Make yourself at home

Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa’s recent refurbishment is a stylish take on home-away-from-home decorating. Interior designer Clinton Savage shares his vision for the Somerset West hotel. (Enter our competition and stand a chance to win a stay!)

“This is a space for the young at heart, no matter how young or old they are,” says Urs Kern, the general manager of Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa, as he walks me through the hotel’s recently refurbished manor house. From the colourful reception that blurs the boundaries between indoors and out, to the cultural mash-up that characterises the array of décor accessories in the guest lounge, there’s a youthful energy at play in the hotel’s renovated public spaces. Urs is visibly proud of the design enhancements and spatial reconfiguration that Cape Town interior designer Clinton Savage conceptualised and oversaw. “The spaces are incredibly inviting – a home away from home,” he adds, and in doing so hits the nail on the head in capturing the essence of Clinton’s design concept.

“I wanted to create a space that was warm and inviting and that felt like home,” confirms Clinton, as we sit on sunflower-yellow occasional chairs below a window in the guest lounge. In stark contrast to the more reserved palette of blues that define the room, the chairs are undoubtedly the brightest pieces in the lounge, and are indicative of Clinton’s youthful approach to the space. “I conceived the lounge wanting guests to feel at home and never wanting to leave,” he adds. Against a backdrop of duck-egg blue, a sense of history is brought to life in the guest lounge. Referencing multiple cultures, Clinton has dotted a number of ginger jars and African collectibles about the room, and these coexist alongside contemporary elements that include geometric accents and fashion photographs. Tall raffia lamps on contemporary marble bases create height within the space and help subdivide it into intimate zones. There’s also a striking library wall (with shelves lit by concealed LED strip lighting) stocked with books for guests’ enjoyment. 

When asked what he considers to be the showstopper elements of his refurbishment, Clinton’s quick in his response: “I think my use of colour and choices for wall finishes – from wallpaper and wall panelling, to my incorporating aged mirror panels in the Oak Terrace Bistro.” On arrival at the reception, guests immediately take in a wallpapered feature wall of lush foliage. The abundant palm and fern fronds were inspired by, and are a reminder of, the estate’s verdant gardens, all newly landscaped by Alan Dawson. The variety of colours prevalent in Alan’s plantings – from coral and fever trees to a number of buchus and fynbos – are repeated in the reception area and the adjacent Oak Terrace Bistro. Shades of green dominate, and have been used by Clinton to adorn everything from upholstered armchairs and painted ceiling beams to the impressive concierge desk constructed from Verde Guatemala marble. Adding warmth throughout are herringbone timber floors with occasional brass insets.

Brass is a recurring material in the Oak Terrace Bistro too. Its inclusion in the pendant lights, sconces and dining chairs warms the pistachio-coloured room, as does the aged mirror detailing in the panelled wall insets. Hand-embroidered curtains, a Cubist-style artwork and a second library wall add to the room’s likeability. Considered design like the banquette seating that includes built-in charging stations, makes the bistro an ideal eatery for relaxed meetings. It’s the perfect spot to charge one’s digital devices whilst enjoying a coffee and posting photos to Instagram of some of Clinton’s home-away-from-home decorating.


Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa is offering one lucky reader an indulgent and pampered experience to the value of R4 400. Enter our competition and stand to win a one-night stay, including English breakfast, for two guests in a Courtyard Luxury Terrace Room, plus a small plates dinner that includes two speciality cocktails in Magnolia Social Dining Lounge. To enter, visit our Facebook page or Instagram account. Terms and conditions apply.

Words and styling: Martin Jacobs
Photographs: Greg Cox