About Excelsior Manor Guesthouse
Grandeur, spaciousness, comfort and serenity - the attributes of a palace, however large or humble the size of the kingdom. If you have ever felt the need to experience a palace in the Breede River Valley, Excelsior is opening its doors to you.
During 1859 the first member of the De Wet clan began clearing the veld of the Little Karoo in today’s Robertson-Ashton area to create pasturage. By the end of the nineteenth century his three sons already showed their resourcefulness by breeding horses and vines on this land. The youngest brother, Jacobus Stephanus or Kowie, soon became one of the most successful ostrich breeders in the Robertson district on his farm Excelsior. As ostrich plumes were the essence of haute couture at the time, the affluence of the trade was soon reflected in the “feather palace” architectural style. Kowie de Wet built at that time, producing an enormous farmhouse on Excelsior with the characteristic elegance of the Victorian era.
As the age of mechanization rolled in, the invention of the motorcar brought the fashion of ostrich feather millinery to a grinding halt. With the collapse of the ostrich feather industry, Kowie and his son Oscar again resorted to breeding horses and vines, with Excelsior being one of the few farms which was not declared insolvent at the time.
Today the farm has been planted with noble cultivars like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines are successfully sold locally and abroad.
The Manor House is the original home and has been extensively restored to its former glory. It has nine luxury en-suite bedrooms prepared for the guest lodge. The spacious rooms provided adequate internal space for all this renovation without altering the external façade. Thus the tranquil proportions of the exterior have been retained with the original wooden window frames and gables all intact from a century ago.
Many old trees grace the garden and these have been maintained. The northern side now offers a refuge of hedged in tranquility with fragrant old roses and a rose labyrinth to restore one’s soul. The south side of the house opens onto a wooden deck surrounding a deep blue swimming pool. This elevated but secluded deck offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the vineyards, the Langeberg, splendid sunsets and generally the ‘kingdom’ of this fertile valley.
Enjoy scrumptious breakfasts before going on excursions for the day, or order lunch and lounge at the pool. For the more active, you can enjoy fishing and swimming in the dam across the road, and walks through the vineyards. Or why not take a donkey cart ride to one of the six wine tasting facilities within walking distance for the bold.After a long day dinners will be served on request in either the dining room or out on the deck.
The De Wets look forward to welcoming you to share in the tranquility of their farm and the old-time splendor of the feather palace of Excelsior.
Please note: Rates are a guide and subject to change. Please re-confirm rates when booking
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*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling