art and function meet in the wine gallery. Brian Steinhobel, globally recognised as one of the worlds most talented industrial designers has created a magnificent human-scale cork screw. It is an enormous three-dimensional wine rack which holds 1500 bottles and bears over two tons of weight. The 3.2m high, six metre long structure is a literal translation of a corkscrew and the shape was also inspired by the free form curves and organic growth of vines. It is molded out of carbon fibre and each bottle is nestled in a specially designed protective polimer boot.
“I like to think of this as an experiential, functional piece of art – beautiful to look at, understandable, timeless and inspiring, each curve holding something of value – a bottle of wine” – Brian Steinhobel, Industrial Designer.
Wine finds its way into each aspect of the wine gallery, from the Terroir Wall, created from soil sampled from 100 wine farms, to the Raw Timber Mill Wall which echoes the wine making process of barreling wine. The perfect way to experience all the nuances of wine in a comfortable and beautiful setting without getting ones hands dirty.
Photographs courtesy of: Ellerman House