The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa will be celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2020, having opened their doors in April 2000 as a 26-suite luxury hotel and executive conference centre. In the interim the Saxon has built their reputation for unequalled luxury, having been honoured by the World Travel Awards as the World’s Leading Boutique Hotel every year since their first participation in the awards in 2000.
The history of the Saxon dates back to the 1980s when Douw Steyn, one of South Africa’s leading captains of industry and founder of an international insurance empire, acquired the six acres of prime residential property on which to build his dream home, which was to be named the Saxon, bearing the Steyn coat of arms. Originally designed as an exclusive, luxurious private residential retreat, it was later developed into the ultimate boutique hotel destination of choice for some of the world’s most celebrated personalities – including South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, who resided at the Saxon for six months whilst his own residence was still under construction. The serene surroundings provided the perfect setting for editing his autobiography, ‘A Long Walk to Freedom’. The magnificent suite occupied by the beloved elder statesman was later named the Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite in his honour.
The original hotel was expanded during the following years, with the award-winning Saxon Spa first launching in 2006 and then being redesigned and relaunched in 2016. Furthermore, in June 2010 the Saxon proudly unveiled their three magnificent new Villas, each with its own private dining library or private boardroom, outside terrace and heated plunge pool, bringing the total suites at the hotel to the current 53. The heart of the Saxon lies in the team bringing the hotel to life daily – every member of this team living the Saxon ethos that no request is too much, nothing is impossible. In the words of the long serving Managing Director of the Saxon, George Cohen:
“The Saxon has a fabled history within South African culture, a historic landmark with a notable past and a heritage we are proud of. This year we look back on 20 years of hospitality, service, excellence and the luxury we are synonymous for.
Our experience is an authentic reflection of our surroundings which imparts a sense of harmony and wellbeing and delivers lasting memories to each guest that enters through our doors. Our unique sense of hospitality is what sets us apart. It is not what we do, but it is the way in which we do it. We continuously strive to create an environment for our guests where they can embrace a sense of value and belonging; a place where your surroundings form a natural extension of your own life. It is our intuitive and anticipatory service that forms the foundation of their experience whilst creating timeless memories.
The team at the Saxon is committed to making a difference each day, to offering consistent and efficient service, and to delight and satisfy our guests in every interaction we have. We aspire to lead the tourism sector in sustainable development and to inspire others.
In our 20-year history, the Saxon experience has continuously evolved, striving to fulfil our guests’ wishes. Ultimately, the vision of Douw Steyn and his family was to create a place where one truly belongs. It is through excellence and commitment to our reputation that we continue to create a legacy that will remain unchanged and unsurpassed. We will continue on this path.”