It’s not often that a man creates a hotel to house his art collection, but when Paul Harris purchased Ellerman House in 1988 his intention was not only to transform the gracious Edwardian mansion into an exclusive oasis, but match the Cape Riviera views with an unparalleled showcase of South African art.
Curated by Harris, albeit with guidance from friend and gallery owner Everard Read, this is a deeply personal collection, broad in scope: the earliest artworks date back to the 1830s, and it includes all the great 20th-century masters such as Maggie Laubser, Irma Stern, Gerard Sekoto, Alexis Preller and Pierneef, as well as some of the country’s best living artists, displayed in the contemporary gallery Harris purpose-built in the gardens. There is commissioned work too, most notably in the Wine Gallery, with its extraordinary corkscrew cellar, and a fascinating rendition of South Africa’s range of terroirs (spawning in turn a superb collection of wine, including The Ellerman 2018 – a masterpiece in liquid, if wine is art!).
Unusually, art is not confined to public spaces: you’ll find works in all 13 bedrooms as well as the two private villas flanking the main house. A downloadable app provides information on each, but do book an art tour with Talita Swarts – her in-depth knowledge about the circumstances surrounding each work is fascinating, and deepens the visual pleasure. With her nuanced interpretation, the Ellerman House collection is not only the best introduction to South African art, but also a repository of the country’s complex history. With a strict resident-only policy it is also, of course, very exclusive. Padding back from the pool, bare feet in plush carpet, you can revisit corridors at leisure – deliciously alone, chilled Sauvignon in hand – at home in the city’s most luxurious art gallery.
11 Individually decorated suites
All en suite
All with ample closet space
10 have sea views
1 has no terrace or ocean view
• Restaurant and alfresco dining
• Room service dining
• Swimming pool
• Lawn and pool with sea views
• Sun loungers
• Art gallery
• Drinks, (excl wine and Champagne)
• Wine tasting
• Room service
• Sunset experience
• Snack packs
• Spa: steam room, sauna, sensation shower.
• Secure off-street parking
• Local telephone calls
• Art tours
• Zeitz MOCAA entry
• Private chef for each villa
• Concierge service
• Unlimited Wi-Fi
• Lunch and dinner
• Invited guests’ meals and drinks
AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
Advance notice required for:
• Babysitting and au pair
• Dry cleaning
• Personal security
• Personal shopping
• Personal trainer
• Spa and beauty treatments (best to book)
• Pristine beaches just over five minutes’ away at wind-free Clifton or Camps Bay and Bakoven.
• An absolute must: visit the Ellerman House gallery below the pool terrace and request to join the private art tour.
• Everything within the city and V&A Waterfront area is an easy 10 to 15 minutes’ drive, including the beautiful Table Mountain National Park.
• Make time todo wine tasting in the extraordinary cellar or indulge in a heavenly spa treatment.
• Take a drive: set off for the day around the peninsula or head for the Winelands, just 40minutes to one hour away or visit the oldest wine route in the Cape: Constantia, only 20 minutes away, where you’ll also find some of the Cape’s top restaurants, although we’re sure you’ll find tempting to dine in every night at Ellerman House!
• Check in 2pm
• Check out 10am
• Children over 12 years of age are welcome at Ellerman House.
• Children of all ages are welcome at Villa One and over 8 years of age at Villa Two.
• Min stays apply in peak season
• No pets allowed
• All bookings subject to final approval by Ellerman House