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“A New Years eve stayover - truly magnificent” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa

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Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   36 Saxon Road | Sandhurst, Sandton 2196, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 48 Hotels in Sandton
South Africa
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“A New Years eve stayover - truly magnificent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

My hubby and I chose to bring in the New Year (2013) in style by opting for an overnight stay at the beautiful and serene Saxon Boutique Hotel.
This boutique hotel in the affluent suburb of Sandhurst/Hyde Park makes one feel aspirational right from the outset. The well-groomed and highly visible security detail outside the main entrance is reminiscent of private bodyguards hired to look after celebrities and people of importance - this immediately gives one the feel that something of value is protected behind the gates. Or perhaps that you are the celebrity being protected. From there it was a seamless, fluid process that guided our entry into the hotel, from the guidance provided by the security to the courtyard, with attentive valets ready and waiting to whisk us and our luggage inside, the concierge and reception staff greeting us by name before we could even utter a introduction, and having the paperwork and room ready for us to occupy.
That to the Visa platinum programme, I was able to secure a complimentary upgrade to the room I had initially booked. We were taken aback to realise that the upgrade was actually a presidential suite!
On the 3rd floor in the main building, 200sqm of pure luxury and indulgence welcome us, with a central in-room reception foyer. The first door on the left lead to a spacious guest cloakroom, the second beckoned us to an expansive open plan bedroom and bathroom, with a walk in closet, dressing area and secluded balcony views over the lush gardens. The third door opened into a wonderful living space, with a lounge, dining areas, business desk and also balcony views. Lastly the fourth door opened into a fully equipped kitchen.
The realisation that this suite was bigger than our own residence was awe-inspiring, and we knew we were in the lap of luxury. The efficient Tammy sorted out the paperwork for us while our butler Sandy gave us the detailed tour of the room. High tech specs, every amenity necessary, it had it all...Bang & Olufsen TV, Harmon Kardon surround sound – both in the bedroom and living room, Molton Brown and Roja Parfum products in the bathroom, everything controlled through a single remote (lights, aircom, TV, Audio)...we took it all in.
3pm was our afternoon high tea, which was part of the package. The ever friendly staff seated us the comfortable outdoor lounge terrace area, which overlooked the smaller heated pool, koi ponds and the fitness centre. Our tea things were ready for us already and we sunk into the sofa with pleasure. We ordered hot teas at first (recommend African summer tea – aromatic and flavourful) from a tea menu and soon enough our savoury high tea was underway, with sandwiches, chutneys, springrolls and very inventive gastronomic delights. It was deliciously satisfying and the company of my husband made it all the more special. Our waiter was always available, checking if we needed anything. We did not realise it initially by the afternoon high tea is actually two courses, a savouries course and thereafter a dessert course...so we were pleasantly surprised to hear that dessert was still on its way! We ordered Tony Glass iced teas (Berry and Baobab was delicious, as was the Kiwi, Cucumber and Mint), which went extremely well with the hot weather of the day and the selection of parfaits, mousses and cakes that we were presented with. I actually could not finish my portion, and our waiter eagerly offered to transport it to our room for us for later enjoyment. Two hours later, suitably stuffed, we took a walk around the hotel and garden. Zen is the right word to describe the outdoors – so peaceful and calm with natural sounds creating a soothing melody; African opulence best describes the interior decor of the hotel, with expansive reception and meeting areas, walls lined with many South African and African artworks, and one gets the sense that it still retains its cosiness – a well oiled machine. All staff, from senior to junior members, greeted and chatted to us with smiles and personably.
We then retired to our room, having decided to skip the 6 course new years eve dinner as we were so full. We were advised that a party would occur later with live music, and a fireworks display to mark the turn of the year. We opted to revel in our room, watching classics like dirty dancing, listening to beautiful music, and generally enjoying the beautiful space we were spending the night in.
Soon midnight arrived and with anticipation we awaited the fireworks display. We were not disappointed as one after another and another went off from the garden below, filling the sky with colour, light and noise – so very beautiful. The continued unbroken for at least 7 minutes – thankfully we managed to capture most of it. A wondrous experience.
We then retired for the night, into the comfy embrace of Egyptian cotton down pillows and duvet on the king size four poster bed, and slept soundly. We awoke refreshed and rejuvenated and after showering headed to the buffet breakfast, which had quite an offering for the continental breakfast, from pastries, cereals, terrines to breads and cheeses. The hot breakfast was equally appealing and scrumptious. This was held in the Qunu room, which had hosted the dinner the previous evening – a beautifully laid out and decorated room. After our satisfying breakfast, we walked around yet again.
The only opportunity we did not get to experience was that of the spa. Unfortunately due to timing, we were unable to use the in-room vouchers that were available to us. But hey, that just means that we need to visit the Saxon yet again ;)
By midday we opted to leave to enjoy the rest of our day out and about in Sandton. Checkout was once again seamless and soon we were bidding farewell to the Saxon hotel, already reminiscing about our wonderful stay, and yes, given the opportunity, we would come back many, many times.
To date, this room is the largest hotel room we have ever stayed in. It is with pride that I can say this hotel represents South African hospitality at its finest, and you cannot go wrong with booking a stay or event at this hotel.

