Experience the Luxury Boutique Hotel, AtholPlace

AtholPlace is a small luxury boutique hotel located in the cosmopolitan
northern suburb of Atholl in Johannesburg.

AtholPlace

Stephanus talks about their trip to the luxurious AtholPlace.

KC:  How far is AtholPlace from Johannesburg?

Stephanus:  It is conveniently located about 30 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport in the upmarket neighbourhood of Sandton. It boasts many trees, as Johannesburg is renown for.  The Gautrain metro is less than a kilometer from the hotel and Sandton Central is only about 5 minutes’ drive away.

KC:  What made you decide to stay at AtholPlace?

AtholPlaceStephanus:  My wife is Mrs South Africa 2014 and we had to attend some events in Johannesburg. I saw that as a great opportunity for us to visit AtholPlace, because I’ve always wanted to go there – heard so many good things about it – but they used to have a no-children policy. Our children didn’t join us on this trip, so we thought – this is our chance! The great news, however, is that the hotel is under new management (and fantastic management I might add) and that they’ve recently adapted their child policy to make the boutique hotel more family-friendly.

KC:  What was your first impression of AtholPlace on arrival?

Stephanus:  We arrived rather late, but the receptionist (Catherine, or Cath as she’d like to call herself) received us with a warm welcome with welcoming drinks, an orientation tour, etc. She helped us settle into our room, and even helped carry our bags, something that the old-fashioned ‘boerseun’ in me found rather odd, but she insisted. We had the option of eating at the hotel’s restaurant, but we actually decided to order Italian food from a nearby restaurant that she recommended and dine in the room. She downloaded the restaurant’s menu and placed our order. My wife and I then collected our meal in Sandton. When we got back, we discovered that she had already prepared everything for us – she even had the foresight to provide us with salad dressing, something which the restaurant forgot to include with our salad.

KC:  What was the service like?

Stephanus:  The service was flawless. Really, we couldn’t fault it. You felt at home, but you also felt extremely spoilt and that every detail is taken care of. Each and every staff member was extremely friendly, professional and courteous.

KC:  Is it child friendly?

Stephanus:  It is, although it’s not a family-oriented hotel per se. It’s not as if it’s got a bunch of things for kids to do – no jungle gym in the garden or anything like that. It’s too stylish for that, but having said that, it’s not that they dislike kids. In fact, as mentioned earlier, they’ve adapted their child-policy to make the hotel more child friendly. It’s just that children might get a bit bored there, I guess. Also, the pool in the beautiful garden outside doesn’t have any fence around it, so just be aware of that if you’ve got little kids and they’re playing on the lawn.

KC:  What activities are offered at AtholPlace?

Stephanus:  There aren’t really any major on-site activities at AtholPlace, but it’s not as if it’s an issue, because the hotel is so lovely, you won’t want to do anything besides sit in the lounge, dining room or in the landscaped garden and read a good book or enjoy the delicious food prepared by the in-house chef.AtholPlace

KC:  What was the food like?

Stephanus:  It was great. Some hotels overdo the breakfast by having massive buffets. The food feels mass produced. It doesn’t feel that way at AtholPlace. It was simple, yet had all the elements of a great breakfast – fresh fruit, muesli and yoghurt, eggs benedict and other lovely warm dishes, etc. Some people might want to see more cold meats and a greater cheese selection, but personally I didn’t feel the breakfast lacked anything.AtholPlace

KC:  What was the highlight of your stay at AtholPlace?

Stephanus:  It’s really hard to choose one thing in particular, but honestly, I have never stayed in a place with such a lovely interior. I simply love what the interior decorator (Sumari Krige from La Grange Interiors) achieved there. It’s almost like they’ve gone for a modern look, but one that exudes warmth, contrasting rustic elements with white backdrops. We also thought that the staff were particularly friendly, the ‘sincere’ type of friendly that you hardly find nowadays.

KC:  What should potential visitors take note of?

Stephanus:  It isn’t cheap, but if budget isn’t an issue, it’s great value and you won’t regret staying there. It’s definitely my favourite urban boutique hotel by far. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in a number of great places, so that says a lot. AtholPlace is really incredible in every respect.

KC:  Who is AtholPlace ideal for (i.e. The type of client you would sell this product to)?

Stephanus:  Everyone who loves an authentic, chic, yet extremely stylish boutique hotel will be at home here. It’s a very intimate experience (they only have 10 suites), so it’s for people who want to enjoy a tranquil escape, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Highly recommended for couples, because this is the type of place you would want to share with someone special.

Point out of 5
Service  5
Location  5
Food  5
Facilities  5
Décor  5
Attention to detail  5
Value for money  5

Should AtholPlace sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay.

The Lofts Boutique Hotel in Knysna, South Africa

Hidden away in the Boatshed, on Thesen Islands, right on the water’s edge, you will discover The Lofts Boutique Hotel.  The accommodation at The Lofts offers the discerning guest a combination of luxurious living and breathtaking views over the scenic Knysna Lagoon in beautiful en-suite rooms or in spacious self-catering suites. 

