Recently refurbished and totally renewed, our hotel is a superior 3-Star, AA-recommended Grahamstown hotel : for sale

Recently refurbished and totally renewed, our hotel is a superior 3-Star, AA-recommended Grahamstown hotel

Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa


44 000 000 ZAR

Agent: Cliff Jacobs - Operations Director - South Africa & Africa - EC Mobility
Agent Cellphone: +27 (0) 84 413 1071
Agent Office Number: +27 (0) 21 554 0283
Agent Email Address:
Type: Boutique Hotel and (separate) Guest House
Bedrooms: 33
Bathrooms: 33
Showers: 33
Parking: 12
Yield: Not Disclosed
TGCSA Rating: 3 Star


Grahamstown is the heart of “Frontier Country”. And our hotel is the pulsing heart of Grahamstown – with everything great about the “city of saints”, literally at your fingertips. You’re a short walk from everywhere – Rhodes University, advocates’ suites and the Grahamstown High Court, magnificent museums, the resplendent botanical gardens, one of a handful of camera obscuras in the world, some of the most well preserved Victorian architecture on Earth; and all significant business and local, provincial and government offices and facilities in the area.

With its tasteful styling, cutting edge modern comforts, hi-tech conference facilities, and absolute proximity to the core of Grahamstown, our hotel puts luxury, variety, convenience, service orientation and stylistic excellence all under one roof – right in the middle of everything that makes Grahamstown glorious to visit!

Join us and enjoy your own stroll through the world of comfortable hospitality in “Frontier Country” style.

Activities in the Area

Activities include:

  • Adventure Bike routes
  • Abseiling
  • Angling
  • Beaches
  • Bird watching
  • Camping
  • Canoe and river rafting
  • Diving
  • Golf
  • 4 x 4 trails
  • Health Spa
  • Hiking trails
  • Horse trails
  • Historical attractions
  • Micro lighting
  • Mountain and Quad biking
  • Mountain climbing and abseiling
  • Museums and Libraries
  • Marine and game reserves
  • Paragliding
  • Rock climbing
  • Skydiving
  • Tours and safaris



Evelyn Waugh, who visited Bulawayo and the Matopos in 1864, likened the Matabele King to a deeply tragic figure from Shakespeare, combining as he did elements of Lear, Macbeth and Richard 11. It is an apt comment evoking, as it does, the picture of a figure, irreversibly caught up in the toils of history and singled out by the Fates for Nemesis. During the height of his powers, Lobengula ruled over some of southern Africa's richest and most sought after lands. He was the commander of a superb army modeled on the impis of the great Shaka Zulu and subject to the same ferocious discipline. Lobengula was a shrewd statesman and but for the European arrival in Africa Lobengula's dynasty might have continued unbroken. Instead he has passed into posterity largely unrecognized, his lands forfeited, and his achievements strangely neglected.

Lobengula succeeded his father Mzilikazi in 1870. It was a time of discovery of gold and diamonds in South Africa and already prospectors, traders and hunters were flocking northwards from Johannesburg drawn by tales of a land and riches across the Limpopo river.

During the early part of his reign Lobengula befriended many of the white missionaries and hunters who arrived in his kingdom, allowing the London Missionary Society to establish centres near his capital at Bulawayo whose name is derived from the Matabele word bulala, to kill. He developed a special friendship with the hunter and naturalist Frederick Courteney Selous, whose total honesty he greatly admired and to whom he referred admiringly as "a young lion".
However, as prospectors and concession hunters of various nationalities continued to flood into the region, Lobengula became uneasily aware of the Great Powers behind them who were casting increasingly covetous eyes on his lands and who would one day invade them. Illiterate he may have been but he was also astute and highly intelligent and the defeat of Cetshwayo and his Zulus had not been lost on him.

No African army, however powerful and self-disciplined could hope to win against an enemy, armed with artillery and Maxim guns. The answer, as he saw it, was to temporise with the Europeans and postpone decisions whilst conceding as little as possible in the process. More than once King Lobengula compared his position to that of a fly in front of a chameleon that "advances slowly and gently, one leg at a time until he finally darts out his tongue." Very well then. Since he could not hope to win on the battlefield he would shield his people by diplomacy, playing off the English, Germans, Afrikaaners and Portuguese against one another.

By 1888 however, Cecil John Rhodes, already a multi-millionaire through gold and diamonds, was making plans to move into Matabeleland, the lynch-pin for his grand design to extend the British Empire from the Cape to Cairo. As befitting a man whose meteoric career had taken him to managing director and the largest shareholder in De Beers, Cecil Rhodes was not exactly overburdened with scruples or sensibility. A mining or lands concession needed to be extracted from the Ndebele King and the means were secondary to the result.