Room Tip: It you really want to experience the majesty of this hotel, try one of the suites. They are decadent...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George C, Managing Director at Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Dear Burgeoning_traveller,

Thank you for your wonderful review on Tripadvisor.

I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and we hope to welcome you back to The Saxon very soon. Your comments have been passed onto the entire team, especially Tammy and Sandy. We value your feedback.

Best regards
George Cohen
Managing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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309 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

The potential for a truly exceptional hotel is in plain sight. Some of the staff, including Amit and Kansas, provide five star service, and they set the proper standard that I think the Saxon is working to achieve.

The property is amazing and with a little more consistency this could be a five plus star hotel.

There were some misses as follow:

- the AC did not work properly either of the nights we stayed. The attempts to fix the problem were approaching pathetic.

- dining on the Friday night the timing of the meal and the meal quality were terrible. Two of the six meals were stone cold, two more were just warm.

- service was uneven. Great on Thursday and Saturday, but poor on Friday.

- spa reception was clueless, and if not for my wife following up in person then the booking would have been made on a date that was in the past

Worth a visit.

Room Tip: Check the AC when you walk in the room, and make sure it works.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
George C, Managing Director at Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Dear TorontoEdmonton,

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor.

We are most pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us for the greater part and your compliments have been passed onto Amit and Kansas.

In regards ot the food concerns as well as The Spa, we have brought these up with the departments and will ensure that these standards are brought back up again to what is expected of The Saxon. Thank you again for your comments.

We hope to welcome you back to The Saxon very soon, and give you even more reasons to enjoy your stay!

Best regards
George Cohen
Managing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Most people traveling on vacation see Johannesburg as a hubby - from here you can fly to Cape Town, Kruger National Park and most other countries in Africa. If that's your case, and you're staying in town for just a night, you can stop reading now. But if you want to discover a little more and give Joburg a chance, there's nothing better than to stay in a truly luxurious, comfortable hotel and get all the pampering you deserve!
The hotel is a beautiful, modern country house located in Sandton, an upper-scale neighborhood with great shopping and fine dining - getting there is easy, just hop in the hotel "VIP cars", Mercedes and BMWs of your choice.
Rooms are super spacious, well-decorated and there's a laptop for your convenience.
Service is super polite and takes care of every detail.
Gym is state of the art - even if you don't like exercising, it's still worth a visit!
Dining is great at both the restaurant or the "bar" (outside restaurant), though a bit overpriced.
Spa is lovely and the massages are great!

In summary, it costs a bit more than your average top hotel, but you won't regret it!

