It was great to be back in South Africa. Rather than hotel hopping this trip, I stayed with good friends in Pretoria. On a pleasant Saturday morning, we enjoyed a lovely brunch at the Ivory Manor Boutique Hotel, a posh hotel in the South African administrative capital.
Delicious Brunch At Gorgeous Ivory Manor Boutique Hotel
Sticking to hotel chains as a rule to cater to my points-seeking mostly American audience, I do not often venture out to boutique hotels like this. That is likely to my detriment, as unique, family-owned properties like this often offer a far better experience than a larger chain hotel and yet a much more luxurious experience than a bed and breakfast or Airbnb.
First, the brunch. We met with several friends representing churches in South Africa, and enjoyed a leisurely meal over several hours peppered with great conversation and very good food. I ordered a flat white to start (the first one was more like espresso with a smidgen of milk, but the second one was perfect) followed by a delicious bacon quiche with a croissant and bowl of fruit.
The food was delectable and I was (understandably, even for me and my seemingly endless appetite) quite full after consuming the food above.
My host in Pretoria likes this property and has even done staycations here with his wife. He picked out the Ivory Manor because he knew the breakfast would be good, but took time after breakfast to show me around. No, this is not a review of the property, but I greatly enjoyed walking through it. Rates run under $200/night.
Guest rooms are quite spacious and each one is unique (there are only nine):
The bar has character:
So do the indoor dining rooms and sitting areas:
There’s a lovely outdoor pool and jacuzzi:
But my favorite part of the hotel is the well-cultivated gardens and courtyards, that create a lovely labyrinth of gardens and seating areas with the trqnuail sound of running water always within earshot.
I guess the problem for me is I’ll probably never stay here and a actually review the hotel…this is about as close as you’ll get. I’ve got friends, friends, and more friends in Pretoria and it would be considered very rude if came all the way to South Africa and stayed in a hotel while in Pretoria. 😉
Call me strange, but I’m just never comfortable staying at a friend’s place. I always decline invites. I just never feel as comfortable in someone else’s home as I would in a hotel of my own, but I do understand the hospitality and cultural aspect of it.
Hopefully the power cuts were better this trip. They were barely noticeable when I was there in March.
I guess it depends on the type of place. If they have a large house with bedrooms to spare, that is a lot different than sleeping on someone’s couch. Just depends on the circumstances.
Totally agree. Also, there are friends and friends. I only stay at the house of people that I know for a very long time and we have spent a lot of time together. Otherwise, I prefer my own place.
Jerry, in many cases I agree, but Pretoria is one of the places I make an exception. And to Justice Story’s point, he is correct -I won’t do couches and this is not to save money – it is really for fellowship.
Remember in my prior trip report I could have stayed for free at my friend’s parents’ house in Alexandria, Egypt. They were dear and loving people, but I did not know them well enough and felt more comfortable at a hotel.
p.s. load shedding was brutal on this trip, but remember this was last December, so it was near the summer peak.
“Sticking to hotel chains as a rule to cater to my points-seeking mostly American audience,” – this is the biggest mistake in my opinion that mostly Americans do when they travel abroad. Yes, I get the points but there are some amazing local hotels in Europe and Asia that are way better than most American hotels. I understand staying at an American chain hotel in a country where safety/quality is a concern since you kind of know what you will get at an American chain hotel but in places where you can trust the hotels I prefer staying at a local one. We go to Europe every summer on vacation and I almost never stay at an American chain hotel. There are so many fantastic local hotels in France, Greece, Italy, Spain that gives you a much better experience than staying at a Marriot, Hyatt, etc…
There are some nuances that matter to me more than others. Like fitness center and sauna are huge and many smaller places in Europe (or indeed here in South Africa) do not have this, even if you get a nicer room, better breakfast, better service, etc.
Fair enough. I value the quality of service and food plus location way above anything else. I stayed at a local hotel in Sicily ran by a family that owns the place. They have maybe 10 rooms. Every morning we had the most amazing breakfast I ever had with everything home made sitting in a balcony overlooking the ocean and the sun rising in front of us. I give up earning points for that.