The Westcliff, Johannesburg
Now THIS is what I expected of an Orient Express hotel property!!!
Our pickup at the airport was a bit late and we were early, so our meeting was off slightly. The BMW sedan was a plus for the 30 minute ride to the Westcliff, passing Nelson Mandela's home and other posh estates near our destination.
Arrival and check-in was seamless--service impeccable. Our floral draped room was on the small side with a rather compact bathroom, but the terrace was generous, with seating. The view was not the best--overlooking part of the hotel rooftop with pigeons doing what they do best. Tired, we enjoyed a light snack, a beverage and a solid night's sleep.
Next morning at reception, when asked about our room, I briefly opined and we were immediately re-assigned a LARGE suite with a HUGE bath. From that point we delighted in every detail of this property. A free shuttle took us to a local mall where I found some great South African sparklers. They also offer that service to the nearby Johannesburg Zoo, which we intend to visit next time. It was too hard to enjoy the hotel grounds and our luxurious bed after that long flight from the States.
We scheduled our massages prior to arrival, so we worked our way up the hill via elevators and stair passages but there is a bus that makes the rounds to transport guests thru the multiple levels of the Westcliff's gorgeous grounds. The spa service was excellent, as were our massages.
We spent a bit of time relaxing at the Polo Lounge (again, service to the hilt!) looking out over the infinity pool and terrace. Breakfast was a lavish hot and cold buffet by the pool. Our dinner at The Terrasse Restaurant was outstanding (despite a few tiny fragments of crab shell) and we delighted in some amazing desserts (rare for us!)
Again, service was impeccable.
I can highly recommend the Luxury Link Westcilff package as it's priced right now--the value of transfer was nearly $100US, a 3 course dinner is way beyond that and the upcharge to increase the length of the mini massages was reasonable. The free shuttle offerings give options to leave the hotel to dine elsewhere were an unexpected bonus.
This is a very posh property!! And did I mention the high standards of service??
We chose to hire a regular taxi back to the airport for our next safari flight and it was less than half the hotel limo transfer cost.
Next stop, Mkuze Falls...