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  1. Expert Review

    5.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Sep 2013 · Sarah Duff

    This exclusive boutique hotel, tucked away in the leafy upmarket suburb of Houghton, oozes class and elegance. From the Rolls...

    This exclusive boutique hotel, tucked away in the leafy upmarket suburb of Houghton, oozes class and elegance. From the Rolls Royce that picks you up from the airport to the old-world piano bar (complete with grand piano and player) the Residence is a pocket of luxurious style in a city full of generic chain hotels.

    From the moment that you drive through past the gargantuan walls of the hotel, you feel like you’re in a different place to frenetic Johannesburg. Suited staff welcome you into a sumptuous interior of gilded mirrors, plump couches, velvet drapes, Persian carpets, dark wood furniture and antique French crystal chandeliers.

    Each of the hotel’s 12 suites is almost as big as an apartment. All have outdoor spaces – either verandas or spacious decks – and some feature Jacuzzis and outdoor showers, while others have a plunge pool or outdoor bath. The Penthouse Suite on the rooftop is wonderful for honeymooners, with an outdoor Jacuzzi, outdoor bubble bath and skylight in room, while the Madiba Suite (named after Houghton’s most famous resident, Nelson Mandela, who once lived down the road) is one of the most hotel’s most luxurious and spacious.

    There’s no shortage of places to relax at the Residence – choose from several comfortable lounges, the rooftop Skybar or the spa, which has a sauna and steam room. For active types, there’s a small gym, tennis court (the hotel provides raquets and balls), and two outdoor pools, one of which is heated, for sunny winter swims. The Houghton Golf Course is nearby, and the hotel can arrange for you to play a round.

    The restaurant serves a great breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner from an a la carte menu which features salads, light dishes such as smoked trout roulade, and mains such as Thai green chicken curry, lamb shank, and stone-baked pizzas.

    The Residence is popular with business travellers, and it’s easy to see why – it’s not far from the airport and is close to the shops and offices of Rosebank. The hotel offers a small boardroom and private dining room for conferences.

    The impeccable service from friendly, well-trained staff is the cherry on the top of this boutique gem. I also loved the attention to detail and the luxurious extras that made the stay memorable – such as complimentary sherry in the room (perfect for sipping while having an evening Jacuzzi), the turn down with Amarula liqueur and chocolate, and the bath menu, where you choose a fragranced bath to be drawn for you.

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