The Steytlerville Royal Hotel stands today as a cherished heritage icon, preserving the grandeur of a bygone era while embracing the modern comforts expected by discerning travelers. We invite you to immerse yourself in its captivating ambiance, embark on a journey through time, and create your own cherished memories in the heart of South Africa's Eastern Cape Karoo. Welcome to the Steytlerville Royal Hotel, where history, hospitality, and the beauty of the region converge to create an extraordinary escape.
The Historical Steytlerville Royal Hotel with its at the time famous Billiard Room and the best Whisky in the region was established in 1896 by the knighted Sir Kauffman Richardson.
When Sir Richardson approached the Dutch Reformed Church to build a hotel, the Kerkraad instructions was that the hotel must be build in the center of town on three stands and it must not be higher than the church tower. To thank the Kerkraad for its generosity in granting the permission Sir Richardson donated the church bell to the church.
In 1910 one of the church councilors refused to renew the hotels liquor license because his son, which was a frequent visitor to the Billiard Room and a connoisseur of whisky, developed a predilection for the whisky.
Sir Richardson due to the refusal to grant a liquor license sold the Royal Hotel and relocated in Port Elizabeth. For the next 85 years the Royal Hotel mainly functioned as a boarding house specially for teachers, teaching at the two local schools.
Many farmers in the region found their future wife’s at this famous boarding house.
Currently owned and run by Chris and Anet Van Heerden, Steytlerville Royal Hotel stands today as a cherished heritage icon, preserving the grandeur of a bygone era while embracing the modern comforts expected by discerning travelers. We invite you to immerse yourself in its captivating ambiance, embark on a journey through time, and create your own cherished memories in the heart of South Africa's Eastern Cape Karoo. Welcome to the Royal Hotel Steytlerville, where history, hospitality, and the beauty of the region converge to create an extraordinary escape.
How did Chris and Anet van Heerden decide on the Steytlereville Royal Hotel?
So, my husband, Krisjan, was away at a meeting in Cape Town in 2005.
I was reading “Die Weg” magazine. On the cover of the magazine there was something that got my attention. “Ek slaan my oë op na die berge…” with reference to the BAVIAANS MOUNTAINS. It fascinated me. There was also a little map to orientate the reader as to where it was. STEYTLERVILLE was on the little map.
Then I switched over to Die Landbouweekblad. I was reading the yellow pages. There was an advert about the ROYAL HOTEL in Steytlerville that was on the market.
My husband came back from Cape Town, tired, just to hear that he must get in the car again as we go on a 11- hour trip to STEYTLERVILLE.
We were disappointed as the hotel was not functioning as a hotel since 1910. It was a used as a house. The 9 historic guest rooms in the courtyard had only one bathroom. It is also “off the beaten track” with only a few cars passing by. The town went to bed at 19h00 – there were nearly no lights visible. No, we first decided, this is not a good option.
But on the other hand, there was SAAMSPAN the shop that can get us going. But retail is not for everyone. The Hospitality industry is our cup of tea.
Slowly but surely, we started to build up the hotel. We applied for a liquor license after 95 years in 2005 and we opened a bar and restaurant praying that a car would stop to use our facilities. Since then, we enlarged the bar 3 times as it is such a popular spot to socialize.
The rooms were another big expense as we had to build bathrooms, upgraded the rooms and constantly maintaining the historical building.
ROYAL HOTEL today has 9 EN-SUITE ROOMS and 3 FLATS, a fully functional RESTAURANT the most beautiful BAR and POLKADOT shop. We have a permanent and temporary staff complement of 20 that are involved in our activities.
ROYAL HOTEL, STEYTLERVILLE is our pride and our playpen. Krisjan and I love it to either hide in our SAAMSPAN FISHBOWL or helping our staff in the buzzing restaurant and bar.
We sometimes run away to our beautiful surroundings, have a sun downer, Addo, Jeffreys, Groot Rivier Poort … too many places to mention. But we are here to stay as we love our place.
Our dedicated staff members are not only knowledgeable about the area but also take pride in ensuring each guest's stay is memorable and tailored to their needs. Whether it's providing insider tips on local attractions or preparing sumptuous meals showcasing the flavors of the Eastern Cape, the staff goes above and beyond to create a truly authentic and unforgettable experience.