Well, that was 2020… We’re still reserving judgement on 2021. How are you feeling about it?

The Owners of Schoone Oordt, a family picture
The Walker Family, including Nanna & Grandpa
who have been a huge support for us over these crazy times.

The owners of Schoone Oordt are back…

We realised, when sitting down to write this, that our last diary entry was Christmas 2019! How crazy is that? Quite a lot has happened since then (hasn’t it just?!). The most newsworthy of which, I imagine, is that we, the owners of Schoone Oordt, are back and managing it ourselves again. Even though we have always been very much involved in the property, it is now truly a family-run business again…. Kids, dogs, cats and a bunch of Koi (more on the Koi in another post, Richard has plans). We’ve always wanted guests to feel as though they are visiting with the best of friends and now couldn’t be truer. A stay with us is an authentic, unpretentious, deliciously luxurious, focus on food, South African hospitality experience (as some of you already know). We honestly look forward to continuing the love and care for a long time to come…

The cats of Schoone Oordt
Fat Cat
The cats of Schoone Oordt
White Cat

Hunkering down and streamlining…

Everybody with a tourism/hospitality/travel business has had to hunker down, consolidate, cut costs and try their best to make it through to the other side. We are no exception. We used the time during Lockdown to sort out, clean up, organise, streamline and generally dig our hands deeply back into the business. It did feel good. Gave us a chance to reset. Along with the obvious refreshing of the property, we also had to rethink and relook at our team. Luckily, we did not have to retrench too many people and we are very fortunate to be able to keep (almost) the original team that we started Schoone Oordt with. Isn’t that something?! It does feel a bit like starting from scratch again.

Gardens of our Swellendam Country Hotel
We did quite a lot of work on the Gardens during Lockdown and they are looking beautiful
Wisteria at the front of our Country Hotel in Swellendam
The Wisteria is always my favourite, it’s almost as old as the house itself.

We have had some wonderful local support since re-opening on the 14th August and we are so grateful for those people brave enough to support and trust us during these crazy times. Understandingly, we have a long road ahead and we are not expecting much until September/October this year. We do hope to feel the buzz and throw our arms wide to welcome more than just a handful of guests at the end of this year though. Perhaps we’ll even be able to hug again by then… Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

The Grand Dame of Swellendam
Freshly polished and ready and waiting…

Great Specials…

We do have some specials running at the moment, a particularly good 2-night one, so if you feel like you need to get out of the city, come and see us. We also have some plans (once fibre is officially here) to offer weekly or monthly remote working specials along with all sorts of nature-social distancing-good food-kind of activities. What do you think?

Until we speak again, keep strong, keep well, keep a sense of humour, keep connected, keep kind, keep loving and see you on the other side…

Thank you to Elana van Zyl for the fabulous family picture and Tasha Seccombe for the rest.


  • Welcome back!!! the past 18 months have been very testing, just to let you know, Kwena Tours is still around and Schoone Oord is still included in our self-drive itineraries for our overseas FIT’s travelling. Please mail me your 2021 STO Rates- we hope and pray 2021 will be better for all of us.
    Do take care and stay safe!!

    • That’s wonderful news Tina! We so look forward to working with you again.
      Much love and strength to you.

  • what an exquisite place! it was just so lovely . The room was warmed and inviting on our arrival, dinner reservation made, the fire was lit while we went out for dinner. most divine breakfast ever! Will definitely come back to stay when we are in swellendam again. Thank you Alison.

    • Oh, thank you so much for your beautiful words, Hayley! It was such a delight meeting you both. We look forward to your next visit… perhaps with the boys. 🙂

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