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“An experience to remember!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Illyria House

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Illyria House
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   327 Bourke Street | Muckleneuk, Pretoria 0002, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 66 hotels in Pretoria
Pretoria, South Africa
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“An experience to remember!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

I spent 3 nights at Illyria House and I have to say, this was one of the most special places I have ever been to. I was pleasantly surprised after reading some of the reviews saying that Illyria House needs updating. The house was in pristine condition and as an art historian, I was amazed at the quality of the antique French and Italian furniture. Such a beautiful collection is rarely even found in European chateaus. Perhaps some of the previous reviewers do not quite understand that antique furniture is not brand new and cannot appreciate their rarity quality.

The house itself is and imposing place in Italian architecture that takes your breath away. The garden is beautifully maintained and such a pleasure to look at.

I enjoyed delicious meals and Foster, my butler heeded to my every whim and need. I loved the massage and the heated swimming pool with its classical underwater music was just magical.

Thank you, Illyria House for a most memorable experience!

Room Tip: I stayed in the Salome Suite with a lovely balcony overlooking the garden.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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130 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Mauritius
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

The hotel has great bones - filling one with a sense of nostalgia for a time when this grand old lady must have been in her prime. The massage was good, but setting in little wendyhous ea bit down market. Food acceptable - service great.The garden needs some pruning and it will once again be wonderful. Just a little TLC will revitalise this lovely boutique hotel nestled in the neck of a ridge overlooking Pretoria.

Room Tip: Try get a room not opening on the dining area.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mauritius
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012 via mobile

This must have been quite something in its day! Illyria House architecture and proportions are fabulous. The house is filled with interesting antiques and gorgeous art, but in general is in desperate need of a little TLC, and an industrial cleaner or two. The rooms are very old fashioned, (which is quaint) and somewhat tired and grubby, for example ageing, chipped paint, bathroom tiles grouting are no longer white etc. Every where I looked, I could see signs of neglect. The garden is beautiful, but also neglected with creepers climbing up into all the trees, spoiling the formal Italian structure of the garden.
In spite of this, My husband and I enjoyed our stay. We both had butternut soup (too sweet) and for main course, lamb shank, which was tasty. The milk tart however was revolting and completely inedible - which is really curious as the owner is an Afrikaaner!
Breakfast the next morning was FANTASTIC - really first class.
My favourite aspect were the little white ducks waddling in and out of the house. Too adorable for words, making it really difficult to choose duck from the menu! The spa treatment was okay, I didn't like the set up in a funny little wendyhouse!

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midrand, South Africa
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

Dear Owner (Illyria house Pretoria South Africa)

I just wanted to take this opportunity to say Thank You for a lovely afternoon. I spend some time with a friend having high tea and the food and way it was served was delicious. I also want to compliment you on you spa facility and your therapists (they where very professional and I enjoyed the treatment alot). Your staff as well as yourself are so professional and you made me feel very welcome and relaxed in a friendly admosphere.

I would like to encourage people from all over the world to come and experience your hospitality it is definitely money well spend. I will share my experience with everyone and will definitely be back soon.

All the best and Thank you again
Carmen Niwinski

Room Tip: All the rooms at Illyria house are terrific (
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

If being welcomed into someone's home to stay is not your cup of tea, then Illyria House is not for you.

Firstly, I commend Marietjie's smart business move by opening up a 'special' on Groupon to gain local exposure, it's a brave move as the are benefits of occupancy rates but can reap reputation havoc at the same time. The first time I saw Illyria advertised was in 2003, in one of the 'home' magazines and then again in a coffee table book of exclusive places to stay around the world. My initial thought on the Groupon was to buy, buy and buy. On further research on the web, and of course, TripAdvisor it was with great trepidation that I used some spare savings for a night out for me and my husband as an anniversary surprise.

There are many things one may criticize - if that is your objective. However, I went ahead with an open mind and created an elaborate plan to surprise my husband for our 5th anniversary. After 3 children within that period and major renovations to our home, I think we most certainly deserved this promised treat. On second thought one should not need such an excuse to visit Illyria House.

I did not have any issues of non-response to my e-mails, however a follow-up e-mail after the reservation had been confirmed would have just put my mind at ease on such an occasion. I did specify that it was an anniversary night! I blind folded my husband, after collecting him from a fake business meeting, which his colleagues set-up for me, and drove to Pretoria. Illyria is conveniently located and simple to find.

The entrance to the house itself whispers of what it is to come, so don't be put off by the difficulty in parking, as per my initial statement. I have seen worse parking spaces in Nice, France.

We stayed in the honeymoon suite (Catherina). The house has been renovated and restored to reflect a fairytale, one cannot really categorize it into a pure 'decorating style'. This home has a magical quality. We were quickly drawn into the quirky world that is Marietjie's gift. Definitely high on the romance factor, those looking for an escape from the mundane and everyday rut of life will find it here.

We had a stone massage but there is a plethora of spa treatments that could entice even the most hardened workaholic.

Each corner and turn calls you to explore, we were like excited children wishing we could have grown up in this enchanting world. We loved all the old-world trinkets and decor that add a homely but not-of-this-world charm. The perfume of jasmine permeates through the house. Little luxuries might go un-noticed but I did acknowledge the marble tiles, teak floors and silver and glass collections as exclusive. Even the smallest details such as the floor inlays matching the color of the faucets, towel heater etc in the kitchenette and bathrooms. Great detail in the fabrics and lace and little rooms that allow privacy in a pretty armchair.

