Matjiesfontein offers everything that a world-class destination does—yet is wholly unique in the hospitality industry. Step back in time in this tiny village on the fringe of the Great Karoo, founded in 1884 by legendary railway man, James Douglas Logan. Immerse yourself in living history; a tribute to the early Karoo, the Anglo-Boer War and Queen Victoria's England.
Explore the historic ambience of the famed Lord Milner Hotel, its old world charm, gracious servers, and elegant décor—not to mention discovering its ghost stories. Dine by candlelight in The Hotel Dining Room while being served by red-jacketed porters. Other accommodation options include the Olive Schreiner Cottage, private suites set by the pool, or along the riverbank, and more.
The sprawling, well established garden is an oasis of green in an otherwise dry and sparse Karoo that not only attracts visitors looking for relaxation and respite, but also a diversity of birdlife.
Guests can enjoy a pint and a pub lunch in the atmosphere of a bygone era at the Laird’s Arms, or tuck into freshly baked scones and pastries and light lunches at The Coffee House, complete with a burbling fountain.
Though small, Matjiesfontein has plenty of attractions to keep visitors enthralled; from the Marie Rawdon and Transport museums, to the courthouse and jail, the British Army Remount Camp and sightseeing tours in the old English Bus. Delve into Matjiesfontein’s cricketing history and marvel at the antiques.
Guests may select from a selection of accommodation options:
THE LORD MILNER HOTEL: On the fringe of the Great Karoo, the Lord Milner Hotel appears as if out of a conjurer's hat: an authentic tribute to Victoriana, and the heart of Matjiesfontein Village. The Lord Milner is a graded three-star heritage site hotel and offers 15 classically furnished historic standard double rooms, and historic luxury and single rooms. Take a step back in time, to hear history’s palpable heartbeat—while the rooms have been tastefully updated in terms of linen and bathroom facilities—the experience will take you back to the Karoo of old.
The hotel was named for Lord Alfred Milner, who was the governor of the Cape during The South African War (Anglo-Boer War). The gracious grand dame was completed in 1899, and shortly thereafter served as the Headquarters of the Cape Western Command. At The Lord Milner Hotel, historic ambience, old world service and classic comfort combine.
OLIVE SCHREINER COTTAGE: The Olive Schreiner Cottage, named after the famed South African author who wrote The Story of an African Farm, is a luxury two-person cottage on Logan Street, the historic main street of Matjiesfontein. The cottage is situated next to the Post Office and offers a bedroom with en-suite bathroom including both a bath and shower, and the classically furnished Schreiner lounge.
Olive Schreiner—one of the first voices of literature and feminism in South Africa—lived here for a number of years. Today, her cottage is a landmark in the village. It has also been reported that venerated author, Rudyard Kipling, on his first journey to the Cape, made a special journey specifically to visit her here.
RESTON VILLA: The Reston Villa has a distinctly Mediterranean atmosphere with its large shuttered doors opening onto a private terrace, shaded by palm trees and bougainvillea. Four large suites provide superior accommodation, set within their own garden away from, but close to, the main hotel. The ground floor bedrooms have shuttered French doors opening onto their own verandas. Reston Villa was once occupied by James Logan's son (also James), his wife and two stepchildren.
THE OLD MUSEUM SUITE: The Old Museum Suite is a classic historic cottage on Logan Street, close to the hotel and next to the Laird’s Arms, this suite offers three bedrooms sleeping up to six people, with two bathrooms, each with bath and shower.
THE SWIMMING POOL SUITE: Matjiesfontein’s Water Works were officially opened in November 1889 and the grand occasion was dubbed 'Water World', attended by many celebrated politicians and personalities.
The swimming pool—dug out of a stone basin—is set amid a lush garden; a fertile desert oasis that attracts diverse birdlife. The Swimming Pool Suite offers two luxury bedrooms, opening onto a private courtyard patio with access to a swimming pool and a wooden terrace overlooking the Monument River.
The suite is located in the hotel gardens on the riverbank terrace next to the Traveller's Chapel, and caters for up to four people, minimum two persons sharing.
Matjies Motel A number of comfortable quality motel rooms are situated within the hotel gardens, with rooms overlooking the hotel gardens or the river, with the quaint Travellers Chapel and duck pond nearby. Each room has either its own patio leading on to the garden, or a balcony-veranda overlooking the Monument river.
THE RIVERBANK ROOMS: The Riverbank Rooms all have en-suite bathrooms and balconies that overlook the Monument River, which is dry in the summer months. These rooms each have a nearby parking bay.
THE GARDEN MEWS ROOMS: The Garden Mews Rooms each have an en-suite bathroom with shower, while one room has a bath and shower. Each room has a nearby parking bay.
