New Paternoster guesthouse woos domestic tourism market

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Abalone House is a new five-star boutique guesthouse that opened in Paternoster along the Atlantic coast earlier this week.

The property features 10 suites designed around a central courtyard. Eight of the rooms have sea views and some feature private outdoor relaxation areas. There is a rooftop Jacuzzi plus swimming pool.

Beds are oversized and extra-length, dressed in monogrammed percale linen. The suites and bathrooms have under-floor heating, with heated towel rails and wall heaters for winter.

All suites are air-conditioned and appointed with flat screen televisions, cappuccino/espresso machines, stocked mini-bars, iPod docking stations, CD and DVD players, laptop safes and a digital weather forecast station. Extensive book and DVD libraries are also available.

Rack rates start from R1350 per person per night inclusive of breakfast and afternoon tea. In celebration of its official opening, Abalone House is offering South African residents special prices until the end of August 2010 of R790 per person per night, including breakfast and afternoon tea, subject to availability.

Owners Johan Jansen van Vuuren and Stef Venter have incorporated their love of decadence and grandeur into the dcor, which extends to a rich colour palette that reflects its African location. Luxury furnishings inspired by the vibrancy of Tretchikoff and orchids are key themes. Tretchikoff memorabilia is also available for sale to guests.

Interior designer Dawid Strauss has put together a dcor scheme that includes eclectic pieces from the owners' personal collection. Modern pieces are mixed with antiques, rugs, old silver, crystal and feather fringed lamps.

Large fireplaces dominate central areas.

Irish chef Nickie Lawson has put together a menu of West Coast cuisine and fresh local foods, which she describes as "exquisite world cuisine with an African twist."

Locally sourced seafood features prominently, alongside traditional local dishes. A special chef's table in the kitchen seats up to 10 guests.

Main meals, accompanied by select local wines, are served in the Saffron Restaurant under crystal chandeliers and surrounded by candlelight and artwork, antiques and more orchids.

Breakfast and afternoon tea are served in the Orchid Room, which also offers a place to relax during the day.

The Africa Bar also has a fireplace and serves a variety of French Champagne, single malt whiskeys, fine brandies, cocktails and other beverages.

Abalone House also offers a 16-seater boardroom, now a necessity in hotels looking to attract business travellers. It is equipped with all the necessary media and audiovisual equipment required for executive meetings and workshops. A small business centre is also available, with wireless internet connectivity offered throughout the property.

The design incorporates eco-friendly features wherever possible. These include: solar heated water; recycling of kitchen refuse; worm farm to fertilize the gardens; and a waste policy.

Packed beach bags are available for guests at the front door and picnic lunches can be arranged.

A compact suite is offered free to the driver or guide accompanying a tour group, ensuring they are accessible to guests in residence.

Staff are predominantly from the local community and trained in five-star service.

The boutique guesthouse is also open to day visitors wanting to experience the restaurants, by reservation.

Co-owner Johan Jansen van Vuuren says: "We want to remain part of the community and at the same time we are also a perfect choice for international guests."

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