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“Couples romantic retreat” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hands On Retreat

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Hands On Retreat
Ranked #10 of 290 Johannesburg B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg
1 review
“Couples romantic retreat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2011

My husband and I had the honour of spending our 10th wedding anniversary at Hands on retreat. We would just like to compliment and send a Big Thank you to all staff and management for a wonderful week-end. We had a relaxing time and with all the treatments we received we knew that we were in good hands. We will most definitely see you guys soon!
Duke & Paula Green

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Paula G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HandsOn_10, Manager at Hands On Retreat, responded to this review, September 13, 2012
It is always our pleasure and we will be honored to have you back soon. Thanks for the great review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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179 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    110
    56
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    3
    2
See reviews for
7
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2011

Hands on Retreat was a welcome break after deadlines and end-of-year stress. Centrally located but feeling like it's a million miles away in terms of peace, Hands on Retreat offered friendliness, comfort and warmth.

There's a rustic, homestyle feel but it never feels tacky - we loved the handwritten sign outside our room, homemade rusks in the room, and a complimentary gift of slippers (in our sizes) made from gorgeous local fabric. There's a magnificent garden with nooks and crannies, chairs to sit and read or chill out, and a flowing stream which add to relaxation.

We had a great spa massage, and will definitely go back for a high tea, romantic dinner or for some R&R.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tanya K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HandsOn_10, Manager at Hands On Retreat, responded to this review, September 13, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write this great review. We are delighted that you love our homey touches, it’s our philosophy that love goes hand in hand with relaxation; hope to see you again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brakpan, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2011

My wife and I celebrated our 10th anniversary on 15/12/2011. Needless to say, I needed to do something special! So, because of our busy schedules, I only started doing research on the 12th (bad/ last minute planning on my part, I know!) googled and phoned around! Then out of the blue, as if God sent, I came across "Hands on retreat" I phoned, and spoke to a friendly and helpfully Karin! As a male, we're clueless whe it comes to knowing what women really want. So explained to Karin what the deal was, and low and behold she promptly came with a solution: a "Stay and spa" fast forward to our arrival... We found this tranquil haven without a fuss, and only then I decide to have the extra 30min back and neck massage for both my wife and I. This was not too much to ask for, or so it seemed, 'cause even though it was after hours already, Karin and her friendly Therapists made us unwind from a busy day. A complimentary champaign was delivered to our room, which we enjoyed in the jacuzzi overlooking the river.... At this point, my wife was very impressed with her prince charming (thank u guys). Logged onto the Internet, using their free WiFi and retired to our cozy nest equipped with DSTV, full bathroom(shower&bath), self catering facility overlooking the lush garden. This morning we could choose our breakfast off a loaded menu, needless to say the smiles, warmth and excellent service from our waiter Nhlanhla, went well with our table overlooking the garden. At 9, our Therapists came and collected us for round two, our "Full body" treatments.....heaven! Wish it could go on forever! I've been to other spas and guesthouses, but have never felt so at home and at ease. Even the security was great, with each guest getting a remote for the access controlled gate.

I'm positive that I will return to this excellent place and recommend it to my friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

Well done Karin, Natasha, Nhlanhla, Queenie, Mirriam and everyone else who made our stay and spa a memorable one.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ossie O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HandsOn_10, Manager at Hands On Retreat, responded to this review, September 13, 2012
Anniversaries are a specialty here at Hands On, we love to give you and your loved one the pampering you deserve. Thanks for your great review, we can’t wait to have you back.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roodepoort, Gauteng, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2011

Dear Hands on Retreat

Thank you for going out of your way to accommodate us for our 6th year anniversary on short notice.

You really made it a special, it really was a weekend to remember.

The spa treatments was done professionally and with a friendly smile.

The romantic dinner on Saturday evening was..... How can I say this..... WOW!!!! The food was neatly presented and tasted extraordinary.

At breakfast the following morning there was a lot of options to choose from and also a variety of ways how you wanted your food to be prepared. Breakfast was also neatly presented and was delicious.

