I bought a Groupon voucher that advertised a dinner, bed and breakfast package with a full body massage. I had looked at Illyria House website and could not believe that I could get all of the above from the very reasonably priced voucher and I was amazed that the experience I had far out weighed any expectation of the advert - it was incredible!
The beauty of the marble flooring, antique furniture and the glorious brightly polished wooden floors takes the guest back to a colonial age where the stress and fuss of modern life is removed. My butler, Johannes, was beyond charming. He acted as a valet, parking my car (which was returned the next morning beautifully clean), porter, waiter and was nothing but polite friendliness. I was early for check in and was taken outside to the airy double volume veranda that overlooks a verdant garden that cuts the visitor off from any notion that they are in the centre of the capital city of South Africa. Most entertaining are a family of ducks which wander through the garden!
I was presented with a cooling drink before being shown to my room, the Elisabeth suite. It was a beautiful 2 bedroom suite with a modern kitchenette through one door and a spacious and delightful dressing room and bathroom through another. A lovely touch was the fresh fruit, nuts and sherry that had been left in the room, especially as I felt I was getting rather more than my Groupon voucher had advertised. In the bathroom, on a beautiful silver platter, was an array of lotions, bath salts and foam baths that tempted me to stay and never leave the room! Thank goodness for the convenience of air conditioning as Pretoria is very warm in the middle of summer but all the modern aspects, like TV and DVD player, are tastefully hidden in gorgeous antique wooden wardrobes.
It was late in the afternoon but the kitchen was more than happy to deliver a delicious chicken salad. On exploring the garden I came across the beautiful swimming pool. Every part of Illyria House has an invitation to sit down, put your feet up and relax. There are loungers under trees, surrounding the pool and in the veranda. The spa facilities are in the dark, cool shade of the trees and are almost invisible from the hotel to ensure quiet and privacy. And I can recommend the Thai hot stone massage!
Dinner was absolutely delicious, with the most wonderful service and and care taken with every detail. Breakfast echoed this and I found myself wishing that I could stay one more night.
I would highly recommend this hotel for those looking for old world charm and elegance with an emphasis on impressive personal service and attention to detail which is sadly lacking in the South African hospitality industry.
Thanks again to Mariekie and her team - I hope I am lucky enough to return soon!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ultimate Romantic Getaway. 25 Minutes from the OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) and 5 minutes from the Gautrain Station.The serene beauty of Illyria House has always been an irresistible attraction to all lovers of fine things. Against the backdrop of classical music, fine antiques, 17th century tapestries, and a resident duck family an enchanting colonial lifestyle unfolds. Illyria House is highly appreciated by the discerning traveler for its charm, exquisite cuisine, exclusivity, luxury and unrivalled personalised butler service. We offer intimate soirées by world class musicians. Our Oriental Spa specialises in relaxing massages. Our facilities include a jacuzzi, sauna, heated pool and a cold pool. A wide selection of tours to historical, cultural and wildlife attractions come highly recommended. Personalised shopping is ideal for a last night stay. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Illyria House Hotel Pretoria