From Rivonia Bed & Breakfast to Rivonia Premier Lodge. A brief history.

Looking back over 24 years ...

We’ve grown …

  • from 2 rooms to 50
  • from a B&B to a Lodge

34 years ago Rivonia was a small village on the outskirts of Jo’burg. This was a hamlet where the circus came to town and residents would congregate at Rivonia Produce on Saturdays to catch up with their neighbours. Rivonia Road, as we now know it, did not exist. Rivonia Boulevard was the main road through the town.

37 years ago Gerard and Jill Marais purchased a house on a large property in Rivonia. Their children walked to school. Horses were stabled down the road.

The house and garden they moved into had been sadly neglected. However, the Marais’, who’d grown up in country towns, had all the space they desired. Jill taught and Gerard ran his own engineering company. Bed & Breakfasts were almost unheard of in those days.

1982 - the family poses on their new property.

The back of the property was like a jungle.

Over the years the jungle was brought under control and the house had a facelift.

the rugby World Cup in South Africa - 1995

The 1995 Rugby World Cup, which was hosted by South Africa, brought a new opportunity. Jill & her neighbour decided to open a small B&B – two rooms on Jill’s side, one small apartment on her neighbour’s.

The two women, eagerly awaited the rugby fans who would, they’d been told, come in their droves. Sadly, no one booked into their new B&B. But the idea of a bed and breakfast had been born and over the years B&B slowly expanded.

The first Rivonia B&B rooms, way back in 1995.

Note the old-fashioned TV (on the table) and the 90's Biggie Best look.

After adding more rooms, and once Rivonia B&B was established, both Gerard and Jill became full-time involved in this venture. Their family bought adjacent properties and the building continued. Architects, town planners, builders and interior decorators were involved in the continued expansion.

Drawing on their travel experiences and their research, the Marais’ oversaw and managed the building projects ensuring that every aspect of the guest’s comfort was catered for.

Today the Marais family, together with their excellent management and staff, proudly wish to re-name their award-winning establishment and give it its due. Rivonia B&B is a bed and breakfast no longer, but a 50-roomed lodge of proud note!