Room Tip: If you're traveling with family, try to book one of the Villas.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
George C, Managing Director at Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
Dear JSchlaad,

Thank you for your wonderful review on Tripadvisor.

We are most pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us.We hope to welcome you back to The Saxon very soon, and give you even more reasons to enjoy your stay!

Best regards
George Cohen
Managing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

6 of us stayed here for two nights at the end of an extensive, two week tour of SA. We were tired and looking forward to a couple of days to re-charge before heading home to Canada.

The first thing you will note driving through the gate is the large manicured lawns and garden leading to the hotel.

Check-in service is excellent -- Amit took care of checking us in, orienting us to the hotel and arranging to store the 8 cases of wine we had bought in the wine lands and had delivered directly to the hotel. He is competent, efficient and friendly -- a great ambassador for the hotel.

The property itself is lovely with pools, outdoor terraces, bars and restaurants -- all staffed with friendly, well-meaning if not always spot on with service, staff.

The rooms are spacious with modern, comfortable amenities.

The quibbles -- the AC was not working properly in the rooms and we had to call down for a fix on day two; this made for an uncomfortable first night's sleep.

The hotel suffered a water main break on the second morning of our stay -- no water for about an hour between 8am and 9am. While eventually fixed -- it did delay our morning start and caused us to be late for our first appointment of the morning.

There was no apology or acknowledgement by management for this inconvenience. For a high end hotel with big city prices, the failure to acknowledge the inconvenience was probably more disappointing than the actual water failure.

The Spa is a wonderful, well-laid out, relaxing space. 3 of us used the spa on the day we were to fly-out of SA. Making an appointment unfortunately was a Monty Python skit. In one case, a call to the spa for an appointment was disconnected or put on hold for 15 minutes. When finally spoke to someone at the spa, our group member was promised a call back in a "few minutes." The few minutes turned into an hour, when our group member called back.

At this point, the group member was advised that all of the slots for an appointment had just filled up in the last hour! After complaining about this turn of events, the spa was able to suddenly find a slot for half the time that the member had intended to book.

The other 2 members of our group had a similar experience in booking -- they booked their appointments for multiple treatments and decided to check in with the spa the day before the appointments. The spa had mis-entered the appointments for the wrong day!

Again, even though the spa was "fully booked," somehow the two received all of their requested treatments.

Again, for a high end hotel and spa, with high-end pricing, this is not the experience a guest expects.

That said, it is important to note that all three were very pleased with their spa experience once in (albeit in one case, fewer treatments than hoped for).

Overall, a lovely hotel and worth the stay. A few service issues that need to be worked out and more importantly, an accountable management which responds effectively (recognizing that guests are paying quite a bit for their stay) when there is a failure in service (which will and can happen, anywhere).

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George C, Managing Director at Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
Dear SKD13,

Thank you for your wonderful review on Tripadvisor.

We are most pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us for the greater part and your comments will be passed onto the team. We will most definitely commend Amit on being so professional. Please also rest assured that your feedback on The Spa has not gone unnoticed and we have already made sure that these mishaps do not happen again in future. Thank you for bringing these to our attention.

We hope to welcome you back to THe Saxon very soon, and give you even more reasons to enjoy your stay!

Best regards
George Cohen
Managing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Previously a private home, The Saxon Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, opened its doors to the public in June 2000 and transformed into 24 luxury suites. It was so cool to know that Nelson Mandela wrote A Long Walk to Freedom while staying there in 1990. Here are my top 15 Reasons Why I LOVED The Saxon Hotel:

1. Beautiful grounds (6 acres of lush landscaped gardens) and design.
2. The most comfortable beds.
3. Friendly staff (anticipating any need before you even realize it.)
4. Delicious food (Check out Qunu Restaurant with Chef David Higgs).
5. Relaxing oasis.
6. Nice pools (one 9,902 sq. ft. and the other is a heated outdoor pool with underwater music)
7. Little touches that count (candles around the room, making us breakfast to-go, etc.)
8. Complimentary mini-bar with a selection of South African wines, drinks and snacks.
9. A bottle of South African bubbly upon arrival.
10. Small outdoor patio.
11. Perfect water pressure in the shower and large bath tub with salts.
12. High quality equipment in the fitness center.
13. Unique Africa art collection (over 200 original pieces of art).
14. More South African bubbly the second night.
15. 13,000 sq. ft spa to unwind after a long flight.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George C, General Manager at Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear capitalcookingshow,

Thank you for your wonderful review on Tripadvisor.