To secure this priority Cecil Rhodes dispatched a delegation of three men, led by Charles Rudd, a member of De Beers and an expert in sorting out mining claims. The party arrived in Bulawayo in September 1888, impatient to settle matters quickly and return to Cape Town. They had underestimated Ndebele court etiquette however which required time for an audience to be arranged and so had to wait for nearly six weeks.

From the outset king Lobengula was deeply suspicious. He was only too aware that King Mbandezi of Swaziland had forfeited the major part of his lands through granting concessions to Europeans. Officially Rudd was asking only for mineral rights and emphasised that as Cecil John Rhodes had the total support of the British government this would guarantee Matabeleland protection from European colonialisation. How could he be sure though? Sooner or later they would want "land rights" and this as leader of the Ndebele he would not contemplate.

Quite possibly Rudd and colleagues would have gone away empty handed had it not been for the timely appearance of Sir Sydney Shippard, British Commissioner for Bechuanaland (now Botswana). Shippard, as the representative of Queen Victoria, was highly regarded by Lobengula and it was Sydney Shippard, together with a trusted missionary, Charles Helm, who finally convinced the king that Cecil John Rhodes really was to be believed and that this was the best way out of his dilemma with other concession seekers. At Helm's insistence, an oral translation of the agreement was explained to king Lobengula including assurances that no more than ten white men would be allowed to work in his country and that all their firearms would be surrendered on arrival.

And so it was that at midday on the 30 October 1888, trusting in the integrity of one of Her Majesty's appointed representatives and the word of a man of the cloth, Lobengula put his elephant seal to the agreement. He was soon to discover that he had been tricked and although he dispatched envoys to England to intercede with Queen Victoria, by then it was too late. He had been duped into signing a document that contained few of the assurances promised to him during the negotiations and one which was to lead to the annexation of his country five years later by Cecil John Rhodes and troops of his British South African Company (BSAC).

When Lobengula, accompanied by his remaining impis, abandoned Bulawayo to the advancing columns of British South African Company soldiers early in November 1893 he left behind two Europeans, William Usher of the Salvation Army and James Fairbairn, a gold prospector. Both men had settled in his capital many years before and the king had expressly instructed his Ndebele warriors that they should be left unharmed. So it was that his reputation as a man of his word, remarked on by many of the early missionaries and hunters, was maintained to the end. Major Wilson and his troops were given the task of capturing Lobengula.

For over twenty years of his reign Lobengula was under constant pressure from government officials and prospectors seeking concessions. To resist them without provoking a war called for statecraft and cool nerves as well as skillful control of his warriors impatient to wash their spears in European blood. His last words to his people as he rode away northwards into exile come down to us with a defiant, even valedictory, ring. "You have said that it is me who is killing you. Now here are your new masters the white men coming. You will have to pull and shove wagons which under me you never had to do. Remember I never I wanted to fight with them and tried always to prevent it." 


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Key features


A variety of tasteful, individually decorated rooms and luxury suites; as well as state of the art corporate event, conference and personal function facilities; travel and car rental services; and various restaurants and entertainment and live music venues are offered – in a single cutting edge complex in the centre of town.


Our hotel is also committed to the preservation of our natural resources. Throughout the years we have installed heat pumps and LED light bulbs throughout to save electricity and most recently we have embarked on water saving initiatives due to Grahamstown being declared a water scarce area.

Our latest installation consists of holding tanks to catch and store water to supplement our municipal supply, plus 2 three phase pressure pumps to ensure good hot and cold water pressure throughout.

Our municipal supply is irregular and most often at a very low pressure. This new system addresses all these concerns and assists us with water saving through continuous monitoring of our water usage. It’s also helped us identify key areas where wastage was taking place and we are saving in excess of 2500 litres a day. 

During your stay we kindly request that you be aware of the water crises and assist us in saving water.


From wonderfully appointed double and twin rooms, to sophisticated luxury suites, as well as family rooms accommodating up to six people, our hotel combines class with comfort and the cutting edge of modern hotel room design.

Individually decorated and orientated to optimise spatial convenience and eye-catching style, all of the Hotel’s rooms feel great and look fabulous!

You can comfortably relax, rest or work in all our rooms with absolute ease and maximum breathing space. And their en suite bathrooms are designed to cocoon you in fresh cleanliness and super-mod functionality throughout.

