The R130 million revamp of the Royal St Andrews Hotel is a welcome addition to the Sunshine Coast’s economy. Originally built in 1924 (just in time to host HRH the Prince of Wales), it was in need of a major overhaul, but thanks to new owners Linda and Martin Bekker, who fell in love with Port Alfred and the hotel while on holiday, as well as the Mantis Group’s involvement in the project, it’s once again synonymous with high standards.
The original 10 rooms have been renamed “heritage rooms” and while contemporary touches have been added, they retain their old-world charm. The 50 new luxurious rooms have been designed to fit into the theme and ethos of the original building.
The hotel offers wifi, conference facilities, the à la carte Thistle Restaurant and the popular Highlander Pub, both of which serve delicious food. The Paper Nautilus Deli serves a scrumptious breakfast and is open for group bookings for lunch and dinner.
Across the road from the hotel is the 18-hole Royal Alfred Golf Course, overlooking the Indian Ocean and containing blesbuck, springbuck, bushbuck and fallow deer. There is lots to do in the area, including walks and hikes, bird-watching and deep-sea fishing.
Tip: Take a stroll down Wharf St, the oldest commercial street, which is now filled with restaurants and treasures. Visit the Little Brewery on The River, which produces three distinctive craft beers and observe the brewing process. You can also enjoy watersports, go for a boat ride or visit 43 Air School (a modern training facility, which was an air force base during World War II).