The Peech Boutique Hotel — Johannesburg, South Africa
It’s taken 15 years, but James Peech and his wife Vicky have finally realised the potential of their property in Johannesburg’s upmarket Melrose suburb. And it was worth the wait.
Shaped around a former family home – a handsome 1950s heritage building topped with a curvilinear wood-shingle roof – the hotel, up until now, comprised just 16 rooms housed within a series of individual new-build annexes inserted amongst the lush tree-swathed gardens.
Now, completing the masterplan, the property has doubled in size, with the addition of another 16 rooms, including the two-bedroom Peech Villa, set on a recently acquired patch of neighbouring land. Among the flourishing landscaped gardens, local studio Meshworks has fashioned a small village of single and duplex pavilions, their boxy profiles assembled with breeze blocks, timber slats and metal mesh screens, which create natural ventilation and bathe the pleasingly minimal interiors with natural light.
Here, Johannesburg-based Design Republic, layered a bold petrol blue and putty palette with natural textures, from Oggie timber floorboards to hand-stitched distressed leather headboards, and local furniture and craftwork, such as bed throws by African Jacquard, bedside tables by Houtlander and screen dividers, hand-woven by Bathany Home, a shelter for abused women.
And while the best of Johannesburg’s restaurants are on the hotel’s doorstep, it pays dividends to dine in at the newly opened Basalt, spearheaded by Freddie Dias, formerly the head chef at The Pot Luck Club in Cape Town. The restaurant’s cool grey interiors, anchored by deep red velvet chairs and parquet flooring underfoot, come together to form a chic backdrop for a global menu of dishes from springbok carpaccio to yield-to-the-fork slow-roasted pork belly ricarda negra with toasted almond mole. §