JUST over a year ago, a devastating fire destroyed historic buildings at Lanzerac, but also peeled away decades to create a canvas for its glorious restoration. The hotel reopened on July 1.
“We haven’t recreated it, we haven’t modernised it – we have reimagined it, and it remains very true to the heritage of the property and the memories people hold,” marketing manager Jo-Anna Looms told me.
I’ve stayed at Lanzerac many times over the years, and it’s always been an exceptional experience. I was amused to learn they keep a file on me – as with all regular and returning guests – so there is a record of every room which I’ve occupied…never the same one twice. And no two rooms are the same, either.
Meet Con van der Colff, the project co-ordinator in charge of the renovations, external aesthetics including the gardens and curation of the interiors. Con has a multi-layered background as a designer, builder and interior decorator offering him an exceptional skill set to look at the project holistically as he and his team tackled this mammoth task.
“These guys, from the bricklayers, the plasterers, the carpenters and painters – even the labourers pushing the wheelbarrows and mixing cement in the rain – they are the people that made it happen and we have to recognise it. These people are extremely proud of what they have done,” says Con.
And rightly so.
Room renovations were in progress well before the fire and Con’s unique style reflects the history of the estate, blended with carefully balanced contemporary influences. But Lanzerac does not only have Cape Dutch history; the extensions to the Manor House were designed by English architects based out of Sir Herbert Charles Baker’s office in Cape Town. This gives Con the opportunity to source furniture and fabric influenced by both cultures. He’ll typically begin with a centre piece and organically build the rest of the look and feel of the room around this focal point. Nothing is bought from a catalogue. Local artisans are commissioned to design and craft all replacement fixtures like window frames, signed and dated for posterity. And no room is the same as another, not even in terms of physical dimensions and each item is procured via antique dealers and auctions.
This means no matter how many times you spend a night here, you have 53 chances to have a unique experience.
A lucky Eat Play Drink subscriber can win this amazing July prize: a one night stay for a couple in a luxury room inclusive of breakfast and a wine tasting experience. The voucher will be valid for travel from the date of issue until December 1, 2018, and is valued at R7000. All you have to do to be in the draw is sign up here as a subscriber, and you’ll receive email notifications whenever there are new posts to read.
Address: 1 Lanzerac Road, Stellenbosch
Telephone: 021 887 1132