In 1974 Johan Carosini started the collection of honeymoon panties in the hotel bar. The popularity of the Panty Bar grew along with its collection of women’s underwear and it soon became a legendary landmark on South Africa’s West Coast.
Sadly, the vast collection of panties was taken down in 1983 after it was reported to the police as an ‘unholy practice’. Police official Basson, who confiscated the panties, was thereafter humorously referred to as ‘Panty Basson’.
Although losing so many lovingly donated panties was a tough moment, the Panty Bar came back stronger than ever. Not to be deterred, Giorello Carosini started collecting again in the 1990s. Regular donations ensure the tradition continues to the amusement of visitors from all over the world.
Johan Carosini was born in the small West Coast town of Laaiplek in 1939 and is of Italian descent. He started his hotel career together with his wife Wilna in the sixties at the Hoedjiesbaai Hotel in Saldanha Bay. They continued their journey as hoteliers to Elands Bay and became co-owners of the Elands Bay Hotel.
In 1973 Johan bought the Paternoster Hotel from Hendrik De Goede and eventually became known as one of the best and most well-known hoteliers in the West Coast. Johan and Wilna turned the hotel into a flourishing tourist and holiday destination, attracting guests from all over the world to Paternoster.
Johan’s eldest son, Giorello, became the co-owner of the hotel in 2002 and Johan and Wilna finally decided to retire in 2016 after an impressive 48 years in the hotel business.
Johan is well known for his unique style of operating the hotel and entertaining the guests with his stories about the local people and hotel escapades during his career. Following in his father’s footsteps, Giorello upholds his father’s unique style of hospitality. He and his wife, Elmare, are continuing the Paternoster Hotel legacy together with their two daughters, modernizing and upgrading the hotel, whilst keeping the history of this unique property alive.