Perched high above the Bantray Bay and surrounded amongst upscale newly built homes is Ellerman House – a beautiful Edwardian mansion dating back to 1906.
It was the first home to be built in the bay area and formerly the private residence of the British shipping magnate, Sir John Ellerman. The property has since been transformed into a boutique hotel by its current owner, South African businessman Paul Harris.
A home is just what it is. The walls of the house are adorned with an extensive collection of African art, so vast is the collection that the Harris Family incorporated a modern art gallery into the mansion as there are too few walls to hang all works. The gallery should have its own address and be open to the public given the seriousness of the collection which is considered to be the most important collection in the country due to its diversity of important artworks from celebrated artists.
The houses’ winding corridors take you to 13 beautifully finished en-suite bedrooms, all with waterfront views. No room is the same and promise absolute privacy and breathtaking views which can be enjoyed from their private balconies. Mini bars are stocked with complimentary food and drink however the real show stopper is the house’s kitchen which is open to guests 24hr a day. Wit ha press of a button a glass window opens and you’re in the kitchen talking to one of their friendly chefs who will cook anything of your choice. If you’re not quite up for a home cooked meal behind you is a pantry, again always open, stocked from floor to high ceiling with freshly baked treats including cakes, biscuits, sweets and healthy bites. If that wasn’t enough breakfast, sunset cocktails, canapés and wine tastings are all complimentary to guests daily.
This calming escape which is only a 10 minute drive from the centre of Cape Town is backed by beautiful terraced gardens with panoramic views of the white caped Atlantic Ocean and bay below. As you walk the top terrace down towards the gardens you’re faced with two, three bedroomed ultra modern villas – ideal for those travelling as a family or larger group wanting their own home. Villa Two is strikingly breathtaking with its rooftop plunge pool and cinema. Both come with a chef and housekeeping team, available 24hr a day. It’s so slick that children under the age of 10 shouldn’t stay due to artworks and ultra modern design of the villa. It’s worth noting children over the age of 14 are welcome in Ellerman House. Villa One, open to all ages, has a glass walled master bedroom overlooking the bay which offers the most dramatic of views and is connected to the lower level of the Ellerman House Villa should you require more bedrooms. The spa and its plunge pool should definitely not go a miss.
Above the Ellerman House Villas is a vast ground level cellar built into a cave complete with a private dining area and bar. As you might expect it honours the country’s most delicious export, wine. As you come in there is a terra wall made from all the soils from the estates working with the house and to the right the largest cork screw you’ve ever seen showcasing the wines. There are over 1,500 bottles of red wine and a 7,500 collection of South African wines. 20 year old KWV brandies are also on offer. A good spot to sample those bottles are in the Bar Rock, a club available to all guests, again, built into a cave. Step out and the heated pool awaits to freshen you up!
To sum it up you will not want to leave Ellerman House. It is a quiet bolthole that has retained the intimacy of a private house even after 25 years of works and additions.
It is equipped with every facility and amenity available to all guests 24hr a day. The casual, professional approach of the staff and general cosiness of the house is truly one of a kind in this tranquil oasis.
Rates in a Classic House Room at peak season (1 December – 28 February) start from R13,000 and R10,000 during low season (1 May – 20 September)
Ellerman House Villa One (3 bedrooms) start from R125,000 at peak season and R85,000 at low season. 5 bedroom option starts from R170,000.
Ellerman House Villa Two (3 bedrooms) start from R110,000 at peak season and R75,000 at low season. 5 bedroom option starts from R170,000 at peak season and R119,000 at low season.