At some point in my life for a few years I did a lot of travelling between Joburg and Cape Town. Initially, I just enjoyed hotel hopping.
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What I would look for at these different accommodations would be the following:
- First of all, the minute I get out of my car someone has to come help me with my bags!
- Front of house staff have to be friendly, know what they are doing, be extra patient because sometimes I’m cranky because my flight was delayed or I have missed it etc. Therefore, it helps to be welcomed by a friendly face.
- Welcoming drinks – this is a must. Cocktails or juice in summer and sherry in winter!
- Size of the room, I used to travel with a skipping rope at one point. These days you want room to do exercise (especially if the hotel does not have a gym).
- Bedding (size and comfort) – the last thing you need when you travel is a stiff bad or one that makes screeching sounds every time you turn around. Comfort is key. Clean, fresh and crispy linen is an absolute must.
- Pillows – one of my friends, a former colleague, used to travel with her own pillows from home. You are lucky if you find a place with comfortable pillows that won’t strain your neck.
- Bathroom – After a long day’s work I need to take a relaxing shower or bath and not feel like a sardine in a tiny shower or tub.
- Food – I gave up on hotel foods a long time ago. Breakfast is okay (especially if you are having continental breakfast) but supper you usually end up regretting ordering it. This is my opinion based on my experiences.
- Gym services – When you are away from home for long periods you better make sure you exercise. Otherwise, it is easy to pile on those kilos, trust me I had to learn this the hard way!
- A fully stocked bar – Sometimes you don’t want to drink but it helps to know that there is a drink whether its water, coke lemonade if needed.
- Good coffee and tea
- Wifi – If a hotel does not offer free wifi then they are certainly not having me as a guest!
With all this being said, I am no ways a hotel connoisseur, however, my experience and exposure have taught me a thing or two about what to look for when I go to a lodge or hotel…..
Not long ago, I got the pleasure of staying at one of the Tsogo Sun hotels, 54 on Bath, situated at the heart of Rosebank in Johannesburg. I was tired that day, I just drove back from Mpumalanga with a friend and we wanted to rest.
We drove into the parking bay and left our bags in the car and went straight into elegantly styled reception area. We were welcomed by friendly staff, neatly dressed up in their uniforms. They offered us a sit while they were checking out booking. A gentleman, came with a warm towel followed by juices.
One gentleman took our car keys and went to the car to fetch our bags. Talk about vip treatment. It was just the beginning. The front of house lady led us to our room, which was on the 7th floor. She explained and pointed out everything in the room. This is what awaited us:
- King sized bed with crispy fresh linen
- A fully storked bar fridge (it also had sparkling wine)
- A coffee machine with different type of coffee
- Spacious bathroom decorated with fresh flowers
- Fresh night gowns with sleepers
We were offered gym bags that come with towel, mp3 player, and a water bottle. I didn’t go to the gym but my friend did and thoroughly enjoyed it. I opted for sundowners at the terrace on the 4th floor. Being on the terrace allows one to see a stunning view of Rosebank and watch the sunset.
The restaurant staff really took great care of us from the moment we walked into 4th floor. I was impressed by their knowledge of the dish together with wine recommendations to go with each specific dish. It was mid-week when we were there but the restaurant was buzzing.
Tsogo Sun prides itself by acknowledging the chefs that have made a contribution to their menus. As you look at the menu, you see the name of the dish and also find the name of the chef that has created it. This ought to establish a sense of ownership and acknowledgement among the staff members.
The menu consists of and eclectic mix of South African dishes one would prepare at home with a creative twist and artistic design on each plate. Pus, universal dishes.
This is one thing that I have never experienced at other hotels before. As a guest you get to ask the front of house staff to wake you up at a specific time and you can have your breakfast brought into your room very early in the morning. In our case, we had an early morning flight but I wanted to try out their Eggs Benedict (I heard one of the staff members raving about it, therefore I wanted to satisfy my curiosity) and also get to experience their breakfast room service. The food was amazing! I just wished I had more time to enjoy it.
These are some of the services and facilities provided at 54onBath:
- Airport transfer with in-car iPad
- Limousine service
- Complimentary valet parking
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Complimentary pressing of three items daily
- Laundry and valet services
- 24-hour concierge service
- Baby sitting on request
- 24-hour in-room dining
Going to 54onBath, I already had high expectation as it is a Tsogo Sun hotel. I only spent one night but what I experienced superseded my expectations! It’s VIP treatment all the way!
Visit the website: 54onbath.com Follow @TsogoSun on twitter and join the conversation #54onBath. Check out some of views below:
— Wεทchy (@NocturnalWenchy) November 10, 2013
#54OnBath has the most amazing atmosphere. Everybody's in love !!!
— Thembisa Mdoda (@tembisa) October 24, 2013
— Michelle Esau (@MichelleEsau) October 22, 2013