Francois talks about his family’s recent trip to THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Klein Collection: How far is THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL from Cape Town?

Francois: The Lofts Hotel is located on the exclusive Thesen Island in Knysna about 5 hours drive along the garden route from Cape Town.

Klein Collection: What made you decide to stay at THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL?

Francois: I am a big fan of the Thesen Island development from a conceptual point of view and wanted to experience The Lofts myself since we (Klein Collection) have sent a few clients there already.

Klein Collection: What was your first impression of THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL on arrival?

Francois: Well positioned with beautiful views of the ocean from the reception area’s lounge. I also thought the complimentary delicacy cakes at reception was a special touch – my two sons (6 and 3 years old) also thought so…

Klein Collection:What was the service like?

Francois: Staff were very friendly and hands-on service. They were also flexible around our late check out.

Klein Collection: Is it child friendly?

Francois: Yes, The Lofts Hotel caters for families and we stayed in a self-catering two-bedroom apartment which worked perfectly for our small family. The hotel’s location (being on Thesen Island) makes the environment very child friendly. We could relax while our kids were exploring the immediate surrounds.

Klein Collection: What activities are offered at THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL?

Francois: The Lofts partnered with activity companies and caters for all local tours and experiences accordingly. There is a conference facility as well as bespoke spa and beauty salon on the premises.

We had breakfast at Il de Pain – bread, pastry and chocolate specialists. A must when you are at Thesen Island. If you are lucky (like we were) you will even meet one of the owners (Liezie Mulder and Markus Farbinger) still being very hands-on involved in the day to day operations and quality at this very special eatery. Great service as well.

Klein Collection: What was the food like?

Francois: The Lofts hotel does not offer restaurant facilities on site and outsources their breakfasts to surrounding restaurants (such as iL de Pain, The Turbine Hotel and others).

Klein Collection: What was the highlight of your stay at THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL?

Francois: Quality accommodation, friendly service and fantastic breakfast at iL de Pain.

Klein Collection: What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois: Try to check in within normal business hours – then there will be a porter that can assist with luggage.

Unfortunately The Lofts Boutique Hotel is not suitable for physically challenged guests

Klein Collection: Who is THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL ideal for (i.e. the type of client you would sell this product to)?

Francois: Ideal for groups traveling together – but still need privacy. Also all good value seekers.

Point out of 5
Service  4
Location  5
Food (il de Pain  5
Bedroom  4
Facilities  4
Décor  4
Attention to detail  4
Value for money  5

Should THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com.

Captivated by Kensington Place Boutique Hotel, Cape Town

Having spent a night at Kensington Place, a luxury Boutique Hotel set on the slopes of Table Mountain in Higgovale, an upmarket and leafy residential area of Cape Town, I can safely say that it is a must-stay-at hotel.

On arrival, my husband and I were met by Michael, who works in reservations. Even though we were a late arrival, we were met with welcoming smiles and a welcome drink, while our luggage was whisked away to our suite. We also did not have to worry about our vehicle, as Kensington Place offers off street parking and 24 hour security.

On our way to our suite, we were able to catch a glimpse of some of the features on offer: a spacious lounge area, a bar area, an outside lounge, a pool and lush gardens. Our meticulously designed, 5-star suite boasted a marble bath, king-sized bed, iPod docking facilities, laptop and Skype facilities plus all the usual facilities one would expect to find in a quality hotel. The under-floor heating and air-conditioning also make this an all-year-round place to stay.

After explaining how all the facilities worked, Michael suggested we step out onto the balcony. Breathtaking somehow fails to describe the view that greeted us. With views over Cape Town towards the Atlantic and Table Mountain being close enough to almost touch, this just has to be one of the best locations in the Mother City.

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Being within easy access of the heart of Cape Town, Kensington Place is situated within walking distance of very good eateries, as we discovered when we had dinner at the Baccini’s Pizzeria, an Italian family-run restaurant just 1km from the hotel.

Breakfast at Kensington Place was equally delightful. As soon as we were seated, we were greeted by Blessing, whose warm smile and friendly “Hello” set the tone for the morning. She offered us coffee and fruit while we could peruse the menu. Wow! So many choices. My husband decided on the omelette and I had the home-made muesli with fresh fruit and we finished off with a bran muffin and jam. Delicious, to say the least.

While we were having breakfast, Sasha, the owner of Kensington Place, introduced herself to us. It was great being able to speak to her about her establishment and it was quite clear that she prides herself on making all guests feel welcome and at home. The personal touch is definitely a priority at Kensington Place.

Before leaving, we spoke to some tourists who had already spent three nights at the hotel. They were still enjoying every minute of their stay and were planning on returning. They shared our sentiments that the staff at the hotel make impeccable hospitality seem absolutely effortless.

