Natural Disaster Hits Franschhoek


The Last Word Franschhoek, one of three properties in The Last Word Intimate Hotels’ portfolio, was totally flooded when recent torrential rains hit Franschhoek in South Africa’s Western Cape.

Every room including the bedrooms, public areas and kitchen were under water and completely destroyed - in some places the water was more than a metre deep. The destruction was so severe that the hotel has been officially closed for reconstruction to repair the extensive damage which will include an entirely new make over. It is scheduled to reopen in April 2014.

“The property was fully booked and all the bedrooms were occupied at the time of the disaster,” says Nicky Coenen, group general manager of The Last Word Intimate Hotels. “We are, however, happy to report that neither staff nor guests suffered any injury whatsoever and that under stressful circumstances our management team at The Last Word Franschhoek handled the situation with extreme professionalism.”

Shaun Terry - owner of Divine Intervention - whose clients were staying at the hotel that particular night, was sympathetic offering The Last Word group and The Last Word Franschhoek team his condolences. His clients, too, were accepting of this untoward predicament. They complimented Conrad Flatow, the hotel manager, on his confident handling of the disaster. Flatow secured alternative accommodation and helped salvage much of the visitors’ personal belongs. Looking on the brighter side the guests said this would be an exciting tale to relay to their grandchildren when they returned home to Hong Kong.

Our promise is to use this time constructively and guarantee that The Last Word Franschhoek will reopen on the 1st of April 2014 newly and freshly refurbished without losing any of its original character and serviced by the same warm hospitality that guests have come to know and love.

The Last Word management team would like to thank all its trade partners, fellow hoteliers, Franschhoek guesthouse owners and especially guests staying with us that night and due to arrive during refurbishment, for their remarkable support during this distressing time.

Kelsey le Voy