Rothman Manor

Rothman Manor: Our full report

6 rooms
Traveller's rating
Excellent (100%) From 1 review
Suitable for 5 years +
mid June to mid May

Situated in the in the heart of the Overberg town of Swellendam, Rothman Manor offers modern accommodation in a traditional Cape Dutch house, set within 3.5hectares of lush park-like gardens, with their own resident springbok and zebra.

Rothman Manor was originally built in 1834 and is split into three thatched-roofed buildings. Two of these are the original buildings and the third is a later addition. Three of Rothman Manor’s six individually decorated rooms are located in the newer building and the other three are in the middle, original building. In the other original building you will find the lounge and dining room.

One bedroom is a “cosy" single room suitable for a single traveller. There are two standard rooms, two larger luxury rooms and one very spacious loft suite, with a separate lounge area and even a small kitchen. This room takes up the whole loft area of the newer building.

All the rooms are individually decorated in a quirky very contemporary style, with bright colours and modern furniture, which blends very well with the original buildings and its traditional features. The owners Andreas and Franziska Göbel are German and they have stamped their personal quirky mark on Rothman Manor. Franziska is an artist and her paintings are displayed throughout the property.

Each room has air conditioning (with heating function), a satellite TV, personal safe, ipod docking station, direct dial telephone, tea/coffee making facilities and a stocked minibar. The en-suite bathrooms have underfloor heating and are equipped with heated towels rails, bathrobes, hairdryers and complimentary toiletries.

To give you an idea of the style of the rooms, on a recent visit (May 2014) I was allocated a luxury room, which was very spacious with a large bedroom with double bed and white and pink bedcovers and cushions, pale blue walls and a bright painting by Franziska on the wall. The floors are wooden and lead into the lounge with a white leather sofa and chair and cowskin rug on the floor. More bright artwork adorns the walls here too. This room had two sets of French doors leading out from the lounge, one to the front onto a patio with garden furniture overlooking the garden, and another to the side with access to the path leading to the main building. The en-suite bathroom has a black and white theme with black and white checked tiles on the floors and black and white tiles on the vanity unit. It has a corner bath, separate shower, twin basins and toilet. Soft white fluffy towels and toiletries are provided.

Inside the main building, the lounge at Rothman Manor has original pieces of yellowwood furniture mixed with modern white leather sofas and armchairs around a stone fireplace. Some of the walls are painted green with splashes of green on the cushions. The floors are stone with a large coir mat and African artefacts are dotted around.

French doors open from the lounge on to a paved patio area around a large oak tree – this looked like it could be a really nice spot to relax with a book or to enjoy breakfast on a sunny day, however it had been raining during our stay so we ate indoors.

A small breakfast room leads from the lounge and is decorated in white and orange and has individual tables. At breakfast time the buffet is laid out on the yellowwood sideboard and dresser in the lounge for guests to help themselves to and a cooked breakfast of your choice is available too.

The park-like gardens at Rothman Manor are a highlight. Within the rolling grounds are a salt-water swimming pool with sunloungers, a large lily pond stocked with koi, a small dam and an elevated outdoor Jacuzzi and sun deck overlooking the adjoining reserve which is stocked with zebra, ostrich and springbok. The birdlife here is great too.

Swellendam has a lot to offer visitors and a stay here is worth more than just one night. Visit the Drostdy Museum (Swellendam is the second oldest town in South Africa after Stellenbosch), the nearby Bontebok National Park, with some lovely walking trails and Marloth Nature Reserve with waterfalls in an indigenous forest. Further afield is the De Hoop Nature Reserve and Cape Agulhas, the most southerly tip of Africa.

Our view

Rothman Manor is a modern contemporary guesthouse located in a traditional manor house – a pleasant surprise! The gardens are a real treat to explore. For comfortable upmarket accommodation in Swellendam, this is a good place to stay.


Location: Swellendam, South Africa

Ideal length of stay: 2 nights is ideal to explore everything that Swellendam has to offer

Directions: Rothman Manor is located at 268 Voortrek Street, the main street in Swellendam, and easy to find once you are in Swellendam.

Accessible by: Self-drive

Key personnel

Owner: Privately owned by Andreas and Franziska Göbel

Food & drink

Usual board basis: B&B

Food quality: Rothman Manor serves breakfast daily between 08h00 and 09h30 am, either in the breakfast room or outside on the patio under the oak trees.
There is a large buffet displaying a selection or cold meats, cheeses, different flavoured yoghurts, fresh fruit and fruit juice, cereals, fresh bread and rolls and a selection of pastries and muffins. A cooked breakfast of your choice is also available.

Lunch and dinner are not served but there are many restaurants to choose from in the area, with a pizza restaurant right next door.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Drinks included: Drinks are not included in the rate. Stocked minibars are available in each room with an cost of ZAR12 (approx. 70 pence) for soft drinks, spirits ZAR25 to ZAR30 (£1.50 to £1.70) and bottles of wine from ZAR120 to ZAR150 (£7 to £9). Crisps and nuts are also available in the rooms at a cost of ZAR10 each (50 pence).

Further dining info: Room service is not available


Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome at Rothman Manor

Property’s age restrictions: There is no age restriction.

Special activities & services: There are no child minders on site but Rothman Manor can arrange one on request from outside.

Equipment: Cots and highchairs are available and extra beds can be placed in the luxury rooms as well as the loft suite.

Notes: Children will need supervision around the pool and pond as well as the rolling grounds towards the reserve.


Power supply: Mains Electricity

Communications: Free internet access is available and the rooms are all equipped with telephones. There is good cellphone reception too.

TV & radio: Each room has a satellite TV.

Water supply: Mains

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: No

Medical care: There are doctors as well as a hospital in Swellendam.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: There are security gates and guests have a key to let themselves in after hours.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers at every room as well as in the mains areas.


Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: A full laundry service is available at an extra charge. Prices range from ZAR10 to ZAR30 per item (approx. 50 pence to less than £2 per item)

Money: All rooms are fitted with electronic safes. No currency exchange is possible however there are many banks and cash point machines in Swellendam.

Accepted payment on location: Amex, MasterCard and Visa credit cards are accepted as well as cash payments in South African rand.