Why Parker?

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People And Planet First

At Parker Cottage B&B, we are passionate about the people of South Africa and the beauty of our natural environment. We show our commitment to both in several ways:

  • We are not only involved as sponsors in several social upliftment projects but we personally work in some of them too. (Community Engagement)
  • We aim to source our products and services from local entrepreneurs whose products are sustainably produced. (Business & Economic Development)
  • We aim to run the B&B in such a way that it has minimal impact on the environment and make the most of the environment in which we operate. (Sustainable Business Practices)
  • We take the development of our own staff very seriously and focus on developing the skills of staff to increase their earning potential. (Employment and Staff Development)

Community Engagement

At Parker, our staff are actively involved in several community projects. Some of these we support financially and some of these we work in ourselves.


  • We donate all our old linen, towelling, crockery, bedding, and soaps to The Haven Nightshelter. This organisation has shelters for the homeless across Cape Town.
  • We donate at least three room nights a year in prizes to organisations around Cape Town that hold raffles or other competitions.

Business & Economic Development

We aim to use the purchasing power of Parker Cottage to support businesses from less affluent areas and owned by historically disadvantaged families and individuals. In this regard, we:

  • Buy all our electrical goods from Transignal, a 100% Black-owned company in Cape Town.
  • Recycle all the recyclable waste through The Salvation Army shelter: they collect the waste once a week.
  • Buy all our envelopes from a project for HIV/AIDS affected people in Philippi. These are hand-made envelopes we sell in our shop and which every guest gets for their receipt.
  • Actively buying products made by disadvantaged entrepreneurs to decorate the guesthouse and for our shop. We buy goods from Learn to Earn, Monkey Business, Ntom’benhle, and others.
  • Using Eastern Cape labour and skills in the Western Cape. For example, our caretaker, Donovan Jonkers, is born and bred from the Eastern Cape. We have trained him within the guesthouse to paint, plaster, wire, and plumb.
  • Buy all our fruit and veg from Pappi and his sons of Happy Fruit, a company based in the Cape Flats, who bring us fresh fruit and veg from Cape Town’s Fruit Market every other morning.
  • Buy all our baked goods (croissants, bread, and so on) from Rosa’s Bakery, a small family-owned bakery in the Bo Kaap.
  • Buy all our office stationary from Excell Consumables, a 100% black female-owned business in Cape Town. Level 1 BBBEE.
  • Supporting Get Stuffed Enterprises, a small local deli in the way we purchase cheese and cold meat.
  • We buy all our meat and non-perishables from Just Island Foods, a Level 3 BBEEE company.
  • We buy our soaps and shampoos from Ecoco, a small Cape Town-based company employing previously unemployed women to manufacture environmentally friendly products made from local plants and trees.

We have our own driver and guide at Parker Cottage, Chris Hannival, who we encouraged and supported to start his own transport business. He grew up in District Six (an area of Cape Town that was bulldozed under apartheid) and now runs his own transport company, of which Parker Cottage is the major client. Chris is now able to offer work to a further two drivers as a result of his affiliation with us who are all, like him, historically disadvantaged individuals.

Local Businesses

We encourage our guests to walk to local restaurants and to spend locally. We have developed a list of local restaurants of high and consistent quality. For example:

Miller’s Thumb - A small family-owned and operated restaurant less than two minutes’ walk from Parker Cottage, using fish caught by local fishermen.

We also support several small local businesses in the hospitality and tourism industries. For example:

Camissa Tours - A small tour operator specializing in the township tour market with a particular focus on walking through the township, not just driving through and thereby engaging with the local environment and people. Samantha and Khonaye guide guests through the area they actually live in.

Sustainable Business Practices

Parker Cottage B&B is located in a heritage building (it was completed around 1895) but our aim is to try to make it the greenest heritage building in the country. We want to show that not only new build properties can be sustainably run. In this regard, we have:

  • Installed rainwater butts on both sides of the house. We currently store 10 000 litres of rainwater and have plans to store much more. This water is currently used to water the gardens and also to fill our washing machines (so our linen is washed in rainwater).
  • Installed energy-saving air source heat pumps to heat our hot water in the house. We currently have three units with a combined capacity of 18kW which heat around 1 000l of water for our showers and baths.
  • Actively replacing plants from the garden with indigenous ones only.
  • Actively recycling all our recyclable waste through The Salvation Army. We separate our waste at source and it is then collected and recycled by the needy in the Salvation Army stores.
  • Using filtered tap water in our bedrooms, not bottled water.
  • Installing energy-efficient inverter heat pumps to heat and cool the bedrooms over conventional air conditioners and heaters.

Employment And Staff Development

Our permanent staff at Parker Cottage both benefit from at least 50% more than the minimum wage for the industry and many much more than that. Our temporary staff also receive at least 25% higher wages than the minimum wage for the industry. We also offer our most loyal staff permanent contracts not seasonal ones, so our staff are guaranteed work for twelve months of the year at full pay.

