YZ recommends AtholPlace Hotel & Villa for safari stopovers and city breaks alike. The property is owned and operated by the Morukuru Family group, a company with an impressive portfolio that includes Owner’s House and River House in Madikwe. AtholPlace is an excellent option for travellers seeking stopover accommodation before or after a safari in any of Madikwe, the Kruger, and the Sabi Sands!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The property is accessed via road or Gautrain rail transfer from O. R. Tambo International Airport (respectively 40 minutes and 15 minutes). AtholPlace is an attractive contemporary building, set within pleasant garden grounds.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The communal spaces include both indoor and outdoor lounge areas, featuring plenty of comfy sofas and chairs. The library has a cosy fireplace, and is perfect for curling up with a good book. The restaurant is chic and sophisticated, furnished with separate tables and plush upright chairs. It flows out onto a terrace, which provides a relaxing environment for al fresco meals. AtholPlace’s bar is well stocked and well attended, while the gym is small yet sufficiently equipped. Outside in the gardens, you will find the hotel’s swimming pool, built into a sturdy wooden deck. Surrounded by tall trees and sunloungers, this space is fabulous for chatting, reading, or simply falling into a doze!
Guest accommodation at AtholPlace consists of nine suites and a villa, with the latter booked for exclusive use. Of the suites, five are described as Superior and the remaining four are Deluxe. Each is individually designed and very spacious – the total floor space is 45–55 square metres! Sleeping a maximum of two adults and one child aged under 12 years, every superior suite is found on the first floor of the hotel. Each deluxe suite is available for a maximum of two adults, and is located in a separate building in the grounds. Guests choose between king-size beds or twin beds, and other furnishings include bedside tables and lighting, a writing desk and chair, a sofa, and ample storage space for your clothes and other belongings. Both options are fully air conditioned, and every suite benefits from additional amenities such as a VOIP telephone system, a 42-inch LCD flatscreen satellite television, complimentary Wi-Fi, an electronic safe, a mini-bar fridge, and a Nespresso machine. The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins, bathtub, and separate shower – and the hotel provides bathrobes, slippers, and a hairdryer. Large doors open out onto a balcony – most of these have lovely views of the pool and gardens!
AtholPlace Villa is just next door to the hotel, and is booked on an exclusive-use basis for a maximum of six adults and two children aged under 12 years. In common with the suites and communal spaces, the accommodation has a chic contemporary feel. It offers all the amenities of the suites, plus a kitchen, a dining room with fireplace, a living room with fireplace, a television room with large flatscreen TV, a terrace, three deluxe en-suite bedrooms, an en-suite bedroom for children, a balcony for each bedroom, and a private walled garden featuring loungers and temperature-regulated pool! There’s private parking too, in a secure off-street area, as well as 24-hour security. Guests of the villa have access to AtholPlace Hotel restaurant, or meals may be prepared by a private chef – and served by a private butler. The staff also includes a villa host.
Both the hotel and the villa are well placed for guests to venture out and explore Jo-burg, with a lot of attractions a short distance away. Take a short stroll, and you will find Sandton City Mall and Nelson Mandela Square. All the suburbs located around the city’s central hub enchant visitors with their cuisine and street culture. City centre activities include a trip to the Soweto Township and the Apartheid Museum – the latter is considered the best museum in the world for its presentation of twentieth-century Africa. The Mandela Museum is also worth visiting, as is Jo-burg’s main art gallery. Of course the city boasts an exceptionally good assortment of cafés, restaurants, and bars. Depending on how long you are staying here, families could consider popping to theme park Gold Reef City, which provides insights into 1880s mining life and includes roller coasters and water rides!