On the coldest night in Gauteng, I was welcomed through the warm and inviting doors of Idwala. I was immediately struck by the African charm that this Johannesburg-situated boutique hotel gleams with. If the glass of MCC or Sherry (depending on your taste) upon arrival doesn’t entice you into spending the evening bundled up beside the roaring fireplace, then perhaps the complimentary creamy Amarula nightcap will tempt you into checking in for a night or two. Idwala offers you a tantalising taste of the bush without actually stepping foot into the wilderness. You can enjoy the ‘Africanesque’ experience while still having all the necessary amenities at your disposal. This is ideal for city slickers like me who enjoy the tranquillity of the bush but don’t want to rough it in the jungle. There will be absolutely no roughing it at Idwala. You can expect a comfortable and relaxing stay.
Accommodation & Atmosphere
As you step into the hotel you are met with a homely atmosphere. The dining room, living area and bar are all in close proximity – displaying an open plan design that gives the hotel a cosy feeling. It exudes romance and I instantly imagined myself curling up with a handsome companion and a glass of wine on one of their plush couches. I was so contented I was inclined to nestle into the comfy couch and ‘order’ a blanket from the waitress. But there was no need, considering the fact that a cushy bed awaited me. Idwala provides you with the option of spending the night in one of their various types of rooms, which are all fitted with the same marshmallow-soft beds and rustic en-suite bathrooms.
The modestly decorated rooms are equipped with all the features you’d expect to find in a 5-star rated hotel – mini bar, WiFi, TV, safe, tea/coffee station and air conditioning. But Idwala delights in offering you a little something extra – underfloor heating, heated towel rails and a bathroom filled with luxurious L’Occitane bath and body products.
Food & Fun
The outdoor boma fire area is the ideal spot to bask in the afternoon sun, taking a moment to unwind and absorb your surroundings. This sociable space is flanked by a rock-lined plunge pool and a thicket of plants and trees, all contributing to the complete bush experience. This was the location where most of our party ended up – sipping on fine wine and enjoying the genial company of newfound friends. However, I think most of our merriment was relished at the dinner table. The wine was flowing and the award-winning food was plentiful. I tucked into a tasty three-course meal of springbok carpaccio, hearty Moroccan beef fillet and a mouthwatering, better-than-grandma’s malva pudding.
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and at Idwala you’ll feast on a breakfast fit for a king, or in this case, a queen. Idwala offers you a variety of fresh fruit, pastries, cereals, cheeses, a selection of bread as well as several hot breakfast options. I settled on scrumptious homemade flapjacks followed by a gratifying plate of perfect poached eggs and smoked salmon. The meals are deliciously prepared and substantial enough to satiate a hungry tummy.
The food was flavourful, the staff were hospitable and my overall stay was cheerful. The waitstaff was affable, attentive and quick to lend a helping hand. I telephonically requested a two-pin adapter to be delivered to my room the morning prior to my check-out, and in a flash, the front desk was knocking on my door with said plug in hand. I was impressed with their jovial demeanours and willingness to make my stay as pleasant as possible. If you’re looking for a weekend retreat that gifts you the illusion of being away from the hustle and bustle of the city without actually leaving the city, then look no further than the Idwala Boutique Hotel. Thank you Idwala for my night out in the ‘bush’ and for the lovely Falon from The Social Vine for organising everything.
Idwala services/facilities are:
- Garden terrace with coffee tables & chairs
- Sun chairs at the small rock feature plunge pool
- SPA & Beauty Treatments
- Laundry and dry cleaning
- Room Service
- Small Library
- Daily newspaper
- Honeymoon package & romantic weekends
- Secure complimentary parking on-site
- Car wash
- 24 hour security
- Airport transfers, shuttles and drivers
- Booking of tours, safaris, restaurants and other leisure activities
- local Tips and help with directions and more…
Check out their website for room rates, special and packages. Enjoy your stay!