Big thanks to management and staff for going out of their way to make our stay so special & a weekend we will never forget.

A special thanks to Karin and Natasha for going out of their way and assisting with the booking and making everything extra special that weekend!

It makes one proud to see how passionate the team at Hands on Retreat are! Keep up the good work! We can’t wait to come again!

Thank you Hands on Retreat!

Morne & Malise Myburgh

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Morne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HandsOn_10, Manager at Hands On Retreat, responded to this review, September 10, 2012
Thank you for your kind review, its always our goal to make every experience special and its only our pleasure to make your 6th anniversary one to remember, hope to have you back for many more.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2011

My husband and I celebrated our 2nd year annivesary for 1night at Handsonretreat ,which for a 4star getaway did not meet our expectations. I find it shocking that this place has received so many good reviews, but I would like to share our experience. We arrived there on Saturday afternoon and received a warm welcome, however after checking into our rooms and sitting in the garden trying to unwind, to our surprise the place was very noisy. I was also surprised to see that there was no hand wash in the bath room along with dirty face cloths( suppose to be white, but was really very off colour). I think the biggest disappointment was our romatic 4 course dinner which costed me R400, WHAT A DISASTER! We walked out, the food was very unappertizing and the presentation of the food served was horrible. We were both very sad and felt that we had been ripped off, so we went out looking for something decent to eat that night. I have been to many 4 star accommodations, this is one place that needs to close their doors or have a serious makeover.....starting with the chef & the staff. The manager on duty was very kind and tried to make ammense with breakfast the Sunday, all I can say is that she tried, presentation is very important. I WOULD NEVER WANT TO GO BACK EVEN IF I WAS OFFERED ALL EXPENSES PAID FOR.........sorry you pay for a service......sad!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jill D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HandsOn_10, Owner at Hands On Retreat, responded to this review, March 3, 2012
We are very sorry and disappointed that we were not able to reach your expectations. We were very shocked to receive your bad review after all the other good reviews. We were naturally devistated to hear that you suggest that we close our doors; we have put in a lot of effort and love to make the Retreat what it is today and to get a review that all our efforts to provide a retreat was in vain.... Our staff and manager take negative reviews very personal and we had to do a lot of damage control to explain to them that it is not humanly possible to satisfy all our clients. It is a very great pity that you did not mention any of this in your departing . Your warm review in our visitor’s book did not prepare us for your negative review. We would have preferred responding to you directly rather via this public forum.

We also noticed that you entered our competition for a weekend away. To respect your closing comment that you are not willing to ever come back, we have removed your entry form to the competition. As the owner of the business, we take all feedback very seriously and all your issues were investigated. Our support staff and manager are all very sorry to hear that you were so unhappy and wished that you had rather mentioned it to them directly during your stay.

Our management response: Our on site spa is very popular on a Saturday until 16h00. Therefore we plan and request our guest house clients to book in after 16h00 to ensure that the Retreat is back to normal. Karin did apologize for the chatty departing spa clients when you booked in at 15h00. The "dirty "face cloths in the public bathroom were discarded ones in a bamboo bin that had been used by the spa clients during the day and I was unable to find any off colored ones. With regards to the food, I am totally shocked that you found the food very unappetizing and a rip off price wise. The 4 course meal of R200 per person (less than $15 pp), consisting of a Brie and caramelized onion spring roll, followed by 2X basil/ mozzarella/roasted baby tomato bruschettas, followed by a rich oxtail and veggie hotpot, decadent chocolate fondant pudding, ending with cappuccinos/tea normally satisfies our clients but we understand that it might not have been your kind of food. Pity you did not mention this to Karen on Saturday night as she would have made a plan to serve you alternatives.
We wish that we could have given the opportunity to make up during your stay rather than damage control after your visit!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Randburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2011

Hands on Retreat is great for relaxing - not far away from home. It's situated in town (Craighall), just off the main road. Since we live in Joburg, it was easy to drive a few minutes and arrive at this amazing place ! As soon as you enter the property, you feel the difference - you will never know that you are in town. The ambience is awesome, from the time you arrive, you start to relax..

