National monument undergoes conversion in Plettenberg Bay

Rare Earth Retreats has opened the Old Rectory, a boutique hotel in Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape.

The Old Rectory has undergone a massive conversion, into a boutique hotel in Plettenberg Bay

The hotel comprises 18 rooms, all of which were built separately from the original building. They have been grouped into three blocks, of eight, six, and four suites; 14 of the rooms have a connecting foyer that can transform the two rooms on each floor into a single unit.

The building dates back to 1777 and has been a school, blacksmith, and a rectory for the Anglican Church over its 240 years.

Gabriel Fagan Architects, the firm that was tasked with the restoration. The firm settled on a Cape Dutch silhouette, retaining existing features, such as the yellowwood floors and trusses.

Dael Fairbairn, of Erasmus Fairbairn (EF) Architects was in charge of expanding the property into a working hotel. He used the existing features of the site to create an established feel, with the deck that was built around an existing milkwood tree and walls created using existing stone.

“If historical context is of value, as is the case here, it should be celebrated,” says Fairbairn.

The original building now houses the reception area, the restaurant and the bar.

Interior designer, Merylle Legh from Align Designs drew on the location of the hotel and its history, but also kept modern comforts in mind. To create the balance, they chose traditional furniture, but used updated fabrics in various textures.

Align Interiors gave the suites a flora-and-fauna-inspired theme, prompted by the hotel’s location and Garden Route vegetation. Each room has been designed slightly differently.

 “For the new structures, the idea was to design contemporary buildings that would be sympathetic to the historic landmark, but also different enough not to detract from it,” explains Fairbairn. As a result, the new blocks have been styled along contemporary Cape vernacular lines.

The hotel welcomes children of all ages.

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