Set amid 613 hectares of lush countryside along the famous Garden Route on South Africa’s Western Cape, The Manor House at Fancourt was originally built in 1859 as a family home by Henry Fancourt White, a British engineer who pioneered the Montagu Pass across the Outeniqua Mountains.
Although it has changed hands a few times over the years, receiving upgrades along the way, the house has retained all of its original, stately charm. Subtle nods to its historic legacy can still be admired between luxury amenities, from antique fireplaces and wood frames to the oldest and longest-standing resident, a magnolia tree from Mississippi, which was planted in the 1860s.
And while the magic of The Manor House has much to do with its backstory, the main lure for returning guests, along with the estate’s three award-winning golf courses, is the intimate feeling you have while staying here.
The Manor House at Fancourt is the type of boutique hotel where you are welcome to live as you would at home, while still enjoying an escape from everyday life. With 18 private suites, the hotel never feels crowded, yet still offers the comfort of knowing that someone is always “home” to keep you company.
The hotel team offers the perfect level of attentiveness, anticipating your every whim before you would even think to ask. Adding to an elevated level of sophistication and exclusivity, you will also be offered the service of a private concierge to help with the little things, like unpacking bags, en-suite meals, and even running a bath. Expect to feel well cared for, while still enjoying the freedom to move about the hotel as you please, filling your days with as little or as much as you like.
When not exploring the bounds of the Garden Route, or driving balls up the fairway, catch up on some R&R in your private suite or settle into a sun lounger by the pool. Guests at The Manor House are always invited to unwind in one of the many public areas, a fond favourite being the library – its walls brimming with books gifted by previous visitors. While seated here, you can gaze out over the gardens and main entrance of the hotel, occasionally catching sight of guests coming and going.
Feasts and treats
Expect to wake to a full English breakfast and ease into your afternoon with tea and canapés, which you may choose to have served in your room or at the gazebo overlooking the lake.
When the sun dips beyond the horizon, a glass of South African Pinotage by the log fire in the lounge is hard to resist. Here, you can take your pick from comfy couches and stately chairs that are classic, solid and beautiful. And, as is the tradition at The Manor House, before you turn in for the night, evening drinks are served at The Montagu Bar, which to the delight of many, operates on an honesty bar system. If you’re wondering about the cuisine, the crown jewel of The Manor House concept is Henry White’s, an elegant-yet-relaxed restaurant serving delightful four-course meals. South African flavours dominate the menu, which changes seasonally. You will never eat the same thing twice during your stay – nor should you.
Joys of the Garden Route
Whatever the season, The Manor House offers an array of memorable activities for guests to enjoy. Head out along the estate trails, hop on a bike to explore the grounds or book a treatment at The Spa at Fancourt. Even time spent in the gardens will do wonders for mind and body. Colours are richer, deeper and utterly romantic especially during sunset thanks to the crisp, clean, country air.
Remember, there is always an opportunity to explore the leafy city of George, just down the way, or venture further afield to the neighbouring farms and weekend farmers’ markets, offering homemade cheeses, strawberries, olives and wine.
If you are headed to The Manor House for golf, Fancourt Estate retains a legacy of sporting excellence. Fancourt’s three golf courses were designed by a dynamic team spearheaded by Gary Player and the estate’s owner, Dr Hasso Plattner. The Links, a privately owned club, is currently number one in South Africa according to “Golf Digest”, while the Montagu and Outeniqua courses both rank within the magazine’s top 20.
However you choose to spend your time at The Manor House, you’ll be guaranteed an intimate, exclusive getaway in one of the finest boutique hotels along South Africa’s iconic Garden Route. Θ