The Grace, Johannesburg
Where is it? The Grace is in the upmarket suburb of Rosebank, Johannesburg, in a secure area dotted with restaurants and shops.
What's the ambience like? The hotel is a cocoon of old-world charm. Intimate and family owned, it oozes style and sophistication. Rich timber panelling, elaborate gilded mirrors and ornate chandeliers endow The Grace with the appearance of a traditional London gentleman's club.
What about the rooms? There are 60 guest rooms, 10 suites and three penthouse suites. All the suites have adjoining lounges, which are convenient for business meetings or private dining, while the penthouses have balconies offering views of the surrounding area.
What else? The hotel provides complimentary extras such as laundry pressing services, transport within 10km of the hotel and 10-minute neck massages. Business travellers will appreciate the two-hour free use of the boardroom and secretarial services and wireless internet access. Although there's a rooftop lap pool and small fitness centre, the hotel provides free access to the Virgin Active Health Clubs chain.
What about the food? The hotel's restaurant, the Dining Room, has been named in the top 100 restaurants in South Africa by Wine magazine, a local publication, for three successive years and is a popular fine-dining haunt for Johannesburg residents. Executive chef Raymond Rundle uses fresh natural ingredients from the region to create a delicious African taste.
What's the spa like? On the hotel's spa menu are massages, body wraps and skin-care treatments. The spa uses Africology, an anti-ageing skin-care system infused with local ingredients. Try the intriguing African Potato body wrap, in which a 60-minute healing cocoon is said to replenish the body with essential vitamins and minerals.
What should I do with a few hours to kill? Stroll across the street on the covered walkway that links the hotel to Rosebank Mall. The mall has three storeys of shops, including a smattering of fine-art galleries with works by local artists. The Sunday rooftop market has stalls selling quality clothing and locally made ceramics and crafts. Walk through the mall to the adjoining African craft market and you'll discover colourful beaded necklaces, traditional masks, wooden carvings and stone figurines.
What's the bottom line? Double rooms cost 4,000 rand (HK$3,930) and suites cost from 4,500 rand.
The Grace in Rosebank is at 54 Bath Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa; www.thegrace.co.za. For bookings, call 27 11 280 7200.