The origins of The Twelve Apostles Hotel
The first member of the van Breda family came to the Cape in 1721 and over the years, the family became owners of large tracks of land. Lord Charles Somerset, Governor of The Cape, gave Michael van Breda a piece of land at Oudekraal in 1836 on which to build his own hunting lodge.
In 1929, Jack van Breda designed a handsome house – much after the style of Sir Herbert Baker – with two big white frontal gables and a thatched roof. It took two years to build.
Van Breda sold the farm on 28 January 1954 to Sir Henry Philip Price, Chairman of a well-known London tailoring establishment for the price of GBP60 000. Price issued instructions for the homestead, and slightly more than one acre of ground (portion 3), to be divorced from the remainder of the estate.
In 1955 Emily Bolton purchased portion 3 of the farm, on which the house stood, from Sir Henry. Bolton, a rich English spinster, lived here with her lover, a Mr Butcher. Bolton and Butcher, both regarded as recluses, led strange, solitary lives and paid no attention to the house which fell into disarray.
The Wiehahn family bought the surrounding Oudekraal Farm from Sir Henry’s estate on 28 May 1968.
In 1986 Mel Miller, who operated an advertising agency called The White House, bought the house on auction for R405 000.
In 1992, Miller sold the house to the developer Stephen Jones for R3.1 million, who decided, amidst great controversy, to build a R40 million hotel and conference centre. Stephen Jones sells the hotel to Business Bank.
The Business Bank and its assets are bought by PSG Bank.
In March 2002, the hotel became part of Red Carnation Hotels, who re-named it The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. Within just five years the property had been completely renovated. Around the hotel alien plant species were removed and extensive indigenous gardens were cultivated at the foothills of majestic Table Mountain, inviting hotel guests to take walks amongst the fynbos while enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
A member of Leading Hotels of the World, The Twelve Apostles won ‘South Africa’s Leading Spa Resort’ in the 2014 World Travel Awards, while Travel + Leisure named it one of the ‘Most Romantic Hotels in Cape Town’, and voted it amongst the ‘World’s Best 500 Hotels’.