One of a triumvirate of South African capitals, Pretoria is the country’s administrative and legal hub. The true draw, however, is its attractions such as Kruger House and Dinokeng Game Reserve, its subtropical climate and, of course, the annual jacaranda blooms. Here are the best hotels in the city, ranging from stylish mansions to intimate boutiques with a family feel.
Guests are accommodated in one of 14 suites within either the colonnaded mansion of Illyria House or the garden annexe. Private butler service, French antique furnishings, fireplaces, in-room massages and pre-dinner piano recitals are de rigueur. Venture into the secret garden to discover Aquarius Spa, which has an outdoor jacuzzi playing underwater music, a summer house, a steam room, a sauna and treatment areas.
Close to the Menlyn Shopping Centre, highway and city airport, the Menlyn Boutique Hotel offers supreme convenience for the flying visitor. First-rate regional cuisine and South African wines are served at the Black Bamboo restaurant, while an afternoon of relaxation is found around the dipping pool – and the surrounding draped cabanas – or at the intimate spa.
It’s all about the spa at this 10-suite Moreleta Park hotel. You can enjoy a choice of more than 140 treatments, including carboxytherapy (said to tackle cellulite and stretch marks) and microsclerotherapy (thought to help with thread or spider veins). An event space caters for larger spa parties – ideal for those travelling to celebrate a special occasion. There’s also a gym, Vichy showers, a hydro lounge, a crystal pool bar and a relaxation deck, plus an on-site restaurant.
Award-winning local artists have put their stamp on this contemporary design hotel – starting with the striking treelike facade created by André Eksteen from Earthworld Architects. Beyond the design, the apartment living makes Alpine Attitude a great choice for those planning an extended stay in Pretoria. In a peaceful location a few minutes from the city centre, it offers 24-hour security, access to the golf courses of Woodhill Country Club and individually styled rooms, with each space, such as the Nature Room or the Transparent Room, reflecting its own theme.
Found in the Time Square entertainment, dining and nightlife complex – and right above a casino – this hotel is well suited to those craving plenty of activity on the doorstep. The Maslow has 238 rooms, many with far-reaching green city views, plus a glitzy pool area. Breakfast is included in the room price, and private dining can be arranged for those preferring a quiet night in.
This privately owned hotel, which neighbours the embassies and union buildings of the exclusive Waterkloof Park suburb, has a vintage European air, with just eight bedrooms, three of which are self-catering. It’s intimate and furnished with exquisite antiques; the rooms have minibars and patios, and you can mingle in the shared landscaped gardens or lounge. A full English breakfast is served daily, with optional lunches and dinners.
Arranged around a swimming pool flanked by palm trees, this 104-room modern establishment is located in the CBD. Arrive by complimentary shuttle from the train station and unwind with a cocktail in the themed bar. Meals are served à la carte with buffet-style breakfasts, the rooms are air-conditioned and there’s an extensive conference area, making it a go-to destination for the business community.
Surrounded by verdant gardens, the Lombardy is akin to an Italian village, and a world away from modern chain hotels. Menus are gourmet and experimental, served in either the main restaurant, the Monza, or the Cellar. And if you’re planning a wedding in Pretoria, the private chapel in the grounds might just be the perfect place to say “I do”. Cap your ultimate day with a stay in the honeymoon suite, which boasts a private jacuzzi and terrace.
This family-owned hotel specialises in events, providing a tranquil home-from-home ambience. Rooms look out onto colourful gardens, and are decorated with hints of French grandeur. European-influenced fine cuisine is served in the restaurant and there’s an extensive cellar housing niche garagiste wines. Be sure to explore the grounds and take a sundowner in the Forest Garden, scones in the Tea Garden and breakfast in the Rose Garden.
If you stay in Casa Toscana, plan a memorable meal at LeSi Singing Waiter Restaurant, where diners are serenaded nightly – with a few theatrical surprises – while tucking into à la carte dishes and award-winning wines. You can book a package to include treatments by day at the on-site Sensi Spa and dinner by night, before retiring to a king-size suite or family room.