The Montclair Hotel
The Montclair Hotel
The Montclair Hotel was originally known as the Dannakay Hotel (built April, 1949). The Dannakay was later renamed the Nyanga Mountain Hotel. In the early 1960’s the hotel was renamed Montclair Mountains Hotel. In 1970 Mr. and Mrs. Lound bought the hotel and called it Montclair Hotel. This duo did not operate for long before selling the establishment to Lonrho who changed the hotel to Montclair after Mr. Lound‘s faithful dog.
The hotel was originally run and owned by Mrs Ann Lount. However, in the early 1970’s the hotel fell under the management of Southern Sun Hotel Corporation (Pty) Ltd.
In 1977 a casino was opened at the hotel at a cost of $100,000. The casino was designed by Frank Lincoln, Salisbury and offered roulette, black jack, poker, chemin de fer and one-armed bandits. Fifty percent of the profits was directed to the Rhodesia National Tourist Board to help hotels in the region affected by the Bush War and included: Brondesbury Park, Holiday Inn, Rhodes Inyanga Hotel and Troutbeck Inn.
On 9 May 1978, The Montclair Hotel was attacked by the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA). During the attack, the guerrillas fired at least three rocket‐propelled grenades at the hotel hitting the dining room, before opening fire with AK-47 assault rifles.
Two Rhodesian civilians, Betty Verran of Juliasdale and Mrs. D. Groenewald of Salisbury, were shot and killed and an American tourist, Minnie Bolan, was wounded from glass fragments. The guerrillas were chased away from the hotel by some of the staff who had armed themselves with guns, kept for protection from guerrillas.
During the years from 1980 to 1987 the rooms changed in number from 64 to 85 and it is during this time that the staff cottages were built, More so, Mr. Landay Ferreira and Mr. Benata bought the hotel and leased it to Grinaker, a company which had subsidiary units like Kariba Battery, Jaggers and other various construction companies who then brought in Holiday Inn to manage the hotel, and called the hotel The Holiday Inn Mountain Hotel.
In the year 1987, the Zimbabwe Sun Hotels took over the management of the hotel and called it Montclair Casino Hotel. The service provision from the casino was exceptional and this resulted in the hotel gaining an additional star to its rating from three to four stars.
In 1997, the Briolette Services (Pvt) Limited, a consortium of indigenous businessmen bought the hotel and called it the Montclair Hotel and Casino Private Limited and are running it to date.
- New York Times, Guerrillas Raid Hotel in Rhodesia Killing 2 and Wounding Amercian- May, 1978
- Rhodesia Herald, Casino Gamble Pays Off Well – Oct,1977