The Saxon Hotel Villas & Spa — Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg’s turbulent past – which resulted in an abandoned CBD – pushed businesses into setting up shop in and around the suburbs, creating a somewhat unique urban structure. It comes as no surprise then, that the affluent Sandhurst neighbourhood is home to the city’s top hotel, The Saxon. Situated on a quiet, leafy street, lined with impossibly high walls, the property’s imposing gate and brigade of guards are effective at rousing an air of anticipation for the sprawling 10 acres of lush, landscaped gardens that lie beyond.
There is, however, no sense of extravagance about the space. Polished interiors in an earthy palette of biscuit and stone hues are enhanced with antique furnishings, local artwork and tribal objects.
All of the 50 guest rooms and suites overlook the garden, but for the full experience, we’d plump for one of the three standalone villas – each with their own plunge pools.
After a day of pampering in the spa, head to the main terrace for a pre-prandial cocktail overlooking the slick infinity pool, before heading to one of the two restaurants to indulge in a leisurely meal, finished off - of course - with a nightcap in the recently launched whisky bar.