Of course, all rooms come with large flat-screen TVs, individual satellite television decoders, Wi-Fi, tea and coffee accoutrements and everything one would expect from a hotel where guests’ absolute comfort is the only priority. 


You can enjoy a wholesome buffet meal in a modern, relaxed atmosphere at The Pothole & Donkey Restaurant situated in the hotel complex. Catch all the sporting action on the big screen televisions at Champs Action Bar, renowned for excellent live entertainment and fun atmosphere.


Conference Facilities

Beyond its world-class accommodation, the Graham Hotel boasts state of the art conferencing and special event facilities, a plethora of travel services and a wonderful variety of socialising spaces – from eating out, to having a drink and even revelling in live music. 

Weddings; Conferences; Private & Corporate Functions; Launches & Exhibitions; Meetings, Workshops & Indabas – whatever you require, we can handle it all – with tailor-made packages to suit your needs and budgetary considerations. 

Whether you’re hosting a conference, colloquium, workshop, corporate event or private function, the Graham Hotel’s facilities are geared for the whole spectrum of special events!

Two event facilities are available: The Albany & Makana Rooms.

Exquisitely designer-styled; fully equipped with cutting edge audio-visual technology; totally adaptable to a diverse range of themes, set-ups formats and configurations; and serviced with a variety of types and styles of menus – both the Albany and Makana Rooms are fantastic events spaces.

Albany Room

Gorgeously styled and elegantly appointed, the Albany Room offers the finest AV technology and event facilities – whatever your special event requirements. Capacity depends on chosen configuration and we will design the best layout and event package to exceed your expectations.

Makana Room

Stylistically elegant and functionally fabulous, the Makana Room offers cutting edge AV technology and event facilities – whatever your special event requirements.

Its capacity depends on the configuration you prefer and we will design the best layout and event package to surpass your expectations.


Tours can be arranged from the Guest House which can include historical, township and adventure tours to a multitude of Malaria-free Big Five Safaris.


Beyond its world-class accommodation, the Graham Hotel boasts state of the art conferencing and special event facilities, a plethora of travel services and a wonderful variety of socialising spaces – from eating out, to having a drink and even revelling in live music. 

Entertainment, Leisure & Travel Facilities

If you enjoy the world of entertainment at your doorstep, it’s all under the same roof as you – part of the Graham Hotel complex that brings it all to you!  

The Pothole & Donkey

This newly established family restaurant is a fresh and unique concept design. It incorporates almost every aspect of different restaurants into one, indicative of the South African culture and culinary diversity. Its central theme harks back to the past when things worked and the decor reflects retro elements of a bygone era. Our slogan, “Making a Meal out Of Service Delivery” encapsulates our values of being dedicated to providing excellent service and fine meals, while hinting at political satire.

We have a fantastic range of a la carte, set and buffet menu options which can be served in the restaurant area or in our conference and function areas.

Key elements are the cigar lounge, kids play area, wood fired pizza oven, cocktail bar, extensive wine selection, full buffet, coffee bar and warm trendy atmosphere.

Champs Action Bar

Cheer and shout to the visuals of big-screen sport, play the best pool of your life and revel in the live music buzz of Champs Action Bar – Grahamstown’s most welcoming day-nite entertainment venue.

Travel Services

At this Hotel you can directly access a variety of travel and touring services. Whatever you’d like to see, do or explore, we’re here for you. 

Our range of cutting edge, state of the art facilities includes:

  • Concierge Desk
  • Room Service
  • DSTV 15-Channel, In-Room Decoder; Hotel Satellite TV Bouquet
  • Air-conditioning
  • Direct dialling telephones
  • Outstanding Special Event & Conferencing Rooms
  • Complete in-house or outside catering facilities
  • Forex
  • Wi-Fi
  • Printing & Fax facilities
  • Secretarial Services
  • Babysitting
  • Porterage
  • Postnet
  • Estate Agent
  • On-site Liquor Store
  • Secure off-street parking – on request
  • Bus and Shuttle service
  • Tours and Safaris arranged
  • Calabash Restaurant, Café & Bar
  • Spur Steak Ranch
  • Champs Action Bar
  • Swimming Pool
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Cliff Jacobs (Nat Dpl Hotel Man (UJ). MPRE. GA Level 5 TEFL)

Managing Principal / CEO

Exquisite Hotel Consultants (Pty) Ltd

Mobile: +27 (0) 84 413 1071 / +27 (0) 61 716 6951

Landline: +27 (0) 21 554 0283

Skype: cliff.jacobs


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