Marilynne and Rob took 9 years to achieve their dream - MARROB LODGE HISTORY
Twenty-four years ago, when Marilynne Farren-Handford was a trainer with the Foschini Group, a seed was planted which led to the fulfilling of the dream called Marrob Lodge.
Marilynne’s job with the Foschini Group not only entailed the training of various managers within the group, but also entailed the transportation of trainees to and from hotels to the training centre, twice a day. What if the trainees could sleep on the same premises that they were trained on? And so it began.
Rob and Marilynne bought the land on which Marrob Lodge now stands in 1995, and building began in 1996. The design for the house was decided between the two of them, and Marilynne”placed” all the rooms on each floor, about the same way as they stand today. A friend’s house in Witbank gave the inspiration for the windows and natural look for the house, and wherever possible, Marilynne and Rob have kept the materials used in the house natural.
What will become the conference and training centre was built first, an area of 140 square metres, and in 1999, Marilynne and Rob moved into this small space, having lived in a 5 bedroom rented house prior to the move. The following year saw the completion of the lapa area – a much needed entertainment area, as the couple love entertaining. And because of this love of entertaining, another dream was put into place – why not use the lodge as a Bed & Breakfast facility when it was not being used as a training and conference centre? And so the building of phase three began in 2001, to be completed in 2007.
Marilynne and Rob have tried as far as possible to keep everything in Marrob Lodge as close to natural material as possible. The bricks are bare and unplastered. The roof is thatched and the floors are wooden. The counter tops are granite. The windows in the house were designed by Rob, the door frames are hand made, as are all the shelving and cupboards in the kitchen and bedrooms.
There is a rock pool surrounded by wild grasses, and the garden has, wherever possible, indigenous plants and trees.
Marilynne and Rob are deservedly proud of their dream house – it has been a long and winding road, with lots of hard work, blood, sweat and tears, to get to where the house is today.