Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa – Johannesburg, South Africa
At the heart of the City of Gold, beneath the warm sunshine in the opulent, tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst, lies the enchanting Saxon Hotel. A uniquely perfect blend of rich cultural history and contemporary five-star service, the Saxon is situated on ten acres of magnificent indigenous gardens, providing a private and peaceful retreat like no other.
The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa is a luxurious oasis on ten landscaped acres in Johannesburg’s neighborhood of Sandhurst, known for its quiet tree-lined avenues. Its proximity to Sandton makes it ideal for business travelers, but it is equally favored by those en route to safari destinations.
Johannesburgers know The Saxon as an exclusive retreat with an award-winning spa and elegant dining in the restaurant or more intimate wine cellars. The suite and villa accommodations evoke a sense of calm and measure 860 square feet and up, with many overlooking the massive pool.
Perhaps the hotel’s proudest boast, however, is that the former South African president and Nobel Prize-winner Nelson Mandela chose the Saxon as his sanctuary in which to complete his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
The central point of the Saxon is the impressive infinity pool. The pool terrace is the ideal relaxation area for spending leisure time, taking in the superb sunset views and admiring the well stocked Koi pond. Luke Dale Roberts X the Saxon, the Saxon’s restaurant on the first floor, offers superb views of the evening skyline and takes guests on a unique experiential dining journey.
Whether you choose one of the exceptional Luxury Suites, Presidential Suites, or the stately Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite in the main Hotel, you are assured of the ultimate refinement that leaves nothing to be desired.
If you would prefer the privacy and tranquil setting of the Villas, you may choose from either a Villa Luxury Suite, Villa Presidential Suite or one of the three stand-alone Saxon Luxury Villas, which can be booked as complete entities.
WELLNESS & SPA
From the lower level, step into an oasis of calm. Hydro facilities, water features, outdoor stones and gardens welcome our guests to immerse themselves in the tranquillity. The spa suites offer privacy for our guests and couples. Heaven on Earth is set in a double treatment room and gives couples a romantically intimate setting to enjoy a bathing ritual, followed by a light platter and sparkling wines. Eden, our aptly named glass-enclosed couples’ treatment room, is set amongst the outdoor spa gardens.
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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Johannesburg, more commonly known as Jo’burg or Jozi, is a rapidly changing city and the vibrant heart of South Africa. After almost 20 years of decline and decay, the city is now looking optimistically towards the future. Its centre is smartening up and new loft apartments and office developments are being constructed at a rapid pace. The hipster-friendly urban neighbourhood of Maboneng is considered one of the most successful urban-renewal projects in the world. However, the wealth divide remains stark, and crime and poverty haven’t been eliminated. The affluence of Rosebank and Sandton breeds discontent in desperately poor neighbouring townships such as Alexandra.
Still, Jo’burg is an incredibly friendly, unstuffy city and there’s a lot to see here, from sobering reminders of the country’s recent past at the Apartheid Museum to the progressive streets of Melville. So delve in and experience the buzz of a city undergoing an incredible rebirth.
Black-maned lions framed against Kalahari dunes; powdery beaches lapped by two oceans; star-studded desert skies; jagged, lush mountains – this truly is a country of astounding diversity.
To visit South Africa without learning about its tumultuous history is to miss a crucial part of the country’s identity. Museum visits, many of which include exhibits on the apartheid era, might not be lighthearted, but will help you to understand the very fabric of South African society and to appreciate how far the country has come. Continue your history lesson with a visit to one of the townships, taking time to chat to locals and to learn that despite a heart-wrenching past, there is great pride here, and an immense sense of promise for the future.
South Africa is one of the continent’s best safari destinations, offering the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) and more in accessible parks and reserves. You can drive right into the epic wilderness at Kruger, Kgalagadi and other parks, or join khaki-clad rangers on guided drives and walks. But it’s not all about big game sightings – wildlife watching here also teaches you to enjoy the little things: a leopard tortoise ambling alongside the road, a go-away bird chirping its distinctive chant in the trees, or on the coast, an encounter with seals, whales or a great white shark.
South Africa’s ever-changing scenery is the perfect canvas on which to paint an activity-packed trip. Try rock-climbing in the craggy Cederberg, surfing off the Eastern Cape coast, abseiling from Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain or bungee jumping from a Garden Route bridge. If adrenaline sports aren’t your thing, opt instead for a hike: options include multi-day treks through wildlife reserves, dusty day walks in the semi-desert Karoo, catered “slackpacking” trails along the Cape coast or an overnight hike into the sometimes snow-capped peaks of the Drakensberg.
South Africa’s landscapes are stunning, from the burning Karoo and Kalahari semideserts to the misty heights of the Drakensberg range and the massive Blyde River Canyon. Even in urban Cape Town you need only look up to see the beautiful fynbos (indigenous flora) climbing the slopes of Table Mountain while, nearby, two of the world’s most dramatic coastal roads lead to Cape Point and Hermanus. Add the vineyards carpeting the Winelands, old-growth forests along the Garden Route and Tsitsikamma, Indian Ocean beaches and Lesotho’s inspiring mountains, and there is a staggering variety to enjoy.