In 2013, the Drostdy Hotel in Graaff-Reinet underwent a large scale refurbishment in order to upgrade the existing hotel into a 5-star luxury, boutique hotel. Aurecon was tasked with the design of the structural, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering services.
The original hotel was declared a heritage building by the South African Heritage Resources Agency and dhk architects, together with the client, De Oude Graaff-Reinetse Drostdy, needed to ensure that the redevelopment of the property would be able to educate, reveal and share the history of the property to tourists, hotel guests as well as the community of Graaff-Reinet.
One of the challenges of the project was to integrate the historical fabric of the old buildings into a new coherent whole, to facilitate continuity throughout the precinct, and link with the adjacent Ferreira House and Stretch’s Court. In order to overcome this challenge, Aurecon needed to apply innovative engineering solutions to ensure that the building services supported the architects’ vision of creating a world-class luxury hotel experience for guests.
The result of the restoration is a luxury, boutique hotel that reveals the property’s heritage and cultural significance in a contemporary way. In 2014, the refurbished hotel was successfully reopened and it received a 5 star rating from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa in 2015 The hotel also received top honours at the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) Excellence Awards when it won the Overall Heritage Award.