Iconic Cape property, the Townhouse, will close its doors for trade on March 31 after roughly 30 years of operation. Forward bookings are being transferred to a sister property, the luxury Vineyard Hotel in Newlands.
According to Townhouse executive management, the hotel is in the process of being sold. The terms of the sale have not been disclosed, however, it is understood the venue could be converted into some self-catering and sectionalised accommodation.
The Townhouse was opened in 1971 by Francois and Kitty Petousis. Together with the Vineyard and Oude Werf in Stellenbosch, it forms part of the Petousis Family Hotel Group.
Director, Lex Petousis, said The Vineyard and Oude Werf would continue to trade and were not affected by the sale.
He said hotels in Cape Town’s central business district had faced stiff competition in recent years and that the traditional city hotel model “requires change to make it work”.
Petousis is excited about the future of the family’s remaining properties, despite tough market conditions as a result of COVID-19 and is happy the Townhouse will be transformed.
He said the group had recently invested in the property but more was needed, and the group could not continue in the same vein.
Spokesperson for Thompsons Holidays, John Ridler, said the news of the closing was sad, and that the property had been popular with business travellers and visitors to Parliament. The hotel had also been used by local and inbound tour operators to give travellers a taste of the inner city, he said.
“Unlike many other cities, this area of the old CBD was well maintained and regarded as safe. Many important sights were within walking distance, including The Company’s Garden, the Grand Parade, St George’s Cathedral, Greenmarket Square, the Cape Castle and many museums,” said Ridler.
“We can only speculate on the many reasons why older hotels shut down, including ageing infrastructure, expired leases and rising costs, but the extended COVID-19 lockdown probably played a major hand in this.
“This elegant old lady of the city will be missed, and hopefully we will see a resurgence of interest in Mother City hotels in the near future as tourism opens up.”