Unobtrusively tucked into a tree-lined avenue in Houghton Estate, a suburb just north-east of the Johannesburg city centre, the 5-star Houghton Hotel is a veritable treasure trove of luxury spoils.
As it is with so many things that epitomise true luxury, there is a quiet substance to everything here. The understated elegance is underpinned by an inherent promise of quality. It is evident in the attentive service, the array of facilities on offer, and the careful consideration given to every aspect of a guest’s stay. There is nothing pretentious about the relaxed resort-like atmosphere either.
The beautifully decorated lobby is vast, with a majestic spiral staircase taking centre stage. A curtain of chains and a modern chandelier accentuate the sheer volume of the space, while interesting original artworks and a striking carpet add both drama and warmth.
After a quick and professionally handled COVID screening and check-in process, we were shown to our suite. In itself, it is a study in comfort and style.
Houghton Hotel Suites
With floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto a spectacular view of the terrace and pools and the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course beyond, the suite has an airy feel. Of course, the sensation of spaciousness has as much to do with the light pouring in through the windows as it has to do with the fact that the layout was artfully designed to maximise the already generous space.
The seating area and a king-size bed occupy the space beside the windows. A work desk and mini-bar/coffee station housed in a contemporary art-deco-style cabinet are placed against the wall on either side, leaving a vast open area in the middle of the room.
The open-plan bathroom offers a roomy massage and rain shower, marble-topped double vanity and a free-standing bath. Cleverly hidden retractable screens offer privacy if desired.
The Houghton Hotel offers a selection of 60 suites, seven penthouse suites and five two-floor penthouses. At 830 square metres, the multi-storey Rockstar Penthouse is the pinnacle of luxurious comfort and glamour. It boasts four bedrooms, a private elevator, spa room, wine cellar, swimming pool, and Jacuzzi.
Facilities at the Houghton Hotel
We left the sanctuary of our suite in search of a light lunch, which we enjoyed at Pebbles poolside bar. The cocktails served here are legendary.
After lunch, we enjoyed a glorious massage at the Spa by House of Tshegofatso. This is what any weary traveller or high-performing executive needs. With its ten treatment rooms, hair salon, nail bar, heated pool and Jacuzzi, there is a suitable pamper for everyone. In particular, be sure to spend a moment, or a whole day, in the secret garden.
The Nova Deli has ample indoor seating as well as a large piazza if you prefer being outdoors. Velvety cappuccinos and delectable nibbles complemented our afternoon meeting perfectly.
We did not need a formal meeting space, but the Hotel’s business centre would have been ideal if we had. In addition to the private meeting rooms and business lounges catering for corporate groups, the professional ambience just oozes productivity.
To get your blood pumping after a productive day of work, not to mention an indulgent day of shopping and sightseeing, head to the FitBar gym for a workout under the care of a personal trainer or take a spinning or yoga class.
Dining at Séjour
We had booked dinner at Séjour, the Houghton Hotel’s elegant dining restaurant. We arrived early and enjoyed sundowners on the terrace. The sunset view over the northern suburbs and the golf course is spectacular.
Dinner was an adventure we cannot wait to indulge in again. Chef Freddie Dias has developed a menu inspired by his travels, his Portuguese-South African heritage and his years in service. Every course was interesting as well as delicious. We found ourselves sharing just to sample a wider variety and concluded that we would have to return again and again to not miss out on anything.
Our group started the following day with a round of putt-putt where everyone was a winner, followed by breakfast at Nova Deli.
We left knowing that we would be back and that we would also stay longer next time. After all, we had not had time to visit Astra Lounge, soak up some sun next to one of the many swimming pools or play a round of golf.
Whether you are lucky enough to live in the residential apartments attached to the hotel or are a guest at the hotel, we know you will agree that the Houghton Hotel is a gem as polished and perfect as you could wish to find.
For more information or to make a booking, visit thehoughtonhotel.com.