At the heart of the vibrant and bustling City of Gold, the Saxon Hotel beguiles from first glance. Perched on a very privileged position — ten acres of magnificent gardens within the tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst, planted with purely indigenous species, and lush with organic herbs and vegetables – this is a retreat unlike any other. Five-star hop-to-it service is understood. Something cool to sip on as you loll in the impressive infinity pool? A secluded table under a canopy of fig trees from which to soak up the Johannesburg skyline? At the end of the day, your own luxurious suite or discreet private villa, the ne plus ultra of oases.
If you can bear to escape (and honestly, there have been happy times when we couldn’t), The Saxon is well placed for exploration of Johannesburg sites of every persuasion: from art tours and shopping extravaganzas, to cultural expeditions of the tenacious and fascinating community of Soweto (always a favourite outing of our knowledgeable Micato Safari Director). Also on the dance card, a little wine tasting never goes amiss – after all, the famous South African sunshine and rich terroir produce excellent wines, including some vintages you may never find at home. Carpe diem.
Deeply sumptuous suites evoke a welcome calm, furnished in marble and light wood, subtle geometric prints, and a soupçon of Eastern influences and African artefacts. King- sized beds, sprawling baths, and sitting rooms with elegant dining area: contemporary refinement meets grand style. For privacy that particularly suits families, three villas are available for sole use in a secluded garden setting.
From superb city sunsets by the spectacular infinity pool, to the post-prandial rituals of the cosmopolitan Piano Lounge and the whisky-blessed Cigar Lounge, relaxation is built in. With a particularly stunning indoor-outdoor atmosphere, dining at Qunu exudes an intrinsic connection to Africa. For a true culinary blowout, we recommend plumping for the six-course tasting menu at award-stealing Grei. (Grei has been nominated for and won countless awards including World’s Leading Fine Dining Hotel Restaurant 2018: bagging a table here is something of a global honour, a foodie coup that quickly metamorphoses into a sure thing when travelling with ever-connected Micato.) Saxon’s spa steals similar accolades, with a bevy of hydro facilities, water features and satisfyingly steamy corners. (The couples’ treatment room is known as Heaven on Earth. We encourage you to find out why.)