I’d just arrived in Johannesburg after an amazing trip to the four-country region – Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia – where I stayed on the gorgeous Zambezi Queen, went on safaris in the Chobe National Park and experienced the mighty Victoria Falls. It was an action-packed trip and I needed to chill. I stepped out of the taxi onto the pavement of busy Oxford Road in the suburb of Rosebank. In front of me stood the stately Monarch Hotel.
The doors opened and Jan, the manager, walked out to greet me. Jan welcomed me with a cocktail in the beautiful lounge. I sat on the plush sofa and looked around at the lavish surroundings: high ceilings, paneled walls, brass banisters and marble flooring. I loved how the classic interior was cleverly mixed with dashes of contemporary flair, creating a royal, avant-garde ambiance. As I explored the hotel, I noticed that this terrific blend of styles was consistent throughout, from the public areas to the suites.
The Monarch Hotel is housed in the old Saxonwold Post Office, a national monument, and has twelve elegant suites. My suite was seriously posh. Everything oozed elegance, from the classic furniture to the rich fabrics, soft carpet, high thread-count cottons and the stand-alone bath-tub.
Despite its stately appearance, I felt very much at home. That fine balance can only be achieved with impeccable service but the clever interior and amenities definitely played a role. In the following days, I observed how Jan and his staff went out of their way to make sure their guests were comfortable and well looked after. A sincere smile was never far away and they were never too busy for a casual chat or to attend to their guests’ needs.
The Rosebank neighbourhood in which the hotel is situated is undoubtedly one of Johannesburg’s poshest areas. I explored the nearby Rosebank and The Zone malls, with their exclusive boutiques, alfresco cafés, restaurants and bars. There’s also the Rosebank Gautrain station across the road from the hotel – the comfortable trains provide direct access to the airport and other parts of Johannesburg, including the Central Business District.
I spent my late-afternoons simply relaxing with a glass of wine on the lovely garden terrace behind the hotel; my idea of chill! Needless to say, I had a fabulous, very royal stay at the Monarch Hotel. It’s absolutely perfect for both business and leisure visitors to Johannesburg, and I have no doubt the staff will take very good care of every guest who passes through those beautiful brass doors.
Note: a very big thank you goes to the Mantis Group and Monarch Hotel for your incredible hospitality. As always, views expressed above are mine, and mine only.