ABOUT 81 on Church

Surrounded by the majestic Swartberg mountains and beautiful farm landscapes, Prince Albert remains the authentic Karoo come Victorian town.  On the main street, centrally located in an iconic modernized Victorian home is 81 on Church.  This guest house is an undiscovered gem, home away from home, luxurious comforts and Johan as a warm, witty and engaging host.  The best kept secret is the oasis of a garden that Johan has lovingly created in the back.  Some of the rooms and cottages look onto this abundantly green and magnificent display of textures and colour.    This provides a tranquil, cool and beautiful space to retreat to with an inviting secluded pool and pavilion.

Johan has known Prince Albert for the last 20 years, and has lovingly restored and built onto the previously popular guest house MAI’s Guest Lodge.  This is the perfect breakaway for extended families – the six rooms sleep 17 people and you can have the privacy of the whole place on your own.  You are a few minutes walk away from the hotel, all the restaurants , coffee shops and amenities that the town provides.

The sun shines nearly every day of the year and even in winter you might enjoy a dip in the sparkling pool in its sheltered courtyard. 
Relax in our comfy lounge or on one of the several shady patio’s. while you enjoy our complementary wifi.
All of our rooms come fully equipped with air conditioning.
Unwind in our beautiful garden.

We also have two 2 sleeper luxury cottages each having a queen-sized bed (can convert into twin beds), an en-suite bedroom as well as their own private outside shower. The lounge area with a kitchenette overlooks the gardens outside. These units are perfect for guests looking for luxurious comfort and to simply unwind.


81 on Church offers a choice of four comfortable, spacious bedrooms, each with its own en-suite bedroom, evaporative air cooling and DSTV. Three have a queen-sized and a single bed, and there is a family room with a queen-sized and 2 single beds.


Like most houses of its vintage, the rooms are large having high ceilings and sash windows welcoming the light to stream in. All rooms have DSTV, a fridge-freezer for cold drinks on summer days, and everything you need to make tea or coffee. The bathrooms-en-suite have showers.


Prince Albert is a peaceful village in the Karoo. The mountains which shelter the village provide spring water which has created this little oasis.

The climate is superb, with sunshine nearly every day and spectacular night skies. The village has beautifully preserved Cape Dutch, Karoo and Victorian buildings and an Art Deco building now houses the Showroom Theatre. The streets are wide and there is little traffic.

There are a number of coffee shops and restaurants where you can enjoy local cuisine. Prince Albert is known for its sun-ripened fresh and dried fruit, especially figs and apricots. In the Prince Albert Valley, to the south of the village, farmers have restored vineyards last farmed in the 19th century. Karoo lamb, olives, olive oil and cheese are local delicacies. A market is held every Saturday where organic fruit and vegetables, fresh baked bread, homemade jams and pickles are sold.

Prince Albert holds an Olive & Food Fair in April, a Leesfees in November and numerous special events throughout the year. It has become a popular wedding venue.

Fernskloof and Reiersvlei wineries lie to the south of the village in the Prince Albert Valley. On your way there you’ll pass the Alberts Mill with its restored wheel and millrace.

A short drive takes you to the entrance of the Swartberg Pass. Prince Albert is the perfect base for exploring all the wonders of the Swartberg including Gamkaskloof – “the Hell” and Meiringspoort. Prince Albert is well situated for overnight stops from Gauteng, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The Garden Route resorts and beaches are just two hours away.

Oudtshoorn, the Cango Caves and the Karoo National Park can be reached in a little over an hour.


81 on Church Guest House offers space to simply laze the day away, or you might want to venture forth on a walk around the village.

We can also recommend day drives with spectacular scenery.

Cycle Tours
Cycle Tours
Join a popular cycle tour in and around the beautiful Swartberg
Relax at our pool
Cycle the Swartberg
Cycle the Swartberg
Hire a bike from Prince Albert Cycles and cycle the spectacular Swartberg Pass
Walk the street and explore the numerous shops and galleries
Experience world-class dining throughout the town
Swartberg Pass
Swartberg Pass
Drive the iconic Swartberg Pass
Showroom Theatre
Showroom Theatre
Enjoy an evening at the Showroom Theatre
Enjoy your complimentary breakfast at the Swartberg Hotel
Ghost stories
Ghost stories
In the evenings the Story Weaver, Ailsa Tudhope, entertains visitors as she relates tales about local characters and ghosts on her Ghost Walk, or tells stories over a pre-dinner drink.
Art Gallery
Art Gallery
Local and world acclaimed artists exhibit their work at the Art Gallery. The Fransie Pienaar Museum is recognised as one of the best local museums in the country. Their indigenous gardens include one dedicated to medicinal plants.
Gay’s dairy
Gay’s dairy
A visit to Gay's Dairy and Deli is a must. The team produce cheeses that have won awards in South Africa and abroad.
The cosy lounge is an ideal place to catch up on reading or web surfing... if you bring your laptop Wi-Fi is available.

Johan took over on 1 November 2017, here are some recent reviews...


81 on Church Guest House

81 Church Street

Prince Albert, 6930

South Africa

Telephone: +27 023 5411 188

Fax: +27 086 6988 348

Mobile: +27 082 438 4650

e-mail: info@81onchurch.co.za


From R590 pppn sharing (bed only)
From R800 pn single (bed only)

WiFi is available.
We regret that we cannot accept children under the age of six.
Sorry, you can’t bring your pets.
Arrivals from 2.00pm – 7.00pm unless by prior arrangement.
We request a 50% deposit to confirm your booking.
Credit card facilities are available.



The following conditions apply should you cancel your reservation

  • All cancellations must be submitted in writing
  • Cancellations made 14 days or less prior to arrival forfeit 100% of total accommodation


  • All reservations must be guaranteed by a valid credit card.
  • Payment can be made by secure online payment, direct deposit or credit card.
  • A 50% deposit is required to secure the reservation when booked outside of 30 days prior to arrival.
  • Full and final payment is due 4 weeks prior to arrival. Extras may be settled on departure.
  • Should payment not be received as stipulated, we reserve the right to cancel your reservation