Tourism by the people, for the people – Montague Country Hotel

Our ride was the 1956 Cadillac Sedan De VilleThere is nothing like going back in time! At least for me, my stay at Montagu Country Hotel turned out to be a refreshing and pleasant stay at one of South Africa’s fully restored Art Deco Hotels.
Greeted with the Montagu muscadel welcome drink, my guests and I were treated like old friends. This historic hotel is set in the Langeberg mountains along Route 62 and while its architecture is from years gone by, the service and culture of the establishment are on point and modern. Walking through this old soul, you have no choice but appreciate the attention to detail, the newly restored soft furnishing, a few early French Mohagamy masterpieces and the most colourful bouquet of bougainvillaea in the black and white chequered floor foyer.
Beyond all this beauty, were happy staff and an even friendlier owner. And it is the long and interesting conversation we had that makes me want to praise this hospitality gem even more. The hour-long chat was had while driving a blue American classic, the 1956 Cadillac Sedan, one of the special and authentic treats you can book. New owner PJ Basson, tells of his excitement when he was able to purchase this hotel after managing it for many years. And shortly after signing for his dream, the pandemic hit. That was not the plan!

PJ explains the moment when the news came that the country is shutting down. It was a flight or fight mode situation, and while there was chaos for a short while, he decided to use the time to make the changes he had in mind for a while. PJ opened the hotel to the Montague community. Plans included the extension of the hotel’s entrance by placing decking under umbrellas in front of the hotel inviting locals who pass by for a cup of coffee complying with the social distancing of course. He created an art gallery to exhibit local’s artwork and even started an internet cafe in the Feather and Flatcaps restaurant that serves light lunches and delightful cocktails. PJ had the locals in mind more than ever and gained the respect and appreciation of the local people.
During the pandemic, they delivered frozen meals prepared by the chef and has continued the service creating employment for a driver. This vintage-flair hotel has become multi-

Needless to say that we were pleasantly surprised by the generosity, the ‘make a plan’ attitude and the absolute joy of all the staff while performing their tasks. PJ realized the value of his workers and wanted to keep them after serving the hotel for many years. Basson and his team is a wonderful example of a community-focused enterprise that treasures its people. If you ever travel on Route 62, stop at the Montagu Country Hotel. It’s more than just a place to stay, but a place where people come together.

It is on Themba Travel’s list for outstanding accommodations and excellent service. This 4* establishment also have a wellness centre, hairdressers, two pools and beautifully maintained gardens for visitors from near or far, locals or internationals. Book your next trip with us, we love to share South Africa’s hidden gems with you!
Published LinkedIn Article: 24 March 2022
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