Kensington Place, in my opinion, is the ideal location for the discerning traveller who is looking for privacy and tranquility, coupled with friendly yet professional service.

– Review by Klein Client Liaison and Reservationist, Leigh-Ann van der Westhuizen

 

Book your stay at Kensington Place. Simply complete the form below.

A royal reception at La Residence in Franschhoek

Entrance at La Residence, Franschhoek

Entrance at La Residence, Franschhoek

There is a name that the famous, the fortunate and the accomplished whisper only to those that they recognise as kindred souls. A country estate among rolling vineyards and plum orchards in the Cape Winelands that understands why the everyday and purely functional is not good enough. A place run by people who know that style is a creative expression of the subtle art of living. La Residence is that name. And it is here that guests who never drop their standards check in to relax.

Not that the staff, who treats every visitor like an heir returning to the family’s country estate, would ever make you do anything as crude as sign in on arrival. Instead, a whole welcoming party of the top members of the hospitality team meets you at your vehicle with gifts and a reviving drink, while they magically make your luggage, mode of transport and any doubts that you are not related to the owners of this château disappear.

Lizelle enjoying breakfast at La Residence

Lizelle enjoying breakfast at La Residence

We arrive two hours earlier than arranged, but general manager, Edward Morton, is unfazed. For many years he kept his perfectionist hand on the award-winning Royal Malewane Safari Lodge, favoured by celebrities like Elton John. He gallantly sweeps us off to lunch in the triple volume dining area, one of many treasure chests of Liz Biden. Liz, the owner and former resident of La Residence, is an adventurous collector of art and furniture pieces from around the world. Slightly smokey antique mirrors, jazzy black and white marble tiles and plush red chairs suggest that this venue could turn into pure theatre for those who love to entertain and be entertained.

 

Lizelle at the La Residence horizon pool overlooking olive groves

Lizelle at the La Residence horizon pool overlooking olive groves

The hotel is nestled on 30 acres of a Franschhoek working farm, providing much of the ingredients of our memorable butternut soup and a cascade of crunchy fresh produce that probably still remembers the hand that decided today is the day they will meet the salad maker. Between main course and dessert, we are treated to a tasting of a Shiraz and a Cabernet Sauvignon made from the estate’s own grapes. Plum liqueur and homegrown olives are more ways that La Residence seeks to create a bond between visitors and the fertile soil surrounding them.

Frangipani Suite bathroom at La Residence

Frangipani Suite bathroom at La Residence

La Residence takes great pride in their ability to match a room to a guest’s personality. Our oriental-inspired Frangipani Room immediately feels like home and we scheme and plan how we could stay on indefinitely in this honeymoon suite. North-facing with wonderful views over the vineyards, it is sunny all day and the most private of the 11 suites. The bedroom and lounge area is so spacious, it feels like even the furniture pieces are stepping aside with a subtle curtsy. The bathroom is a little Versailles in its own right with floor-to-ceiling shutters also with views on the vineyards, an abundance of Charlotte Rhys products and enough cupboard space to move in and live here for months.

The Villas at La Residence in Franschhoek

The Villas at La Residence in Franschhoek

To cater for families, La Residence has built a few spacious free-standing villas located slightly away from the main hotel, each with their own swimming pool and private garden with fruit-bearing peach and lemon trees. The vibe here is relaxed and the use of colours lavish, creating a truly happy family space. The little princes and princesses even have their own toiletry sets aimed at little bambinos. Visitors with a passion for cooking might have difficulty staying out of the seductively styled kitchen where villa guests have a free reign. Or, if they prefer, the resident chef will conjure their meals here.

Lounge area overlooking the dam at La Residence

Lounge area overlooking the dam at La Residence

For those who treasure their solitude and privacy, but don’t want to be confined to the perimeters of their own suites, there are several slightly more secluded communal areas to recline in, admire the views, catch up on some reading in the library, picnic on the lawn, catch some sun next to the horizon pool, or stroll through the orchards.

That evening we dine at Reuben’s in Franschhoek village and the hotel immediately arranges complimentary transport to and from the restaurant. We are free to just relax and savour the good wines that this region produces. The next morning there appears to be no cut-off time for breakfast and the check-out time is whenever we are able to reluctantly release our room to the next fortunate visitor.

Lizelle and Jack at La Residence

Lizelle and Jack at La Residence

La Residence is an outrageously classy and comfortable boutique hotel that really celebrates the pleasure of being able to afford the best the world has to offer. What makes us want to return again and again, though, is the people of La Residence. They have perfected the art of attentiveness without intrusion, warmth without too much familiarity. They are the top of the hospitality crop.

– Independent review by Klein Companion, Lizelle Steyn

Need more information? Visit La Residence on Klein Collection’s website to view more property details, images and rates.

The sound of the ocean at Tintswalo Atlantic

No words can describe the sound of the ocean at Tintswalo Atlantic. Hopefully the video will help to explain the mind massaging effect of the ocean. The fortunate few that have been there will know what I mean…