Fern Hill Hotel has a rich history dating all the way back to the mid-19th century. Since the original farm was built, the property seemed destined to be part of South Africa’s hospitality industry.


Built in 1851 by the Swann family, the original farm became a trading post and boarding house in 1888 for the Trekkers who stopped off before descending the treacherous Umngeni Gorge.

Over many years it became a popular holiday resort until the early 1960′s.


Gion and Karen Poltera bought the property in October 1989 and painstakingly reconstructed the dilapidated buildings that remained. Within eight months the majority of the renovations were complete, and in May 1990 Fern Hill Hotel was officially re-opened.

What started off as a small hotel with only six bedrooms, a small bar, restaurant and conference room, has developed to great proportions.


Today it boasts twenty-six climate-controlled bedrooms, all en-suite, as well as a host of public rooms. The hotel has three conference rooms, an award-winning restaurant, two bars and a fully accredited training college for students wishing to develop their skills in the industry.

The hotel is set in twenty-five acres of park-like grounds, with water features, a gazebo, a thatched deck, swimming pool, tennis Court, volley ball court and braai/barbeque area.