The ducks, quaint and quirky, are in great likeness to Illyria. They wander through the house to the courtyard across the teak floors in the reception room and out to the beautiful and mature garden. It was perhaps wrong to request the duck for dinner, but it was too tempting. We did keep track of the live ones to ensure none went missing before dinner. It would not be my first time that fowl have gone missing owing to a special dinner request. The food was most agreeable and well presented.

As for the amiable quality of the staff everyone has a very soft spoken disposition and eager to please attitude. Once we met Marietjie we understood why. Her kind hearted nature that needs to nurture speaks clearly to anyone that approaches her. After a brief and personal chat with her, we were even more enviable of her tenacity to create an environment of tranquility and peace to allow ones mind to rejuvenate and imagine and reflect, despite all the challenges from a deceitful plumber. Being a mother of four girls as well, Illyria renewed my aspirations to being able to the thing that I enjoy most and that is taking care of family!

Thank you Illyria Family.

Room Tip: The two main rooms facing north have a private lounge area between them and the benefit of the balco...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midrand
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

Recently visited the Illyria House for High Tea with my friends and I chose this place because of what I saw on their websites.

Firstly they NEVER reply if you fill in their online contact form. You have to call them only then you will get respons.
Secondly, the waiters were not dressed as in pics on the website, thats what attacted to this place to be served by waiters in clean crisp white shirts and gloves. They were untidy! You could see flour or some white power on the pants of our waiter. It took forever to bring us milk and sugar.

The tables outside are squashed together to preserve space, felt a bit claustophic and you coul hear the conversation on the people at the next table.

Thirdly the sweet treats we a dissapointment, the lemon cheese was so sour none of us could even eat a quater of it, the brownies were burned as for the rest of the sweet treats, its like there were bought from a supermarket,

The savoury treats we excellent and fresh! I enjoyed the meatballs immensely! The house is beautiful excellent victorian decor, beautiful chandeliers, the garden was so small :(

Not sure if I would go again or recommend the place, but they have a spa treatments maybe that would be different. The place seemed quiet busy for a sunday afternoon, so business must be good.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria, South Africa
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

My experience at Illyria House is a time that I most definitely will always remember and cherish... I got engaged in 2011 and so my fiancé and I started looking at wedding venues. I researched a lot of wedding venues, hotels etc. in and outside of Gauteng. I eventually chose my top 3 potential venues. The first two venues was not at all what I expected from the photos shown on the net, it was a total disappointment. As we drove up the hill into Illyria's driveway I was a bit discouraged taken that the previous venues did not live up to our expectations at all and I did not quite know what to make of this boutique hotel in Muckleneuk. As we stepped foot into Illyria House, my senses started to awaken… walking down the wooden staircase into the dance court... my breath was taken away... My first interaction with the venue was a delightful sight of the joyful playfulness of a duck family playing in the indoor garden's fountain, suddenly I found myself surrounded and wrapped in a marvellous aroma of excellence and joy. With French pieces surrounding me and an ambiance of serenity filled my inner being with classical music playing in the background... taking you back to the 1950's French Colonial era into a trance of absolute bliss! You would never imagine that a place such as Illyria House is in the city of Pretoria.
Everything, comes together for you to experience the soul of quality living. The wooden floors of the house, the old French furniture, and the French Victorian patio overlooking the lush colourful garden that is just beautiful. The friendly staff with their classic dress code makes you think you have a butler to attend your every call and demand, ready to serve you at every turn.
The rooms are exquisite, it bedazzles you. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. I'm sure God’s idée of planting this exquisite hotel was for the most extraordinary romantic events to be held where people step back in time and get lost in its marvellous fragrance of romance and class!
The romantic air carries you away to a time that you have never known, yet feels familiar and satisfying.
Our wedding... a fairy tale wedding in a fairy tale setting. Illyria has their very own world renowned florist which we decided to use. He is fantastic! They flew in a world renowned chef to prepare the meals for our wedding.
The day went according to plan, with thorough detailed planning, ensuring everything is created to meet the brides every desire. Our wedding day and banquet was an extraordinary event.
You can only expect to experience the best from Illyria House Boutique Hotel.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Illyria House

Address: 327 Bourke Street | Muckleneuk, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Pretoria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Pretoria
#3 Luxury Hotel in Pretoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Illyria House 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ultimate Romantic Getaway. 25 Minutes from the OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) and 5 minutes from the Gautrain Station.The serene beauty of Illyria House has always been an irresistible attraction to all lovers of fine things. Against the backdrop of classical music, fine antiques, 17th century tapestries, and a resident duck family an enchanting colonial lifestyle unfolds. Illyria House is highly appreciated by the discerning traveler for its charm, exquisite cuisine, exclusivity, luxury and unrivalled personalised butler service. We offer intimate soirées by world class musicians. Our Oriental Spa specialises in relaxing massages. Our facilities include a jacuzzi, sauna, heated pool and a cold pool. A wide selection of tours to historical, cultural and wildlife attractions come highly recommended. Personalised shopping is ideal for a last night stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Illyria House Hotel Pretoria

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