I found this hotel on TripaAdvisor and all the accolades proved to be true! I was collected by a smiling Lucky driving a vintage Rolls Royce ( note the cost of this transfer is cheaper than a point- to-point Avis car and well worth it). Inside was a welcome letter, water bottles and hand towels. You also could peruse the hotel manual as you slipped quietly through the Johannesburg traffic which was a very good idea. The hotel is hidden discreetly in a tree lined street in upmarket Houghton a few streets away from Mandela's residence. Lucky very kindly took me past the mansion which I found particularly thrilling.
One is met by the smiling and very efficient Manageress, Sanet, and a few of the staff all lined up to greet one as though you were royalty. You sign your name on the register and accept a cooling drink while Sanet shows you around. There are two swimming pools, and plenty of long deck chairs. The gardens are manicured, the trees are home to nesting weavers and there is a pervading sense of total peace in this wonderful establishment. There are plenty places to sit, have a coffee or drink and while away the time reading or working on the computer. There is a welcoming bar, fireplaces everywhere( including in your room) and tinkling fountains and 'waterways'. Fully laid tables are dotted in many interesting places with views over the gardens and pool or in cozy nooks for more intimate dining.
It seems as though one really can eat at any time. I arrived tired and hungry and sat down to eat a delicious plate of food and superb glass of wine at 3pm. The menu is interesting and varied there are good wines to choose from with many 'glass' options and prices that were very acceptable and better than many 5 star places I have stayed in). The service was quick and very professional. I ordered room service often and the service was superb. All food in the rooms came on a table bedecked with roses and kept warm under silver dishes.. The breakfast tray
included in the price of the room was the biggest I have ever seen and the most varied! From different fresh juices, homemade muesli, homemade breads and pastries, cheeses and meats, dried fruit . You could also order a hot breakfast after you consumed this 'continental' one. I never got that far. The rooms are beautiful and well appointed- top of the range toiletries, bath salts, aromatherapy oils and the turn down includes, water, chocolates and liqueurs. There is a fridge with complimentary soft drinks, water and fresh milk for your coffee made in your special coffee maker. There were also delicious rusks to accompany your morning tea or coffee. Indoor and outdoor showers and baths and jacuzzis in some suites. Only one small quibble, the TV bouquet needs to include more varied 'International cable/DSTV channels like Sky News, NatioWild, Animal Planet, Crime, National Geographic, BBC Entertainment, History Channel etc and less of the local ones. That would make things just perfect!
Thank you Sanet, Lucky, Daniel and all the staff for pampering me and making my stay such a happy and enjoyable one! Everyone lined up to say goodbye as I was whisked back to the airport in the vintage Rolls. What a sendoff! I will be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Residence is a five star boutique hotel which is truly one of a kind. No effort has been spared in creating a warm, luxurious, elegant and inviting atmosphere. With twelve designer suites with ultimate comfort and privacy, here you can sit back and take in the views of the garden, tennis court and pools. Explore the serene sanctuary of the senses with our spa or simply relax and unwind in the sauna and steam room. ... more less
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