Getaway to Gamtoos: New life breathed into a landmark hotel

BY DARREN JOHN - JANUARY 20, 2015

Being part of a caravan club is a great family bonding experience. This wonderful old school method of holidaying is incredibly cheap and can get you to some of the best spots in the Eastern Cape - its beautiful coast, river banks and unspoilt landscapes.

One such top destination is the recently revamped Gamtoos Ferry Hotel – just 15km from Jeffreys Bay and only 55km from Port Elizabeth.

Set alongside the majestic Gamtoos River, the hotel offers panoramic views of this river and the farmlands beyond its banks. It is a perfect place to enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets in the region.

Following the renovations, the hotel now features five cosy rooms that are available at very reasonable rates. The rooms, which can sleep about 12 people, have been tastefully furnished for a homely feel and feature a bar fridge, microwave and a coffee/tea station as well as a portable braai and table and chairs.

All the rooms have balconies that overlook the Gamtoos River where hours could be spent soaking up the splendid views or enjoying an afternoon braai.

For the outdoors trekker, there are 39 spacious caravan and camping sites, all covered with thick, lush and green lawns. The sites are clean and well-kept with plentiful electricity access points and purified water throughout the park. Here, you will meet other enthusiasts and make new friends!

I found the ablution facilities spacious and friendly to the disabled. There is hot water - with baths and showers, and a communal washing-up and laundry washing area.

Activities-wise, the Gamtoos Ferry Hotel now boasts a newly-renovated bar – so you won’t miss your rugby matches while quenching your thirst. Their restaurant will cater for all your needs including sumptuous breakfasts. A convenience store is also available with all the goodies you might have forgotten to bring along.

While the caravan park boasts several riverfront picnic and braai areas as well as a kiddie’s jungle gym, the more adventurous will find the Gamtoos River just perfect for swimming, canoeing, boat cruises and sandboarding at the river’s mouth.

As a tip, no visit to the Gamtoos Ferry Hotel is complete without throwing a line in the Gamtoos River, which is well-known for its Cob. Huge specimens are caught here on a regular basis.

Planning a wedding or function? The hotel offers a spacious venue which can seat up to 150 guests and a garden gazebo set next to the river – absolutely stunning! A professional coordinator is available to smooth your planning. 

For more information, visit www.ferryhotel.co.za or call 042 287 0758.