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Caledon Baths - Sanatorium - Hotel
Caledon, Western Cape

Anthony M DE WITT: Architect

Date:pre-1905
Type:Hotel
Status:Destroyed

1911

In these days such institutions as the far-famed Caledon Baths are not only of the utmost importance to humanity from a curative point of view, but are a thing of beauty and a joy for ever. The properties of the mineral waters of these baths are unexcelled throughout the world, and Marienbad (beloved of Royalty) and Carlsbad do not surpass them in curative power. The most chronic cases of disease in which stagnation of the blood is the distinguishing feature yield to the chalybeate essence of the waters — a fact attested by the highest medical authorities. Moreover, the Baths are situated in a district in which Titania and all her fairy court might well wander amid the natural garden of multitudinous heath. The Baths are literally as old as the hills — and are older, indeed, than the particular hill from which the seven springs (one cold) rise from the earth, for it is a solid mass of ferruginous deposit which has been precipitated from the water during the lapse of ages. Caledon is no longer a primitive spa in which the virtues of the waters are neutralised by the discomfort of residence, for the Caledon Baths Company have had built a splendidly appointed sanatorium and hotel.

There are 100 bedrooms, several suites of rooms, 30 bath-rooms, 9 reception-rooms, and the buildings are furnished throughout with a view to the comfort and convenience of visitors. The vegetable and fruit gardens are extensive. Tennis, croquet, golf, and fishing abound in the neighbourhood ; and this health resort also contains a very large concert-hall, where dances are often held. Besides these advantages there are a billiard-room with two tables, a bar with full licence, and an electric bath, with a masseur and masseuse in attendance, as well as a doctor. The two dining-rooms are spacious, and a string band plays frequently during the week. There is roomy stabling, and carts are for hire; a motor-garage is also attached to the Baths. The hotel is lit up with storage acetylene. There are also two pianos in the hotel, and three reading and writing-rooms, and daily papers are in abundance. The institution has also the advantage of possessing its own butcher, and milk and butter are produced on the premises, as well as bread and other necessities. The water is radio-active. The Baths are located 1 mile (1.6km) from Caledon Railway Station and half a mile (0.8km) from the village. A carriage runs to and from the village every half-hour. The rates for visitors who enjoy a lengthy stay are remarkably reasonable, and rooms may be booked at Messrs. Thos. Cook and Son's, Cape Town. All trains are met by the hotel conveyances.

[Playne, Somerset. 1910-11. Cape Colony(Cape Province) Its history, commerce, industries & resources. London: The Foreign and Colonial Compiling Publishing Co. pp 113-114]

The bath hotel and sanatorium attracted many visitors. Unfortunately the whole complex burnt down in 1946. After that, chalets and a caravan park developed, until 1990, when the new Overberg Hotel was built.

[SJ du Toit. "The Overberg - Historical Anecdotes"]


Writings about this entry

Bakker, Karel A, Clarke, Nicholas J & Fisher, Roger C. 2014. Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa. Pretoria: Visual Books. pg 62
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pg 148*, 149
Radford, D. 1979. The architecture of the Western Cape, 1838 1901. A study of the impact of Victorian aesthetics and technology on South African architecture. Johannesburg: Unpublished Ph.D thesis. Dept of Arch. University of the Witwatersrand. pg 114