Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Westcliff, Johannesburg, A Haven

“It’s dark, we might as well have chosen a hotel near the airport,” I thought to myself.

Early in the planning stages for the trip, we discovered, due to airline connections, we would have to spend a night in Johannesburg and a night in Lusaka en route to the bush. We looked at several websites, and narrowed it down to three on TripAdvisor, then we all decided on the Westcliff. It just looked like a nice place, with a view of Johannesburg. But . . . it’s dark. It’s dark, we can’t see a thing, and it’s about a half hour from the airport.

But to be met at the airport after a 15 hour flight is very nice, to have all our bags taken care of, to have people to take us to the hotel . . . and then to arrive, and to discover it is a really, REALLY nice hotel. It used to be townhouses, our concierge tells us, but they turned them into a hotel, so it is a series of buildings, not one. They tell us they have upgraded us and put us at the top of the hill, but we have no idea what that means. They load us up on a golf cart and tell us our bags will follow, and zip us up a winding narrow road to the top, and then up to our rooms.

We are next door to one another, but our rooms are totally different. We have a large bedroom and living room – and a balcony. They have a separate bedroom, and a longer, narrow room, but a bathroom to die for. Well, both bathrooms are heaven. The whole suite is a little bit of heaven. The fifteen hour flight is behind us, and the Westcliff is our reward. It is heaven.

And while it is dark, there IS a lovely view:

We know we need to eat, and we all want to get to bed. We don’t want to go sit in the restaurant, no matter how lovely, and the room service menu sounds so inviting . . . Three of us order the Salmon Nicoise, and AdventureMan orders tomato soup and the Cheese Plate. While we are waiting – a very short time – we open the bottles of complimentary wine left for us. The food arrives, quickly, and still hot, and we enjoy every bite before falling into bed.

We don’t have to get up until seven, but we have another flight to catch, heading up to Lusaka. We can hear the lion roaring, next door in the Johannesburg Zoo, welcoming in the new day. We get up in time to grab some coffee, and watch the sun rise over Johannesburg from the balcony:

This is room 108, at the top of the hill, and one of the loveliest rooms we have ever stayed in. We would really love to stay there again, our next layover in Johannesburg. 🙂

June 17, 2012 - Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Hotels, sunrise series, Travel | , ,

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