This old stalwart bills itself as South Africa’s only Art Deco hotel and a wander back in time is certainly the main reason you’d be staying here. The fabulous main building dates back to 1922 and the hotel’s 33 rooms (some in outlying buildings in the garden) stay true to the era. In fact, staying here is a lot like staying at grandma’s house – there are some fabulous old pieces of furniture and in winter at least, the rooms are freezing! Just like grandma’s house, central heating and double glazing are enviable luxuries and the larger (more expensive) rooms are not recommended in the winter months.
Montagu is a gorgeous little town nestled between the mountains on Route 62, and winter nights often hover around the zero mark. During the day though, it’s still plenty warm enough for rock climbing, hiking or mountain biking – some of the more popular activities in the area. The Montagu Country Hotel offers good tourism info, detailing what there is to see and do in the area, including wine tasting, dried fruit sales and the hot springs spa. The in-room directory doesn’t give a great deal of info on the hotel itself and I found out by accident that there is also a small spa on the premises.
The hotel is a favourite with coach groups and older travellers and its restaurant is generally pretty bustling. Karoo dishes like ostrich steak or lamb stew are accompanied by a local pianist tickling the ivories, which all adds to the step-back-in-time feel of the place.
Breakfast comprises of the usual buffet, plus a cooked breakfast to order and on warm mornings it’s served out on the leafy patio. The hotel’s interior garden and patios are its finest features and a nice touch is the service bell, so you can order afternoon tea or a glass of local wine without having to rise from your seat.
Service throughout is friendly and while staff can’t always deliver, they’ll at least deny your request with a smile. Overall, the Montagu Country Hotel is a good option for those who like a little history with their travels and don’t mind the fact that the hotel could do with a bit of an update.