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Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate

Fancourt Hotel & Country Club Estate

A golf estate on a par with the best in the world, Fancourt's history is that of a family home that grew and grew. Henry Fancourt White built a country house in Blanco, at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains, in the early days of South Africa's expansion, in the days of ox-wagons, pioneers and impassable mountain ranges. The building of Blanco House, in the style of a Cotswold Mansion, proceeded slowly from 1859. Henry, a wealthy man at the time, suffered a major financial setback in 1860 and died soon after. Blanco House was put up for auction in 1857 "a thatched-roof double-storey building with ten airy rooms, kitchen, pantry, outbuildings and servants' rooms.

The property was subsequently owned by Henri de Maraliac, Robert Drummond and M J Adams, the latter re-naming it Homewood in 1879. At a public auction in 1903 Homewood was sold to Ernest Montagu White, who re-named the house Fancourt in memory of his father - Henry Fancourt White. Ernest, or Montagu as he was known, spent the English winters at Fancourt. He made extensive improvements to the house, using indigenous timber from forests in the area. Always immaculately dressed - a Panama hat and a flower in his buttonhole being his trademark - Montagu supervised his estate from a white-canopied cart drawn by a red ox, he painted watercolors, knotted rugs and lived the life of a country gentleman.

Sadly, in 1916 Montagu, his sister and a friend succumbed to mushroom poisoning after enjoying a dinner of wild mushrooms picked by Montagu earlier in the day. The house stood empty for two years after the tragedy, although, it was said, the deceased Montagu and Elizabeth continued to visit their much-loved home! Rumors of ghosts did not deter Rubin Greer from purchasing Fancourt in 1918. He and his family, which included four daughters, brought music and laughter back to Fancourt. Legend has it that performance of the band members at their dances depended on the liquid refreshment they consumed. Too little and they refused to play, too much and they were unable to play!

A number of owners followed, and a century after Henry Fancourt White built his home it was in disrepair due to neglect. Dr Krynauw bought Fancourt in 1960 and through his skill and excellent taste, the property became a symbol of high-class living once again.

In 1969 Fancourt was sold to a property developer, who went into liquidation soon after. Andre and Helene Pieterse became the new owners and in 1987 they decided to transform their country house into an hotel and golf estate and the Fancourt Hotel opened in grand style on 23 March 1989.

By July 1993, however, Fancourt was on the market once again and in 1994 a German couple, Hasso and Sabine Plattner, bought the estate out of liquidation. Expansion and development proceeded at a fast pace, and when the present becomes history it will be said that Fancourt never stopped growing.

The heart of Fancourt is now the modern clubhouse, but the old Manor House will always hold its soul. When you visit the estate spend time in the stillness of the reading room, walk along the quiet passages. Imagine life as it was then, with Panama hats and buttonholes, with grand pianos, campher-wood kists, old silver and wild mushroom dinners.

The Garden Route is renowned throughout the world for its immense natural beauty. Winding along the edge of the warm Indian Ocean, the Garden Route encompasses all of nature's wonders: from huge mountains ranges to small lakes and the country's largest remaining indigenous forest, the Tsitsikamma, which is home to a kaleidoscope of flora and fauna and a multitude of rare bird species.

The Koi people named the area around Fancourt 'Outeniqua' or 'land of honey'. The name was a poetic description of the lush, fertile and beautiful surroundings.

At Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate, guests can choose between a room in the beautifully restored Manor House or one of the many stately Garden Suites and Studios, which are all newly refurbished.

Five fine restaurants offer a variety of dining experiences and bear testimony to Fancourt's reputation as purveyors of fine cuisine. From the intimate and elegant dining of the Montagu Restaurant to La Cantina's authentic Italian fare, the freshly prepared seafood dishes of Le Pecheur, the locally sourced produce of Bramble Lodge at The Links, the Morning Glory's health meals and light snacks, Fancourt's cuisine is a gourmet's delight.

The Health and Beauty Spa offers you the ultimate in relaxation in the most heavenly setting. The Spa has been redesigned to exacting international standards so as to refresh and revitalize your mind, body and soul. Enjoy a gentle swim in the heated Roman Bath, with magnificent vistas of the Outeniqua Mountains, or a visit to the saunas, steam room, Jacuzzi and sophisticated gym. The personalized treatments include hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, reflexology and a range of calming facials and massages as well as a hairdressing salon.

There is no doubt that Fancourt is South Africa's premier golf resort, featuring three highly rated Championship golf courses as well as the Western Cape's premier 18-hole public course. Since opening in the early 90's with just 27 Gary Player-designed holes, Fancourt's Outeniqua and Montagu golf courses have matured and developed into two of the finest 18-hole parkland layouts in the country. The Links at Fancourt was added in 2000 and Bramble Hill was added, a course that is distinctly Fancourt, yet has a friendly character all of its own. In addition to four golf courses suited to every type of golfer, Fancourt boasts one of the finest golf academies in the world, with state-of-the-art practice and teaching facilities, backed up by the expertise of PGA professionals, as well as several well-stocked on-course pro shops offering all types of golf merchandise.

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