Matjiesfontein provides a unique setting for any occasion. Business seminars, conferences or workshops are conducted in our quiet, historic lounges, the Court House or Transport Museum. We can comfortably accommodate 97 guests, and should your group exceed this number, we do have reliable accommodation partners in the close vicinity of Matjiesfontein to accommodate the rest of your group.
We offer the following: Venue, accommodation, (tables, chairs, cutlery, and crockery for up to 120 guests), waiter service, bar service, white table cloths and white chair covers.
The Lord Milner has a fully licenced bar and kitchen. Please note that conference dinners will be for 30 delegates or more. Should the conference be less than 30, delegates will make use of our restaurant in the hotel for dinners.
VENUES The Lord Milner Hotel has seven venues available and capacity ranges from 30 up to 120 guests. The old Court House was built in 1897. The venue, with its panelled walls and raised stage for seating of the judiciary, provides a historic backdrop for a small party or seminar with seating for around 60 guests, dependant on seating arrangements.
The Transport Museum features old vintage cars, trains and bicycles within a private garden and courtyard setting. The main car hall can accommodate large corporate functions, wedding receptions and large family celebrations in its spacious double-storey interior.
The Railway Station Conference Room is located at the Working Station, and is ideal for a seminar with seating for around 60 guests depending on seating arrangements.
Court House Venue - Capacity 30 PAX
Yellow Lounge Venue - Capacity 35 PAX
Transport Museum - Capacity 150 PAX
Venue Fee includes • Tables & Chairs for 120 PAX
• White table cloths and white chair covers
• White Crockery, Stainless Steel Cutlery, Glasses for 120 PAX
• Waiters and Bar staff
• Bar service up to 00h00
WEDDINGS: Matjiesfontein has two unique chapels that were built at the turn of the century. The quaint Traveller’s Chapel is located on the river bank within the hotel gardens. The imposing Pink Church is also off the gardens, but a little closer to the Transport Museum.
Rack rates from 01 October 2017 to 30 September 2018
Room Rates Lord Milner Hotel
These rates are per room per night inclusive of Breakfast
Number of Rooms
Swimming Pool Suite
Accommodates up to 4 People
Historic Hotel Luxury
Historic Hotel Classic
Historic Hotel Single
Historic Reston Villa Luxury
Olive Schreiner Historic Luxury Cottage
The Old Museum Suite
Accommodates up to 6 People
Douglas Garden Cottages Double/Twin
Matjies Motel - Mews Rooms Excluding breakfast - Breakfast can be enjoyed at the Coffee Shop from 09:00 or
at the Main Hotel Dining room from 07:30 at an additional cost.
Number of Rooms
Matjies Motel Double/Twin
Matjies Motel Single
Matjies Motel Riverside Double/Twin
• Rates are subject to availability and may change without prior notice.
• Rates include Value Added Tax currently at 14 %
• Children of all ages welcome in the hotel
• Children between ages 2 and 12: R300 per Child
Child Policy • All children are welcome.
Check in Time: 14h00
Check out Time: 11h00
Cancellation Policy: • If a reservation is cancelled / reduced between 180 and 120 days prior to arrival there will be a 15% cancellation fee will be levied on the total invoiced amount;
• If a reservation is cancelled / reduced between 119 and 90 days prior to arrival there will be a 25% cancellation fee will be levied on the total invoiced amount;
• If a reservation is cancelled / reduced between 89 and 60 days prior to arrival there will be a 50% cancellation fee will be levied on the total invoiced amount;
• If a reservation is cancelled / reduced between 59 and 30 days prior to arrival there will be a 75% cancellation fee will be levied on the total invoiced amount;
• If a reservation is cancelled / reduced between 29 days or less prior to arrival there will be a 100% cancellation fee will be levied on the total invoiced amount.
Directions: From Cape Town: We are located 250 kilometers from Cape Town just off the N1. We are 110 kilometers north of Worcester and 30 kilometers south of Laingsburg. The village is also accessible by train with the train stopping daily from Cape Town.
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Quick Facts: Star Rating: Accommodation Type: Hotel & Conference Centre
Languages Spoken: English, Afrikaans
Distance from CPT International: 237km / 2h45min
Location: Matjiesfontein, Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa
Number of hotels / units: 8 properties
Book here if you like: * Birdwatching
* Historic monuments and museums
* Vintage trains
* Rich British and South African Anglo-Boer War history
On site Facilities: * Museums
* Wedding facilities
* Conference venues
* Swimming pool
* Cricket and soccer facilities
* Vintage Train station
* Old English Bush tour