Owner of ‘the Nellie’ sold to French group LVMH
The Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town will mark its 120th anniversary in 2019 by getting a new owner.
LVMH, the French luxury goods group that owns brands such as Moët & Chandon, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, has agreed to buy Belmond – the hotel chain that owns “the Nellie” – for $3.2bn (R46bn).
LVMH is paying $25 a share for Belmond, listed in New York and previously known as Orient-Express Hotels, The Times reported in London on Saturday.
The Mount Nelson, also known as the Pink Lady for the colour of its outside walls, opened on March 6, 1899, and was the first hotel in SA to offer hot and cold running water.
According to Wikipedia, its first advertisement in the Cape Times read: “This large and splendid hotel, beautifully situated in the Gardens at the Top of Government Avenue, in the most Airy and Healthy part of Cape Town, offers to Visitors all the comforts of a First-class Hotel at Reasonable Charges.”
The British used the hotel as a headquarters from which to plan their campaign in the Boer War that began in 1899, and in 1925 the Prince of Wales stayed there.
The Mount Nelson remains a favourite of international celebrities who visit Cape Town.