Designed by Etienne Hanekom Cape Town, South Africa

Majeka Guesthouse

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Etienne Hanekom was given an open brief to design a concept for a 5-star boutique hotel in Stellenbosch. The only catch: the work had to take place over the course of years, during the two-month winter closure of the hotel. Hanekom managed to turn this fact into an advantage: instead of working with a fully laid-out plan he allowed his design to grow organically.

Evolving design

“The Majeka Guesthouse has 22 bedrooms and a number of public spaces”, says Hanekom. “The knee-jerk reaction would be to partially close it down and re-do the whole place as fast as possible. We decided from the start to only use the two-month winter closure for the redesign. Starting with the public spaces three years ago, I have given every space in the building a slightly different style, allowing the design to evolve.”

The wood wall panelling adds a feeling of warmth and quality to the rooms.

Natural edge

Hanekom: “Using basic materials – raw wood, paint, wallpaper – I wanted to do something a bit more bold. So I used wallpaper on the ceiling and flooring on one wall, flipping the room 90 degrees. My signature: The patterns and materials are classy and glamourous, but there’s always an animalistic, natural edge to them.”

We only use tough materials, that are able to withstand the cold winters and extremely hot African summers.

Choosing materials wisely

Hanekom found this working method is both exciting and challenging. “Re-creating a 5-star room in a short time frame means choosing your materials wisely. Pre-finished and easy to install flooring is a must. Seeing my approach work year after year, with the complete trust of my client, really is a thrill.”

Products used
Flooring Sublime, Retired
Grades Markant (no longer available)
Finish Bespoke
Thickness 15 mm (5/8")
Plank widths 180 mm (7")
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