'Fire jumps right over' five-star Plettenberg Park Hotel and Spa
An exclusive five-star hotel that recently went on the market for R65-million has been destroyed by the massive fire raging across the Garden Route.
Plettenberg Park Hotel and Spa, owned by businessman Russell Stevens, was nestled among fynbos on a 180ha reserve on a pristine stretch of coastline between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna.
When the Sunday Times visited yesterday, the gutted hotel building was marooned in a charcoal landscape.
"It's a write-off," Stevens said by telephone. "All the decks went and most of the glass windows melted under the heat. Then the fire got inside."Neighbouring landowner Tom Borman, a mining executive who owns a landmark castle on the top of a sea-facing cliff, was more fortunate - the fire burnt right up to his front door but was halted by the rocky cliff-top.
"It is perched on the rock and out of the way, and made out of stone - that is an advantage," Stevens said.
Borman and Stevens co-manage the fynbos reserve surrounding their properties. The hotel had 10 suites, a spa and an expansive entertainment area. In a recent press release, it was described as "an award-winning boutique hotel".