History Of The Windsor Hotel

The Windsor Hotel, built as The Sanatorium in 1896, has a long and proud history of over120 years.


Dr Joshua and his brother William built The Sanatorium. Dr Hoffman had his consulting rooms in the Sanatorium for local patients and the facility also attracted both local and foreign tuberculosis patients who wished to recuperate and be treated in the 'champagne air' for which Hermanus has always been famous.

The hotel was built in 1896 by Benjamin Rainsford, who was commissioned by Dr Joshua Hoffman and his brother, William. Rainsford was a wellknown stonemason from Riviersonderend. After completing The Sanatorium, he decided to stay on in Hermanus.

Dr Hoffman was married to Maria Smuts, the sister of General Jan Smuts. General Smuts himself frequently stayed at the Sanatorium. Whenever he did stay, he took an early morning dip in Fick's Pool and often walked up the mountain above Mountain Drive in Northcliff.


After the retirement of Dr Hoffman, the building was purchased as a sanatorium by Parker and Kruger.


Purchased, still operatingas a sanatorium, by Mrs. Margaretha Steyn


David Allenzensky bought the Sanatorium in 1931. During a burst of activity, he constructed the west wing. A dining room, kitchen and fifty bedrooms were added.

After a trip to England on the Windsor Castle, Allenzensky changed the name from the Sanatorium to The Windsor Hotel.
(He also changed his surname to Allen)

The entrance arch to the Main Road, with a bold Windsor Hotel, was also added.


Alex Luyt bought Windsor in 1940, when Hermanus was experiencing one of its heyday.

Servicemen from troop ships in Cape Town visiting Hermanus as it was just within the 100 mile limit fuel restriction.

The Hotel was the stay of choice for rock anglers, from across the world. Alex Luyt himself represented South Africa in a few angling competitions. The variety of fish found off the Hermanus coastline was a huge attraction in those days.


Bill and Phil Record took over custodianship of the Windsor in 1958.
They ran it for several years, gaining local support, when all the other hotels closed during the quiet times.

On Saturday nights they hosted dances with leading name bands from Cape Town and their special A Rand for a Rump or Kreef dinners.


In 1970 Humberto and Telentino Cordosa purchased the Windsor.  They lived in Ceres, Western Cape and employed managers to run the establishment. They kept the Hotel for a few lean years before putting it back on the market. The building stoodvacant from 1979 to 1981.


In 1980 The Windsor Hotel was purchased by Basil Clark-Brown. With his strong determination and will, as well as his ever supporting and committed wife,  Mrs Eve Clark-Brown, he set about restoring the Windsor to its former glory.

Rapid and intense upliftment followed. The fifteen tiny bedrooms in the Old Lady were combined to allow for more spacious rooms, all with en suite bathrooms. Three small bedrooms became one large en suite bedroom. The fifteen small rooms therefore became five large en suite bedrooms.

Additional buildings were added, including the East Wing. The East Wing is a three storey lodge with 54 units, both sea and mountain facing. The land was previously a parking area.

The entrance to the Windsor was originally from the Hermanus Main Road. This was changed to the sea facing side of the Hotel, on Marine Drive. The combined refurbishment and new accommodation wing, paved the way for the Major Change Opening at the end of 1989.

The Hotel was run with a full service kitchen. Pub lunches and traditional Sunday mealswere also served.

1996 Until present

Garth Clark-Brown purchased the Windsor Hotel from Basil in 1996.

In 2005, Garth purchased the Main road premises (previously Boland/BOE Bank). The building was converted into a separate office block, with ten additional courtyard bedrooms. Garth closed the full kitchen service, as the number of restaurants in Hermanus had increased to over eighty.

In a period of three years (2017 - 2019) Garth renovated the entire Windsor Hotel. He started with the ground floor bedrooms and worked his way through the 1st floor and 2nd floor. After the bedrooms he renovated the reception, breakfast room, lounges, annexure building and self-catering apartments.

Garth concentrates on producing the best value for money breakfast in Hermanus.

Under the current ownership and watchful eye of Garth, The Windsor Hotel continues their traditional hospitality and stylish waterfront living with all the comforts you expect.

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