The Residence Boutique Hotel

17 4th Ave, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, 2198, South Africa

The tony suburb of Houghton, whose best-known resident was Nelson Mandela, is home to leafy lanes lined with stately estates. Not too far from the Mandela family manse is the Residence, a stylish boutique property that lives up to its name, evoking a private lair of a chic distant relative that guests are fortunate enough to visit for a spell.

The rooms are plush, with velvet headboards, sumptuous rugs, and glittering chandeliers, but the bathrooms are a sight to behold: the gleaming marble tiles and outdoor showers and tubs merit a special mention. Nods to the nautical can be found in the Boat Lounge, where mini sailboats and life preservers inspire the decor. There’s often a pianist tickling the ivories in the Piano Lounge, where guests can retire with a post-prandial cocktail.

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Highlife in Houghton: A Luxury Boutique Stay

If you ever want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Jo’burg without wandering too far, then book a stay in one of the Residence’s amazing suites. A stay in the Penthouse Suite grants you access to luxurious amenities which include a fireplace in the room, a skylight above the king size extra-length bed (so you can sleep under the stars), which is topped with with goose down stuffed king size pillows and Egyptian cotton sheets. With an outdoor spa bath, an outdoor shower and a jacuzzi on offer with the suite, the jacuzzi definitely has the best view, which just makes enjoying a glass of wine while soaking up the beautiful South African sunset that much more beautiful. Should you require more pampering, book yourself a relaxing spa treatment in the hotel’s spa center. As one who doesn’t usually do the whole pampering thing, I thoroughly enjoyed the full body massage. Dining at the hotel, will give your taste buds an experience of their own. From bacon-wrapped litchis with blue cheese sauce for my starter, to perfectly cooked Ostrich fillet on wasabi mash for mains, my only gripe was that they’d run out of the hand-made peanut butter ice-cream when I tried to order dessert. I eventually settled on the crème brûlée, which isn’t usually my first choice, but on completion, this particular iteration had me wishing I’d had a second helping...

Let Calming Waters & Koi Relieve Your Stress

Water and fish, specifically koi, are recurring decorative themes throughout The Residence. The koi is reportedly a reference to the hotel’s origins as the Chinese embassy in Johannesburg. Koi are considered lucky in both Chinese and Japanese cultures, symbolizing wealth, prosperity, longevity and courage amongst other attributes.

The Details that Make The Residence Unique

The Residence is full of small touches that make it extra special. From the orchids that are grown by the owner’s mother to the antique French crystal chandeliers throughout the hotel, you will be constantly impressed by the fine details as well as the staff’s efforts to make your stay that much more pleasant Even the turn-down service had its own Residence touch. When I climbed into the extra-long king-sized bed, I found a hot water bottle under the sheets to ensure that I was just that much more comfortable. Handwritten notes attached to small gifts after a spa treatment, wishing you well on your journey, make you feel truly appreciated as a guest.

Delightful Boutique Hotel in Houghton

This is the rooftop at a wonderful small hotel in Houghton between the golf course and the new mosque just off the M1. It was the home of Edgar and Aaron, and thankfully they have decided to share it with guests. They recently bought the house next door and plan to increase from 5 to 11 rooms in June 2012.

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