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A mix of old and new

Property developers have been piling into Rosebank to stake their claim in what is arguably Jo’burg’s vibrant area. Two new boutique hotels have (re) opened here within a stone’s throw of the Gautrain station, both old favourites and both with very different histories and pedigrees.

Tsogo Sun’s first hotel in Rosebank, 54 on Bath, opened in July following a R30m refurbishment of what used to be The Grace.

Loyal fans of The Grace will no doubt be pleased to know that the new owners haven’t tinkered with the structure of the building.

And despite an extensive décor overhaul, led by interior designer David Muirhead, much of the former grande dame’s charm has been retained.

Muirhead has clearly tried to be respectful to the architecture, cleverly creating a classic yet modern ambience – old-world brass chandeliers meet contemporary black and white lacquer and plush velvets in duck-egg blue and grey.

Walls are adorned with photographic art by Ryan Hitchcock, who was commissioned to do pieces that depict Johannesburg’s rich architectural landscape.

One of my pet hates is a drawn-out check-in at hotels, and thankfully ours was quick and efficient.

The predominantly black, white and grey colour theme is repeated in the rooms. While it’s a tad masculine for my taste, there’s no doubt that the décor will hit the spot with corporate travellers, who are the likely target market of 54 on Bath’s repeat guests.

The rooms do have some subtle feminine touches like bath salts, aromatic candles and potted orchids . The handwritten welcoming note from management added a nice personal touch . Moreover, standard rooms come with unexpected luxuries like an Illy espresso machine and a tastefully stocked mini-bar (think Veuve Clicquot and Johnnie Walker Black).

But the biggest dealmaker for me was a small bottle of fresh milk, a simple but thoughtful gesture which makes for a much-appreciated change to the long-life variety usually on offer in up-market establishments.

Dinner kicked off with a drink in 54 on Bath’s small but swanky champagne bar, followed by a memorable three-course meal in the adjacent restaurant, Level Four.

Executive chef Gerard Vingerling’s braised pork belly was the best I’ve had and my husband raved about his Scottish salmon with teriyaki and coriander jus.

I was slightly peeved that we didn’t get our requested wake-up call the next morning. But, overall, one cannot fault the friendly, attentive staff and a genuine eagerness to please.

At a rack rate of R3500/night (king-size room including breakfast), 54 on Bath is aimed at the more discerning business and leisure traveller. Guests looking for refinement with a personal touch will not be disappointed.

Reference “Financial Mail” – See Link below:

Financial Mail Article

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