TEAM

Smiles that stay with you forever

Montagu Country Hotel’s particular charm comes down to our tight-knit team. Every person we choose to welcome and serve you is hand-picked for their passion and attitude. We believe in employing the smile first, then teaching the skills. That’s why we have wonderful long-term relationships with our staff, many of whom have been with us for over 15 years.

Part of our Fairtrade Tourism ethos is to create a workspace where people are treated fairly, with firm objectives and boundaries, and where they are encouraged to grow as people and employees.

“We welcome guests to our small country hotel: a space that means a lot to us, and where we live out our dream in the beautiful village of Montagu. We look forward to sharing the platteland lifestyle with you, and to learn from you as a traveller in our quest to offer honest hospitality.”

P-J and Colene Basson, Owners

P-J and Colene Basson, Owners of The Montagu Country Hotel
P-J and Colene Basson, Owners of The Montagu Country Hotel

HISTORY

If these walls could talk…

They’ll tell stories of flapper dresses and top hats, glamorous late-night parties with brass bands and the who’s who of the town toasting the end of wars, successful harvests and epic rugby matches.

The Montagu Country Hotel has been part of the fabric of Montagu life since the late 1800s. It may have changed faces over the years but it has always been a popular meeting place, right in the heart of the town’s historic centre. Here is a bit of history behind this iconic Art Deco building – one of the last privately owned country hotels in South Africa. You can download the full version here.

1875:

The first hotel is built

The first hotel building was built at its current address of 27 Bath Street in 1875 by Christiaan Schlacht, of German ascent. It features Victorian accents like ornamental wrought-iron broekieslace.

Outside View of Montagu Country Hotel in 1875
Outside View of Montagu Country Hotel in 1875
Outside View of Montagu Country Hotel in 1932
Outside View of Montagu Country Hotel in 1932

1932:

The Art Deco hotel comes to life

The current Art Deco hotel was erected right behind the Victorian original around 1932. On completion, the original structure was demolished. There are cashed cheques of New Hotel Montagu dated 23 and 26 July 1941 issued by Standard Bank displayed in the hotel foyer.

1996:

Mr Gert Lubbe acquires the hotel

Well-known South African hotelier and tourism pioneer Gert Lubbe bought the current hotel on a liquidation sale in 1996. He had the vision to restore the interior of the only original Art deco Hotel in South Africa to its former glory, and changed the name from Montagu Country Inn to Montagu Country Hotel.

Outside view of Montagu Country Hotel in 1996
Outside View of Montagu Country Hotel in 1996
Photo of Mr Gert Lubbe and P-J at Montagu Country Hotel
Photo of Mr Gert Lubbe and P-J at Montagu Country Hotel

1999:

Route 62 is born

Gert had the enterprising idea to create the marketing concept Route 62 (R60 and R62 combined) – similar to Route 66 in the USA. Route 62 is the longest wine route in the world. P-J Basson joined the team as General Manager of the Hotel at the age of 22.

June 2020:

A new family business

Long-time manager P-J and wife Colene Basson became the owners of the hotel after the tragic passing of Gert in 2019. P-J is very focused on interactions with guests and maintaining great relationships with the travel trade, and as a chartered accountant, Colene has a firm grip on hotel systems as well as overseeing all interior decorating.

Daniel Lutz, the owner of the very successful Eendracht Hotel and Apartments in Stellenbosch, also joined the team, bringing his valuable experience and insights to the table.

Photo of P-J and wife Colene Basson at the Montagu Country Hotel
Photo of P-J and wife Colene Basson at the Montagu Country Hotel
Detail of Revamped Montagu Country Hotel
Detail of Revamped Montagu Country Hotel

November 2020:

Revamped hotel is launched

Through one of the most challenging times the South African tourism industry has ever faced, the Bassons used the Covid-19 lockdown to reimagine the hotel and align it with its Art Deco theme and mission statement. Revelopment included a south-facing deck at the front of the hotel with a play area for little ones, and new family-friendly self-catering units with a wheelchair-friendly bathroom. A new cocktail lounge, Feathers and Flatcaps, was revamped, all public areas and rooms redecorated, and a new art gallery was introduced.

2022:

A green vision for an old favourite

The Hotel is passionate about minimising its carbon footprint and is in the process of rolling out a green plan for the future. It uses a grey water system to irrigate the lush gardens and solar geysers to provide hot water. The Hotel is also a certified member of Fair Trade Tourism and is the only Route 62 hotel offering guests an #Electric Vehicle Charging Point for convenient on-site charging.

Photo of Electric Vehicle Charging Point for convenient on-site charging
Photo of Electric Vehicle Charging Point for Convenient On-site Charging