Lodge to rise from the ashes

2017-10-26 06:00
Three months after a devastating fire left several structures at a well-known game lodge in ruins, construction to rebuild the J-Bay Zebra Lodge, is in full swing. Owner Florbela Mateus Duc says the three main luxury suites, as well as their own home, were gutted.                                                  Photo:MONIQUE BASSON

Three months after a devastating fire left several structures at a well-known game lodge in ruins, construction to rebuild the J-Bay Zebra Lodge, is in full swing. Owner Florbela Mateus Duc says the three main luxury suites, as well as their own home, were gutted. Photo:MONIQUE BASSON

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BUILDING from the ashes . . .

Three months after a devastating fire left several structures at a well-known game lodge in ruins, construction to rebuild the J-Bay Zebra Lodge, is in full swing.

The lodge will soon boast new luxury accommodation, and is furthermore set to become the first fully operatio-nal wine estate in the Eastern Cape.

Situated just off the N2 in Thornhill, the lodge is set to reopen in April 2018.

According to owner Florbela Mateus Duc, the three main luxury suites, as well as their own home, were gutted on Saturday, June 10.

“Although the two luxury tents did not suffer any da-mage, the canvas will have to be replaced due to the smell of the fire,” says Mateus Duc who only packed for 24-hours when they had to evacuate in a hurry.

Mateus Duc, who moved from Switzerland to Thornhill in 2011, says the new suites will be built on the foundation of the previous structures, thus sporting the same footprint.

“The suites will still boast thatch roofs: it is what gives charm to our accommodation. Furthermore, each unit will have a deck all around - offering guests a 360 degree view of the ocean and mountains.

“One of the units will be a double storey to afford ample space for families.”

Wine Estate Project

Apart from the lodge being rebuilt, the newly established J-Bay Zebra Lodge Wine Estate Project is making great strides. Some 450 vines of Chardonnay, Viognier, Grenache, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Durif have been planted since the first week of August and are already showing promising results.

“We hope to bottle our first wine within two to three years,” says Mateus Duc. “It is our dream to become the first fully operational wine estate in the Eastern Cape.”

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