Hotels in general are metamorphosing entities, although one thing many hotels fail to recognize, or did far too late, is that ‘olde-worlde charm’ cannot be replicated. The Nest Hotel is one such establishment, born of a whim and carried by pure passion.

On the 21st of September 1849, David Gray left Scotland with his wife and four children on the ‘Aliwal’ bound for Port Natal later to be named Durban. In 1855 the family moved to the Voortrekker Farm bought from a Mr. Opperman where The Nest stands today. Most certainly they had the ‘pick of the Berg’ back in those days.

During the Langalibalele rebellion in April 1874, rebels stormed the house and stabbed the Gray sons, David (29) and Walther (15), before David Gray Senior fired a shot through the veranda post resulting in the rebels bolting. Fortunately, David and Walther recovered. Regrettably, the homestead was burnt down that same night.

On the 24th of January 1900, near The Nest, a major battle between Boers and British soldiers took place. This was the Battle of Spionkop. This was one of the most significant battles of that era in our history. The battle site is well preserved and can be visited to this day.

In 1933, Lesley Forbes Gray opened a Guest House in the re-built farmstead and in 1943, with the help of the Italian POW’s, The Nest Hotel was built.

Since then, The Nest has had a few changes of ownership and management. In 1963 Theodore Haug took over the hotel and ran it for 16 years, followed by Ernie Malherbe who in turn ran it for 9 years. The Malherbe’s were followed by Willie German who ran it for 27 years. However, it was in 2014 that Stuart and Shelley Longmore took over the management of the hotel and with an insatiable determination, acquired it as their own in 2017.

It is the considered decision of Stuart and Shelley to maintain the ‘olde-worlde charm’ and history that is The Nest, improving and upgrading as a constant endeavor without disturbing the true heritage of the Drakensberg.

The Nest is unpretentious, yet grand in her own way.

Come and celebrate our birthday with us as Paul Spence Presents, “Diamond is Forever” on 25 November 2023, you can find out more HERE