Royal Hotel – romancing The Wedding Expo


Frieda Paton

The Royal Hotel in Pilgrim’s Rest joined 120 other exhibitors at the popular ‘The Wedding Expo’ at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg on August 26-27. This Victorian hotel, established in 1872, has been a popular wedding venue for many years, with its tranquil setting surrounded by picturesque mountain scenery.

“We have a unique venue, at reasonable prices, for a romantic wedding in this historical museum village. This includes a choice of three intimate old-time churches,” explained Lella Smythe, Manager of the Royal Hotel when asked what had motivated them to participate in the Expo. “We also wanted to meet up with other wedding service providers, such as entertainers and suppliers of various wedding accessories, so that we are able to provide expert advice to our customers.”

Derek Mathebula, the Hotel’s Maintenance Supervisor, built the stand for the exhibit. It was designed according to Smythe’s specifications by her husband Kevin, an artist from Graskop, who also made himself available to erect the stand at the expo.  Smythe and George Mathebula, Reservations Manager at the Hotel, were available throughout the Expo to answer the visitors’ questions.

According to Smythe, the Expo was very busy and there was more interest than she had expected, not only in the Hotel as a wedding venue but also as a honeymoon destination.  She did, however, also experience that there were still many members of the public who had believed that Pilgrim’s Rest had closed down and was pleased to have been able to also contribute to marketing the village as a whole.

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