This residence originally named “Schoonder Sigt” (“Clear
View”) is deeply steeped in the history of .
In the 1770’s it was one of the ten most conspicuous large
manors of . It was owned
and occupied by the Commandant of the Castle, General Robert J. Gordon, who
discovered and mapped a good part of . He discovered and also named our
great river, the (after the
Prince of Orange),
(after Governor Von Plettenberg). Gordon’s Bay was named after him.
At Schoonder Sigt (which gave its name to ) he maintained a vast garden: a floral
paradise which exported rare, hitherto unknown plant specimens, to
and the east via visiting ship captains. Thus got its name.
General Gordon who commanded the Dutch forces in lived there until 1795 when he was
defeated by the English Navy at the battle of Muizenberg.
In 1800 the manor was purchased by George Rex, an Englishman
who is believed to be the son of King George
and his first wife Hannah Lightfoot whom he
When the Dutch forces re occupied he was generously granted land at
Knysna, which town he founded.
Over the years the residence has seen many transformations
from a manor house to a nursing home to apartments. In 1973 the residence was
renovated to resemble a Spanish villa and renamed “Flower Street Villa”.
In 2010 the building, which is a national monument, was
completely renovated and restored, carefully retaining the original fabric of
the building whilst removing the “Spanish” styling and returning it to it’s
The Hotel has been under new management and owners since