I was recently intrigued by an email with the subject line “When last did you have a Girls Night Out?” Upon further inspection, it was an invitation from African Pride Hotels to spend a night with my “bestie” at the Melrose Arch Hotel in Johannesburg.
So off Leigh-Che Mackays and I went in anticipation of a long overdue GNO (Girls Night Out). We were greeted by the Marketing Manager, Jenni Davidson, and shown to our comfy twin bed room.
Later, we met for drinks in the Sound Room, where I met the General Manager, Tanya Malan, as well as fellow bloggers Zaahirah Bhamjee from Complete Disbelief, Jessica Franks from Jesska.co.za and Martha Van Zyl from Syllable in the City. It was a cosy ensemble of 4 bloggers, including myself, and our BFFs. Tanya explained that the Sound Room, which is just at the entrance of the Library Lounge, is available for hire for private events.
After everyone arrived, we had a tour of the hotel. Now, I have been to the Melrose Arch Hotel many times before, and even had a “staycation” there once, but I did not realise how much it really has to offer.
The Melrose Arch Hotel, which opened in 2003 and has 118 rooms, offers the usual conference and meeting venues, impeccably decorated with original artwork, and here’s what makes it different from other hotels, it also has a 60 seater mini movie theatre, which, we were told is very popular indeed. I’d say that the stylish, understated elegance of the place, combined with its trademark Davidoff Cool Water smell, is what will win most people over.
Of course, one cannot forget to mention the over-sized buckets at the pool area, as this has become synonymous with the Melrose Arch Hotel. The complimetary SPF at the poolside is also a lovely and thoughtful touch.
Then there’s the March Restaurant, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as private rooms for hire.
We were treated to an ambrosial three course meal, prepared by the newly appointed Chef Adrian and his team. My favourite part was dessert, described as “under the dome berry infused white chocolate mousse, candied berries, chocolate coated rice, coffee jelly cubes and ginger crumble.” What a mouthful, figuratively and literally! This was really the most delicious dessert I’ve had in ages!
With our tummies full, we walked around the block to the Fire & Ice Hotel (also part of African Pride Hotels) to tickle our funny bones, with Jozi Comedy, featuring Kagiso Lediga as the headline act and about 4 other “soon to be famous” comedians.
I was glad to be able to climb into the comfy hotel bed after the comedy show, and not have to drive home. A little staycation can’t do no harm!
The next morning, we were treated to a sumptuous breakfast at the March restaurant. You can help yourself at the buffet table, which has oysters and champagne, or have a warm breakfast, all for R225 per person. This is steep, I know, but the selection that is available, from pastries, to cold meats, to warm foods, salmon, oysters, an array of drinks, etc. makes treating yourself worth the money.
Thank you to the lovely Tanya Malan & Ann Laubscher and her team for making our stay fabulous!