Our history

History of the Morgan Bay Hotel

Morgan Bay takes its name from A.F. Morgan, Master of the Royal Naval ship Barracouta which was used in the survey of the coast of South East Africa in 1822, under the command of Captain W.F. Owen. The master’s name was applied to Cape Morgan, on which there stands today, an automatic lighthouse and the little bay sheltered in its Southern lee.

Morgan Bay lies on the banks of the Inchara river, so called from the crabs found there. The river forms a safe paddling lagoon which is the centrepiece for a singularly romantic and quite charming stretch of coastline.

lvan Warren-Smith was led to come to Morgan Bay after the Second World War by his O/C, who told him about a boarding house that was for sale while they were both in Italy. He fell in love with the area and bought the boarding house in 1946 and immediately set about modernizing it and turning it into a Hotel, which he did single-handedly with unskilled local labour and a Jeep. Keep in mind that in those days there was no running water and electricity only arrived in Morgan Bay in 1975.

Ivan’s son, Jeff, came to help him with the business in 1962. He married Sue in 1964 and they had three children, Richard, Andrew and Sarah-Jane. The hotel continued to grow from strength to strength under Jeff and Sue’s leadership. Richard and Jackie started working beside them in the early 90’s and with their new ideas the hotel went from a 1 Star establishment to a 3 Star establishment. In 2006, Jeff and Sue officially handed over the reins and ownership of the hotel to the energetic couple with their three children, Michael, Dylan and Cate, who are being preened for the hospitality industry.

Construction of The Tides, a multi-purpose spa, restaurant, conference and wedding venue, was completed in late 2011 and has been a key factor in drawing more and more guests to this little piece of paradise.

With this young, driven and very capable couple, and their loyal team at the helm, the hotel is destined for even greater heights and you can rest assured that it will continue to be handed down to many more generations of Warren-Smiths to come.