Our staff are actively encouraged to try their hand at new areas of the business, such as stock taking, linen control and so on. Our aim is to turn our cleaners into housekeepers into supervisors and eventually managers. When we find staff have strength in a particular area, we organise more training and build on their success.

We pay for and send every member of permanent staff on at least one training course a year in an area directly related to their daily work. As such, they are upskilled on an annual basis.

We guarantee above inflation pay rises every year. We also guarantee a Christmas bonus every year.

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Parker's History

Parker Cottage Bed and Breakfast in the Cape Town City Bowl is, in fact, two magnificent Victorian houses. The houses are now joined to form one grand guesthouse.

Parker Cottage is named after a rather enigmatic and multi-faceted figure, Scottish architect John Parker. This original Victorian cottage was not only designed and built by him but he also lived in it for a while. He was also very briefly the first mayor of greater Cape Town (1913 – 1915). Numbers 1 and 3 Carstens street were completed in 1895.

John Parker was active in civic and church affairs. He became mayor of Cape Town in 1913 and was a founder member of the South African Society of Architects and the Cape Institute of Architects. He designed many of Cape Town’s landmark buildings, particularly schools. His firm (Parker and Forsyth) designed and built the Observatory Girls School, Rhenish School Stellenbosch, Sea Point Girls School, Sea Point Boys School, the South African College School (SACS), Hugenot School Wellington, and the Wynberg Girls School. When the British Hotel was completely destroyed by a fire in 1841, the design was done by John Parker, with construction completed in 1897.

One of his most famous buildings is the Great Synagogue in the Company's Gardens.

Parker was one of the first architects to use locally dressed Table Mountain sandstone as a building material. This is evident in the Observatory School. Parker made his name by managing to fit a lot of space into urban buildings, while retaining impressive frontages. The long corridors, halls, and high ceilings he used are similar to other Victorian buildings of the time.

Parker's Team

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Entrance to Parker Cottage
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Pamela Nayler

My name is Pamela Nayler. Originally from Baden, a small but beautiful historic city in Switzerland, I have been lucky enough to have bought Parker Cottage Guesthouse in March 2017. After graduating business school in Zürich, I have been a Flight Attendant with Swissair for many years, exploring the world. I instantly fell in love with this stunning country of South Africa on my first trip, came to live in George (beautiful Garden Route) and worked as a national tour guide in this stunning country.

My dream was always to live in Cape Town as for me it still is the best city in the world. Follow the stories of my team...

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Tomas Kucer

Meet Tomas Kucer, one of our two managers. Tomas is a Capetonian, originally Croatian and used to work for other guesthouses and restaurants in Cape Town until a few years ago when we snapped him up. He is our 'mother hen' with all the guests and knows all the insides of Cape Town. He is definitely a food specialist and can recommend the best bites in town!

Tomas lives in Sea Point.

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Jameson Jussah

Jameson joined us as Donovan's right hand man. He started as our Assistant Caretaker but ends up doing all sorts of things he didn't ever imagine he'd be doing! Originally from Malawi, he came with his brother a few years ago, who works at a neighbouring guesthouse.

Jameson's working his way up the ladder at Parker Cottage and now is an excellent waiter and guest entertainer, he has the most beautiful sense of humour and the nicest smile in Africa.

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Nokubonga Mabadi

Originally from the Eastern Cape, Bongi lives with her family in Nyanga and has a lovely daughter of 21 ! Bongi came to us from another guesthouse when they decided to downsize and their loss has been certainly our gain.

Although she is the quiet one in the team, every now and then she surprises us with her beautiful sense of humour and dance moves in the kitchen when she thinks no one is watching!

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Chris Hannival

Chris Hannival was born in what is now called Zonnebloem, then District Six, a district of the City Bowl that was levelled during the Apartheid years. He now lives in a guesthouse he and his wife run in Oranjezicht but his tour company, Hannivals Tours, has been the bedrock of Parker Cottage since 2009.

Chris started his company with an old BMW he borrowed from a friend: now he has four drivers and guides working for him and five luxury vehicles to show Parker Cottage guests the best of the Cape.

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When our beloved Golden Retriever “Wodka” sadly passed away at the age of twelve, Angie found a loving new home with Pamela. Angie is a rescue dog from the Eastern Cape. She and her 2 sisters were found under an upside-down wheel barrow, and were in desperate need of finding a new home, new hope and a loving future. When Pamela saw her picture on Facebook, she instantly fell in love with Angie.

They've been doing “Flyball” together for a couple of weeks now. We're still not sure who has more fun! Have a look on the 'web and see what "Flyball" is all about...it's truly so much fun!