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“A real treat”
Review of Illyria House

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Illyria House
Ranked #10 of 74 Hotels in Pretoria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Stayed at Illyria House as a group of friends who wanted to get away for the weekend. It was every thing we've hoped for and more! And the service! The staff made us feel at home and we even had tears in our eyes when we had to leave because the staff send us off with a beautifull tradisional song.

We had high tea (delicious), spa treatments (very good) and a wonderful evening meal with the stately dining room all to ourselves.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Marli S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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223 - 229 of 317 reviews

Reviewed October 18, 2012

This was our third visit to Illyria House, and we were once again blown away. My husband and I went there to wind down after our safari in the Kruger and what a relaxing time we had. We stayed in the Catharina Suite this time, which overlooks the garden and has a lovely roll-top bath in the marble bathroom. We loved sitting on our little balcony and the one evening, we asked for a private dinner which Patience, our butler brought there especially for us. Everything was prepared to the very last detail, from the little nougats on our bed, to the delicate snacks before dinner. We are real foodies and the meals we had there, easily matches the menus in the restaurants of Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc in the UK. The wine list was extensive and very reasonably priced. One new addition to Illyria House was the Thai massage therapist. She was quite amazing and I wished I could take her home with me. Unfortunately we couldn't enjoy the swimming pool and jacuzzi this time as it was quite windy during our stay. I am sure we will return to do that on our next trip to South Africa!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank greatexplorerLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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4  Thank eblack156
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 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
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1  Thank MikeGray4655
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2012

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
2  Thank Globetrottingagain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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4  Thank Carmen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Angela H
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
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Pretoria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Pretoria
#4 Spa Hotel in Pretoria
#7 Luxury Hotel in Pretoria
#10 Business Hotel in Pretoria
Price Range: $115 - $192 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Illyria House 5*
Number of rooms: 12
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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