137 High Street Guest House: On a journey to creating more special memories for visitors to Makhanda

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Friday, 9th July 2021

Makhanda locals Andy and Cavel Mullins turned their passion for renovations, not only into a profitable business, but a lasting memory for many visitors that come into Makhanda.

Andy and Cavel are the owners of 137 High Street Guest House, a building originally built by Piet Retief in 1823. “We bought the building back in 1993 when we were approached by Pam Golding to have a look at it as a possible renovation project,“ Andy said.

“We were going to turn into a student accommodation but I was approached by a friend who decided it would make a great bed and breakfast and she duly became our first tenant. We have had four tenants since that time which is about 28 years now. Three years ago we decided to take over the business and run of for ourselves. So we completely renovated the rooms. Repainted, refurbished, got it all spick and span. Our manager, Rala (Scotney) here came and ran it for us and then Covid-19 hit us,” Andy said.

Andy said the Guest House has been quiet for the past couple of months and hopes things will come right soon. Cavel in agreement with Andy added: “The Covid has hit all the hospitality industry quite badly. We are hoping that in the future everything will come back and we will have a lively full guest house because we really enjoyed having clients with us and hosting them.”

Unique Features of 137 High Street Guest House

“When I came to renovate the building, I discovered original yellow wood ceilings that I had to take down, clean up and put back up again in their original state,” Andy said. He added that he found that they were originally painted about ten coats of green paint. “So I took them down and cleaned off the paint and put them back up and varnished them. They look magnificent now. Same goes with the floors. They were in a shocking state. I re-sanded the floors and re-varnished them as you can see.” The completed renovation of this Georgian style house came with beautiful results without taking away its old world charm.

Cavel said the guest house was known for its lovely family rooms. “We also have very good Wi-Fi, offer a very good continental breakfast for all clients! The guest house also comes equipped with a liquor license for people wanting to enjoy the bar area.” She also mentioned that the property has an outdoor area with a beautiful garden where guests can sit and relax in. The garden also has a stone wall that has been around since the guest house was built in 1823 by Piet Retief.

Another interesting feature of this historic guest house, is the original fire place (still in place and operational). Pointing at the fireplace which is centrally located in the common area near the dining room and bar, Andy said: "This is the original fireplace built in 1823 and then the bar, I had purpose that built out of yellow-wood so it fitted in with all the yellow-wood ceilings and floors so it all looks the same," Andy said.

Cavel said in winter time, they put the fireplace on. “It guest house a nice, cosy and homely feeling”.

Cavel added that water conservation was very important to them and therefore have installed water tanks for rain water harvesting. They further encourage guests to use water sparingly with the use of onsite signage. “We have eco-friendly shower heads in the showers as well”.

Learn more about the property.

Meet 137 High Street Guest House Manager, Rala Scotney here.

To contact 137 High Street Guest House, visit: https://bit.ly/32aBItP

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