Frances Cottrell lives the high life at The Saxon hotel in South Africa, enjoying champagne for breakfast, lunch and dinner in sumptuous surroundings.
Drawing up to the Saxon hotel is an experience itself, set amongst beautifully manicured lawns and landscaped gardens, the road curves around to an impressively grand hotel entrance. Valet parking assistance and an incredibly prompt and generous attendant will magically transport your bags and car elsewhere, and whisk you through to the grand African entrance.
The stately staircase, leading up to a glass dome, which magnificently reflects the sunshine, beautifully frame a remarkable reception interposed with Asian and African artefacts and objects d’art. The main chandelier is an impressive construction in its own right, made from native Ostrich eggs!
Undoubtedly the warmest and most gentle of welcomes, staff are discreetly placed throughout the public lobby areas and on hand to cater for every request and demand 24 hours a day, all performed with a glorious smile and a swift execution. Everywhere you turn there are candles burning a beautiful floral but understated scent in unison softening the hotel and engulfing it in an air of ultimate relaxation and indulgence.
The Saxon hotel boasts 53 suites and now more recently 3 Villas too. Each suite has beautiful views of the gardens or pools, and as nature is a running theme throughout the hotel, rooms offer a balcony or terrace to bring the African gardens outside, inside.
Suites are generously kitted out with state-of-the-art technology, perfect for business and leisure with iPod docks, flat screen televisions, wifi (and a new bottle of champagne every night) provided in each room.
Bathrooms are decadent with lavender scattered throughout, and lashings of (again, nature-inspired) Molton Brown products; huge bathtubs (some with jacuzzis); wet rooms and the fluffiest towels and robes I have ever encountered.
The hotel also offers additional services, which you can book for your party, such as an in-house cinema; a luxury spa; library smoking rooms; wine cellars (which can host dinner parties for the most impressive of experts) and a hydrotherapy and hair studio. Set in the grounds are an outside infinity pool and an impressive 120 metre outdoor heated swimming pool, gymnasium and a Koi pool full of remarkable pets which have been with the hotel for over 20 years.
For larger groups the villas offer privacy and seclusion, including private elevator entrances and underground parking and private street exits. Each villa consists of a number of suites which lead from a central dining and leisure space. Villas are much more modern in terms of design than the main hotel, and include touches such as massage suites, a 24hour stocked and staffed bar, private gardens and infinity pools.
The Saxon Hotel’s food offering continues along the theme of exceptional. Breakfasts start with (almost) compulsory champagne, and go on to offer an abundant selection of smoked salmon, pastries, freshly baked breads, locally sourced fruits and juices, cold cuts and even sushi.
Lunch, brunch and dinner menus change monthly and offer a superb fine dining experience sourcing excellent ingredients, prepared with finesse and International flair.
The setting is grand, with wine cellars on a mezzanine level above the dining room, and a dramatic centre piece comes in the form of a branch display, which although adding to the aesthetics, is not ideal for taller guests.
The Saxon Hotel is undoubtedly one of Johannesburg’s finest hotels, frequented by the Black Eyed Peas, Oprah Winfrey and Mandela himself (he wrote The Long Walk To Freedom at the Saxon). The natural elements throughout juxtaposed with generous helpings of James Bond-esque technology, a lavish spa facility offering the most generous treatments, topped with exceptional service, make a stay here an absolute pleasure.
Only a 45 minute drive from Johannesburg International Airport, and only 15 minutes from the excellent shopping district of Sandton, it is ideal for business stays, leisurely breaks or to frame holidays to the Kruger safari region.
Address: 36 Saxon Road, Sandton 2196, South Africa
Telephone: + 27 011 292 6000
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