Many years ago, Ballito was a very small coastal town with only one main road. Most of our main attractions, like the mall, were only sugarcane fields. Over time, more and more tourists visited our coast, so the town grew to accommodate those who wanted to visit Ballito for a great holiday. This called for places where holidaymakers could stay and relax on their vacation.

With a heritage that dates back 51 years and what was once an all-suite hotel, First Group’s La Montagne Hotel has become an icon on our coast. The hotel offers the discerning traveller or holidaymaker accommodation, spectacular sea views, dining experiences, live show entertainment, relaxing treatments at the spa, and delicious cocktails along the poolside, ensuring their guests have a great holiday.

Although much of the interior was refurbished, the magnificent high white walls of the exterior still stand strong, showcasing its glory along our coast. I think the hotel’s name is rather fitting, as the French translation for La Montagne is ‘The Mountain’. Pretty spot on, don’t you think? Over the many decades, the essence of this iconic hotel has remained steadfast, but they have made some changes that continue to make this spot better and better.

So, what’s new? La Montagne is doing a soft refurb on the renovated rooms from 2015 to 2018. The other rooms were renovated with a classic and sophisticated look, with fixtures and furnishings that were carefully thought out, ensuring guests’ comfort and practicality.

They have a popular seafood restaurant, Polipetto (which means ‘baby octopus’), that opened in August last year and has become a favourite spot for the freshest seafood with views of the magnificent Indian Ocean. The conference room was upgraded, giving the room a fresh and modern look. The audio-visual equipment allows business and social event bookers to “plug in and play”

The Beach Bar and Thirsty’s are two new offerings at La Montagne, giving their guests various choices under one roof. Thirsty’s was cleverly designed, allowing flexibility in its offering. It is perfect for an early morning business meeting or quiet time before work, where you have free Wi-Fi and can grab a delicious cappuccino. You can also enjoy a light lunch, and it becomes the perfect spot for a nightcap in the evening. With folding doors that open towards Palm Terrace, rainy weather doesn’t stop them from still ensuring a successful “thank goodness it’s Friday” every Friday night. TVs are strategically placed in Thirsty’s and Palm Terrace to ensure no.. sporting event is missed.

The Beach Bar is perfect for a few slushie cocktails with incredible views or classic sundowners! For endless summer fun, the pool deck has a refurbished pool and a beautiful kids’ outdoor playing area, including a sand pit and climbing wall.

I remember my family and I would enjoy a show or two at the popular The Pumpkin Theatre. The theatre did go through a period when it was closed due to renovations, but they are happy to announce that they are back, and with a bang! Once again, you get to enjoy live entertainment throughout the whole year. Maybe you want to enjoy a trip down music memory lane with the multi-award-winning Staccatos or a dazzling burlesque show this April? Then The Pumpkin Theatre has a fun month for you.

La Montagne has just launched a new initiative allowing Ballito and surrounding locals to become members at no cost. Being a Private Club Member allows you access to La Montagne to make use of all their facilities and enjoy special benefits from their various outlets and business partners. Application forms are available at the hotel. An entrance fee is charged if you don’t have a membership card.

Next time you visit or simply drive past this landmark in our beautiful town, remember when you first saw or stayed at the hotel, visited one of the many restaurants, or sipped a cocktail on their deck while enjoying the most amazing sea views.

You might surprise yourself with how the years have flown by, and through it all, La Montagne still stands tall.