Thursday, 9 August 2018

Hotel suite is a homage to its most famous resident

Whan Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990 he spent time at The Saxon Hotel in the leafy Johannesburg suburb of Sandton. 

It was here that the great statesman came to grips with life in modern South Africa, and where his book Long Walk to Freedom was completed. 

The hotel, owned by South African businessman Douw Steyn, offers the Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite suite as a tribute to its most famous guest - and the suite has just been refurbished.

The new design of the suite took inspiration from Mandela’s Xhosa heritage. Texture, which is an important component of this design, has introduced wallpaper, carpets and animal skins to the suite. 

Among the design elements in the suite are vintage photographs in the passage that depict different aspects of Xhosa life.

At the end of the passage, there is a portrait of Nelson Mandela, with his face clearly visible from a distance. As one moves closer, however, the face starts to fragment into a series of words – Madiba, Mandela, Nelson Mandela, Rolihlahla; some of the many names by which he was known. 

Various elements pay homage to the statesman and his heritage, with hotel managing director George Cohen saying: “It has always been an honour for us at the Saxon to have had this connection with Madiba, and we are delighted to be able to acknowledge this with the design of the Mandela Suite.”

This suite features an entrance, guest bathroom, guest suite, separate lounge, dining room and business area with business desk. The master bedroom has a king-size bed, separate bathroom with separate bath, walk-in shower and steam room. It offers views of the gardens and pool terrace.

Think complimentary breakfast, complimentary full mini bar and snacks, high speed wifi, in-suite entertainment, use of spa hydro facilities, and a bottle of (real) Champagne on arrival. A dedicated butler is available at all times; a long way from Vilikazi Street, Orlando West. 

If you need to ask how much it costs then you probably cannot afford it, but there are some delightful rooms in the hotel that I can recommend, having been a guest a couple of years ago. 

The Saxon, 36 Saxon Road, Sandhurst, 2196, Johannesburg, South Africa. www.saxon.co.za

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