The Blades Hotel and Venue on the banks of the Roodeplaat dam

The Blades is an exclusive hotel situated on a 10 hectare expanse of untamed Bushveld, offering luxury accommodation, a restaurant, conference and wedding venues. Built on the banks of the Roodeplaat dam, we offer a unique combination of indigenous vegetation, landscaping and waterfront luxury. The Blades is conveniently situated in Gauteng, just 20 minutes from Pretoria, 40 minutes from OR Tambo International and 50 minutes from Johannesburg, making it an accessible destination to both local and international guests.


In 2003 four rowers had a dream. Three of them were preparing to qualify for the 2004 Olympics Games and were training full time with the South African National Squad. As it turns out, the dream involved more than just Olympic success, but something else.

All members of the Old Edwardian Rowing Club, Paul Backes, Ramon Di Clemente, Clifford Chaney and Bruce Turvey, had a vision for their sport that involved a new home for their boat house and club. It was decided to purchase some property on the banks of Roodeplaat Dam outside Pretoria, the body of water on which numerous Old Edwardians have spent countless hours plying their trade.


In 2004 a choice piece of land was identified, and the four oarsmen chipped in what they had to make the purchase. Additional capital had to be raised via various investors to front up the deposit, as a career in rowing lends itself more to poverty than it does to wealth and fame. And so began an incredible journey of hard work and mixed fortune.

It was agreed, that to take rowing to a place in South Africa where clubs no longer relied entirely on hand outs and charity, and potential Olympians did not have to work full time jobs while trying to put in the kind of training required to beat the best in the world, the property had to become profitable. The Old Edwardian Rowing Club was made a 10% shareholder in the holding company (OEBC Investments), the four oarsmen became Directors and the undertaking of building a hotel, clubhouse, conferencing venue and accommodation was under way.


Working part time on this project, contributing from their salaries and resourcefully raising funding by whatever means available, the OEBC Directors began the arduous task of construction. “We are going to do this thing boys!” was the most common turn of phrase, and remains so to this day.

This project included the preliminary and costly steps of completing Environmental Impact Assessments, rezoning the land, hiring staff and obtaining signed off Site Development Plans. Soil was first broken in 2005 to erect what would later become staff quarters.

It is with enormous pride that we are able to welcome guests to our establishment. Every detail has a subtle hint of the involvement and history of the people involved, from the construction and the interiors to the landscaping and grounds. Enormous time and expense has been invested in ensuring that the grounds are as ecologically sound as possible. The Blades has an indigenous policy with regards to all landscaping as well as an aggressive alien tree removal programme.

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