Rebuilding starts on fire-damaged Cape Town boutique hotel

George Sell By George Sell
30 March 2015 | Updated 30 March 2015

South Africa: The Tintswalo Atlantic boutique hotel on Cape Town’s Chapman’s Peak Drive is being renovated after it was damaged in the recent wildfires which hit the area.

South Africa: The Tintswalo Atlantic boutique hotel on Cape Town's Chapman's Peak Drive is being renovated after it was damaged in recent wildfires in the area.

The fires, in which two people were killed, damaged thousands of hectares of vegetation, and destroyed 13 houses.

Site clearing at the hotel has begun, and owners Ernest and Gaye Corbett aim to hand over to the builders next month. Five of the 11 suites and the entire main building of the hotel, which was opened in August 2008, were damaged. The cost of the damage is estimated at R25 million to R30 million (£1.4 to £1.7 million).

Ms Corbett said: "We always treated the lodge as if it was our second home so there were many things in there that had a special place in our hearts. I am still remembering so much that I will find hard to replace, especially the things that we collected on our travels, which had a special spot somewhere in the lounge. But then I think of the fact that nobody lost their lives, no staff were hurt, and all material things can and will be replaced. The loss of a life is irreplaceable. We were lucky."

"All upcoming bookings have been contacted and either refunded or moved to other hotels in the Cape Town area. We relocated them to the Twelve Apostles (Hotel and Spa) as this was the closest location that was not threatened by the fire. Some guests were locals, so they went home. We have even had many who are willing to postpone their bookings to next year, so eager are they to experience Tintswalo Atlantic and no other," she added.

Editor's Comment

An independent hotelier's life is a challenging one as it is, without having to contend with natural disasters. The fire at Tintswalo Atlantic must have been devastating physically and emotionally. But owners Ernest and Gaye Corbett seem like resilient people with the right attitude - as Gaye says, they were lucky to only suffer material damage. We wish them the very best with their renovation work and hope they are back in business as soon as possible.

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