Country Life Personified – Rotterdam, Swellendam

Rotterdam is an elegant hotel and boasts a heritage that is both colourful and impressive.  If you are looking to get away and want to be surrounded by beauty and tranquillity, consider Swellendam, and even better yet, hook a turn into Buffelsjagsrivier.

The greater Swellendam area, made up of 7 towns and is the 4th oldest town in South Africa, and can date its inhabitants back to mid 1600’s. Snuggled into the farm lands lies Rotterdam, a working dairy farm, with history extending to 1794.

This is where we begin our little country adventure – the exploration of Rotterdam, a boutique hotel.

The dairy farm supports and provides the local community with various dairy options but also offers the perfect place to overnight or have your wedding.

Surrounded by 3 nature reserves, you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life here in Buffelsjagsrivier, and if you take a short drive from Rotterdam, you can experience the wildlife in the form of many types of buck, horses, birds and other wild animals.

Attention to detail, is what comes to mind, once you settle yourself into your room within Rotterdam.

You’re looking at luxury living but still with that country feel.

Rotterdam offers you the best of both worlds – comfortable Egyptian cotton bedding, large bathroom areas, with a bath and shower in most rooms, and views to die for.

If the food is anything to go by, you better come hungry as the servings are huge!

Previously a self-catering venue only, the owners have recently employed the services of a husband and wife team, Rika and Al Shmrani Saeed, who have created a masterful menu, filled with delicious home-cooked meals and who give you impeccable service.

There really is something for everyone here, and as mentioned, keep that tummy empty – the portions are rather large.

As you arrive, you will meet Dene or Jaco Badenhorst, the managing owners of the group Oena, who oversee Rotterdam, Kam’Bati River Resort, Africamps and Farmhouse Holiday, the latter not too far from Buffelsjagsrivier.

A leisurely stroll through the grounds will give you a feel of being nestled between years of history and a good old fashioned welcome mat.

The bespoke and simply laid out chapel situated near the boma, pool and braai area, and can seat up to 70, with room for standing too. Dene mentioned that,

“The chapel is non-denominational and we welcome any religious ceremony here.”

You have the choice of two historical buildings for your accommodation, Dewagenhuis, which has 7 impressive units, and Fraser Jones, aptly named after the owners, which has 12 units.

It has been suggested that Fraser Jones is perfect for a wedding party and because it’s quite separate from Dewagenhuis, there can be lots of privacy.

There is warm reception within each room, equipped with all you need for a few nights of rest.

But, you will find you won’t be spending too much time in your boutique room, as there is much to discover within Rotterdam itself, of interest, as well as in the old town of Swellendam.

Before you run off to explore the historical town, take a few steps closer to the farm and cows that feed close by, and you will find The Trophy room.

Be prepared to take a little trip into the history behind the Fraser Jones family, in particular Ian Fraser Jones, who was the first South African to take part in the Grand Prix, when in South Africa hosted it.

An avid hunter in his day, don’t be alarmed by the many trophy heads upon the walls as well as other African paraphernalia.

If you are a Formula One enthusiast, be sure to have one of the family members take you around The Trophy room, and lap up all the stories of speed, fame and new discoveries.

While our stay was only for one night, the warmth and authentic nature of Rotterdam was delightful

As a wedding venue, you have so many options for your church service and your reception.

And, of course, you could book the place out for your wedding guests–just be sure to book way ahead of time, as this is fast becoming a very popular venue.

I can highly recommend this venue, whether it be for a wedding or business function, or if you are simply looking for a quiet and peaceful place to overnight.

Contact Jaco or Dene Badenhorst today to book your function or accommodation today.

Booking Enquiries –

Rotterdam –

Office – +27 79 200 9098

Cell – +27 72 357 1131

Email –

By: Lisa Bell

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