The JAN brand and Ellerman House have always enjoyed a special relationship. We share the same passion for living life beautifully – and little matches the show-stopping beauty of the more than 1000 original artworks that adorn its walls. Perched on a clifftop overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Ellerman House is a magnificent oasis where the beauty of the natural surrounds is met by the luxury of the art-filled hotel itself.
It’s impossible not to be moved by the extraordinary position that Ellerman House occupies, and on entering this beautiful property from where the Atlantic waters sparkle in the afternoon sun as far as the horizon, it’s clear you have arrived at what feels like its own universe. And that’s exactly its intention.
A life less ordinary
Built over one hundred years ago on a rise in Bantry Bay, the Edwardian mansion began its life as the private residence of shipping magnate Sir John Ellerman. In 1992, it was transformed into a luxury hotel, evolving over the years to the award-winning and elegant haven we know today, complete with gorgeous manicured garden surrounds, sun-soaked terraces for lounging, and one of South Africa’s most impressive and well-curated contemporary art collections. Ellerman House is all about living life beautifully – at every possible touchpoint.
As much as the position is one of its most extraordinary virtues, Ellerman House is unique in that it is a space where guests appreciate its intimacy (there are only 13 suites, each a luxurious exercise in elegance-with-a-view) while enjoying a level of discreet and professional service that befits its Relaix et Chateaux five-star status. The two secluded contemporary-styled garden villas are expansive exercises in exclusivity – offering privacy for families or friends and including the likes of personalised service and chef for each, an infinity pool and a private spa, cinema room or library, depending on which you reserve.
Ellerman is an exercise in total immersion – into superb dining, a remarkable wine collection (the on-site cellar is home to 9000 bottles of world class wines and champagnes), and an art collection that is regarded as one of the best in the country.
The hotel is as much a destination in itself as a hub to call home while spending time in Cape Town – be it as a tourist or a staycationer. Guests can enjoy an expert-led daily wine tasting, can check into the Spa for a treatment or two, while away an afternoon in the gardens, or wander the hotel discovering the art and sculptures that are homed throughout the house and dedicated gallery.
A private art tour of Ellerman House is an excellent opportunity to lean into understanding more about the South African art world and its star creators, beginning with the likes of early pictorial historian Thomas Bowler (mid-1800s), taking in some of our greats including Irma Stern and Maggie Laubser, and moving to the mavericks of South Africa’s earliest contemporary movement such as Walter Battiss and Alexis Preller.
Importantly, the collection also showcases the South African contemporary art worlds’ black pioneering artists like Gerard Sekoto and George Pemba – and of course guests can view an impressive showcase of post- modern South African greats too.
With over 1000 original artworks, it is impossible not to be moved by the opportunity to commune with some of South Africa’s most notable talents, life really doesn’t get much better or more beautiful than at Ellerman House.