In recent times, the most exciting development in the Lake Gariep region has been the renaissance of Bethulie's famous Royal Hotel. Founded...
In recent times, the most exciting development in the Lake Gariep region has been the renaissance of Bethulie's famous Royal Hotel. Founded in the 1880s, the Royal Hotel combines all that's best in traditional South African hospitality, with a keen understanding of modern needs. It's currently benefiting from a far-reaching makeover which has reinforced its reputation as 'the hotel that's better than home.'
Bethulie is located just 90 minutes south of Bloemfontein in South Africa's Free State. It is six hours' drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria, fivehours from Port Elizabeth and East London, eight hours from Durban and nine hours from Cape Town. That makes it the ideal accommodation stopover between South Africa's major cities; however it's also a worthwhile destination in its own right.
En-suite convenience and enterprising cuisine, access to a huge private library and record collection, service standards modelled on an ocean liner's, a burgeoning 'Hall of Fame' honouring the town's best and bravest, Bethulie's Royal Hotel is an experience to savour and treasure. It's also the perfect base for exploration of South Africa's little-known hinterland and its neighbour, Lesotho.
Accommodation at Bethulie's Royal Hotel ranges from tourist to first-class, and tariffs are calculated with an eye to value. Shops are located close by and secure parking, even for large vehicles, is available. The Royal Hotel welcomes well-behaved children and also makes special provision for pets, the physically challenged, and tour groups whether big or small.
The longest road and rail bridge in Africa, a clutch of well-stocked game reserves and the scenic splendour of Lake Gariep, site of the most infamous concentration camp of the Anglo-Boer War, the childhood haunts of actor Patrick Mynhardt, who won fame as the 'Boy from Bethulie'; these are just a few of the points of interest that give Bethulie its broad-based appeal.
The town retains a frontier feeling that conjures echoes of days long gone. For generations, its chief role has been to serve the needs of hard-working sheep farmers and their families in the surrounding district, but in addition Bethulie prides itself on being a safe, friendly and peaceful oasis, offering attractions and diversions that excite discerning visitors from all over the world.