African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel
JHBLive was invited by our lovely client, the African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel, for a five star sleepover. With a focus on the special package, Nothing But Luxury, that the hotel has on offer every single weekend of the year, off my sister and I went to check out why we should all be venturing into overnight stays in our own city.
As we walked into this five star hotel, the horticulturist in me squealed with delight as I noticed the plants that adorned areas of the hotel lobby that are often overlooked. Beautiful red roses lined a wall each from within their own tin home, orchids perched on shelves at the top of walls and the air.. My god the air. I read beforehand that African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel boasted of the use of their own signature scent, but nothing could have prepared me for how suddenly I fell in love with it. It seemed to seep from the walls and my sister and I stood, inhaling our environment with all our might as the exceptional staff tried to get our attention and help us.
And so they did. We were shown to our room and I was amazed by how quirky it was. This was mostly due to the fact that the decor had a sense of humour. The artwork above the bathtub actually made me giggle, the painting in the bedroom was mischievous and playful. The M&M’s that come standard with every room almost moved me to tears. They weren’t the peanut kind but I love a classic M&M nonetheless, and I love the fact that they had snuck their way into a five star hotel.
We changed into our bikinis and headed to the pool area where we sat at a table and ordered cocktails and tapas while our feet played merrily in the water beneath us and a white umbrella protected our shoulders. Casually, the seating area is in a shallow section of the pool.
We then headed to the pool loungers as a fantastic waiter by the name of Sibusiso brought us over another round of Mojitos while we blushed over the fact that we’d found Taye Diggs’ doppelganger.
The design of the pool area is unlike anything I’ve seen before. Massive planters that resemble tin vases line the pool with trees that scatter shade over the seating area. We snacked on our watermelon and feta salad, fish cakes, fried squid heads and toasted ciabatta with hummus as we welcomed kisses from the South African sun.
We then met a representative of Camelot Spa in Melrose Arch in the lobby and headed off for a couples massage that forms part of The Rejuvenation Package that African Pride Melrose Arch offers. Sister and I then spent an hour falling in love with the indulgence that is the Universal Couples Massage. There were hot stones involved. It was ridiculously wonderful. Back in our quirky hotel room, we found a bottle of champagne, little milk tarts and koeksusters waiting for us. This ‘romantic turndown’ comes with the Nothing But Luxury package and so I toasted with my sister while cursing my boyfriend for being overseas. Sister dates are great, but I found myself missing the ‘package’ part of the romance.
I had a long bath and decided I must, at any cost, have a bathtub such as this one all for my very self, one day. We then headed to Goliath and Goliath Comedy Club which is a two minute walk from the hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel, guests are given a map of Melrose Arch which has certain venues and shops marked with little golden ducks, the presence of which means that specials and discounts await you for everything from clothes to meals.
We ate pizza, drank some outrageously delicious cocktail that contained ‘elderflowers’ and laughed, sincerely and from our bellies for the next few hours before heading back.
The third package they have on offer is the Couples Getaway which includes a three-course candlelit dinner and bottle of wine, an overnight stay and a champagne breakfast at March Restaurant. However we went to Goliath & Goliath to feel for ourselves how ideal the African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel’s location is within the safe, cobbled streets of Melrose Arch.
We had a five star sleepover before heading down to the March restaurant for a Champagne breakfast and ordered from the hot menu while the inclusive continental breakfast layout tempted us immeasurably. We then gawked as we discovered that fake Taye Diggs was off pool bar duty and was working in the restaurant. We ate our eggs and counted our blessings. Then we got the manager to take a photo of us with fake Taye.
I said goodbye with great difficulty because work and life and things wait for no woman.
The Nothing But Luxury Package is R1230 per person sharing which initially had me repeating the mantra ‘treat yo’self’. Until I considered how much I can ‘accidentally’ spend on an average Friday night dinner with wine (like R350 easily) followed by a night of drinking (literally too embarrassed to say) and then a morning of greasy hangover brekkie (R200 by the time your extra avo and freshly squeezed juice arrive). To be quite honest with you, I’d much rather go into an adventure knowing how much of my money is going towards it and that the experiences are worth it. I needed to wrap my head around the fact that it is absolutely okay to spend money on a sleepover in the city you live in, and indulgence is better when you know that you’re getting the absolute best.
For bookings, head here. Enter your preferred stay dates and update the number of guests per room. When you click “view rates”, you will be directed to a page featuring the various accommodation options. Select the “Room Packages” tab at the top of the page to view and book the packages we’ve discussed in this feature.
by Christy Chilimigras