We were greeted by Karin on arrival and showed to our room immediately - no hassle of forms or things to complete, you go to your room straight away.
As i wasnt feeling well, Karin offered to serve dinner in our room - bonus !

The rooms are equipped with en suite bathrooms and we were lucky enough to have a jacuzzi bath in our room !
You have a little kitchenette with a bar fridge, kettle, etc.

We stayed for 2 nights and had different treatments on the "deck". It over looks a river and a big garden - very peaceful with wind chimes and sounds of nature !

The staff was all great. From housekeeping who served meals in our room, cleaning and keeping the room stocked, to management and spa therapists.
Always smiling and friendly, yet very quiet. The staff are very much trained to fit in with the venue ! You can feel the ambience of relaxation, whatever you do !
The treatments were amazing as well. You don't expect a "city venue" to be so good with the treatments, but it was great. They really know how to do it !

The food was good - healthy but very good.

Should you need to escape for a little while, you are in the centre of Craighall with shopping centre's and numerous shops to visit. In the close vicinity you have, a retail shopping centre and even closer, you have convenience shopping centres closeby for any extra's u might need.

So over all, a great place for couples to rekindle the magic and just be together or even if you just want to relax and BE !

Thank you Hands on, for a wonderful weekend :-)

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cmuller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HandsOn_10, Manager at Hands On Retreat, responded to this review, February 8, 2012
We are so pleased that you had a fantastic time with us, and can’t wait to have you visit us again. Thank you so much for that detailed review it is much appreciated.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2011

After traveling 32 hours I was so warmly welcomed by Karen I felt I had arrived home. My room was beautiful and the Garden Patio was peaceful and inviting. I was meeting my husband in South Africa and wanted to arrive a day or two early to adjust to the time change after such a long flight. Karen arranged my massage the next day and my transportation back to the airport. The staff was aware of your needs before you were and took great care of everything possible. I will always remember this stay and will return for a longer stay next time.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GSabatino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HandsOn_10, Manager at Hands On Retreat, responded to this review, February 8, 2012
Thank you for your wonderful comments, it is most welcoming. We pleased you enjoyed your stay with us and can not wait to have you visit again.
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 Hands On Retreat

Property: Hands On Retreat
Address: 4 Argyle Avenue, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Johannesburg
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 290 B&Bs / Inns in Johannesburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hands On Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
GREAT LOCATION and BEST VALUE for money! We are centrally situated in the upmarket "Parks" area of Northern Johannesburg and give easy access to our surrounding suburbs of Sandton, Rosebank, Hyde Park and Randburg whether by car or public transport. 10 Minutes drives from the Sandton and Rosebank Gautrain station and the use of UBer taxi services are advised (use code martinal if first time user to get R90 off your 1st ride).Transport can be arranged from OR Tambo, however quickest way is to use the GAUTRAIN. 6 Double on- suite rooms with private garden access, with small kitchenette ideal for LONG STAYS for the deserning business or leasure traveller. SECURE OFF STREET PARKING with own remote control. All rooms have a seperate bath and shower. 1 WHEEL CHAIR friendly room and all beds are queen size. FREE High speed internet and our ON-SITE COFFEE SHOP makes our venue ideal for breakfast and lunch meetings. WALKING distance to Hacklebrook Conference and 10 minutes drive to SANDTON Convention Center. DINNER trays by arrangements On- Site HAIRDRESSER and SPA. 5 Minutes walk to VALLEY SHOPPING Centre: Woolworths, Clicks, Bottle Store, Vodacom, Butcher, Coffee shops and Laundromat 5 mintues walk from Pick , Pay and Planett Fitness 5 minutes to KFC and Mc Dondalds take aways Delicious breakfasts are served from 7h00 to 10h00 to order on our patio which opens out onto a garden abundant of trees and bird life. You also have enough space in front of your room to enjoy our wonderful Johannesburg afternoons sipping sundowners ordered from our coffee shop Cold days are warmed by a roaring log fire in our dining room. RATES DROP FOR WEEKLY AND MONTHLY STAYS ... more   less 
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