We are most pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us and your comments will be passed onto the team.

We hope to welcome you back to THe Saxon very soon, and give you even more reasons to enjoy your stay!

Best regards
George Cohen
Managing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

I first tried making a booking online at spa@saxon.co.za, which was the address listed on the official hotel website. After receiving no reply I phoned to make a booking. Spa reservations was apologetic, and advised that they did not know this address. It was three of us, and we were sold on all 4 of the hotel signature massage treatments. We were planning on each having a different massage treatment, and to compare notes afterwards. Except, the Sound therapy treatment was not available, as the therapist had the weekend off. We ended up booking the Elements, Rhythm and the Rasul Chamber. Minutes before the session the Rhythm treatments was cancelled due to a faulty sound system. The retreat to the Rasul Chamber, turned out to be a DIY job. I was pointed to the scrub and mud and told to help myself. The facility has great potential, but a lack of management is obvious. Etienne

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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.
George C, General Manager at Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear Etienne F

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor, we value this criticism as it enables us to work on making the guest experience more pleasant.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for not living up to our reputation. We hope to welcome you back very soon and extending a better experience on your next visit.

The Spa will be in contact.

Kind regards
George Cohen
Managing Director
Report response as inappropriate
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Auchterarder, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

We stayed here for two nights in December as part of a longer trip in South Africa. We stayed in one of the Egoli Suites which are in a separate part of the grounds. The reception area for the suites was impressive as was our suite.
The grounds were lovely, the gym was good, breakfast was good but, I wouldn't rush to eat in the hotel restaurants again. The service was soooo slow and the food very average.
I also had my hair done in the Hair Salon - watch out for expensive add ons. I was advised to have a protein treatment and it cost almost as much as my blow dry. Left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth that one.
Check your bill carefully, we were asked to pay for airport transfers which had already been settled by our holiday company. The amounts were finally removed from our bill.
This hotel had a cold, unfriendly feel to me which was disappointing. Maybe it was because I'd just come from Singita Ebony where the service was exceptional.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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.
George C, Managing Director at Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
Dear LJaneW,

Thank you for your review on TripAdvisor.

I do apologize for you not being entirely satisfied with your recent service. We at The Saxon pride ourselves in the levels of service that we offer our guests, and always try to exceeded your expectations. Apologies that this was not the case.

We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your suite and the hotel's grounds and we hope to welcome you back time and again. I will pass your comments onto my team, and we will work on the issues where we have received your feedback.

For your next stay please do not hesitate to contact us on sales@saxon.co.za as we would like to make your stay even more memorable. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Saxon very soon.

Best regards
George Cohen
Managing Director - The Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas & Spa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa

Address: 36 Saxon Road | Sandhurst, Sandton 2196, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Sandton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Sandton
#1 Romantic Hotel in Sandton
#2 Luxury Hotel in Sandton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Saxon has a story to tell. Originally a private home and host to many honoured guests. The art within the home portrays lives lived with guests and friends spending time together. Elegant. Luxurious. Unforgettable. Merging the finest culinary experiences, the ultimate in luxurious accommodation and the award-winning Spa, the Saxon will take you on an unforgettable journey. This is truly the place you can call home. Let the Saxon treat you to personalised, discreet service and unparalleled South African hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Saxon Boutique Hotel Johannesburg
Hotel Saxon Boutique
Saxon Hotel, Villas And Spa Sandton, Greater Johannesburg

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