Witsieshoek Mountain Inn is located in the Drakensburg Mountains in South Africa, 3000m above sea level. The views from the area are nothing short of spectacular but it is one of the most inaccessible parts of the country. The hotel was popular with hikers but early in 2010 it closed as it had fallen into such a state of disrepair. The hotel was immediately hit hard by the elements and was abandoned for a number of years.
The South African climate, especially at high altitude in the Drakensburg Mountains, weathered the building quickly as can be seen in the below video. Its remote location in the mountains meant the building was hard to maintain even in the years when it was operating. It was in an advanced state of disrepair when it was decided to redevelop it in 2012 and since then a full renovation project has been undertaken. It reopened in 2013 as a luxury mountain getaway.
The information about the redevelopment is on their website http://www.witsieshoek.co.za/
Why is Witsieshoek being re-developed? At the end of 2010 the Batlokoa community-owners of Witsieshoek were set to close the Lodge because it had fallen into such a state of disrepair that it was no longer receiving visitors. Dozens of permanent jobs would have been lost, as well as a much-loved Drakensberg destination. Instead, the community appointed professional management operators, Transfrontier Parks Destinations, who helped the community access development funds through a government job-creation Extended Public Works Program to redevelop the site.
In addition to providing professional building contractors, this program is also designed to employ previously unemployed people and give them on-the-job training. As a result, the Witsieshoek re-development is currently providing the community with an opportunity to train over 200 people in the construction industry, as well as create a future 3 and 4-star Lodge that will have over 50 permanent jobs in the hospitality industry.
Location: Drakensburg Mountains, South Africa
Abandoned: 2010 (Since renovated & reopened)