Hotel check: 54 on Bath

Johannesburg, South Africa


BACKGROUND: Formerly The Grace Hotel, this five-star property entered the Tsogo Sun stable around seven years ago. The South African casino and hotel operator has a portfolio of 13 casinos and entertainment destinations across six provinces in South Africa, as well as over 100 hotels across Africa and the Middle East.

WHERE IS IT? In the heart of Rosebank, with Bath Avenue adjacent to Rosebank Mall. There’s a Gautrain station just a couple of hundred metres away and the business hub of Sandton is approximately 10 minutes’ drive away. The drive to O.R. Tambo International Airport is about half an hour in the car, depending on traffic.

ROOMS: It’s a relatively small hotel with just 75 rooms, made up of 60 deluxe standard rooms, 12 executive rooms and three luxury suites. Each room has satellite TV, direct-dial telephones, an Illy espresso coffee machine, mini-bar and complimentary wi-fi, which was pretty speedy and easy to connect to. We were accommodated in a deluxe room, which also had a 42-inch TV, a view of Rosebank and access to 24-hour room service. I’d describe the room as fairly large, with enough space for a coffee table and chairs at the foot of the king-size bed, whilst there was also a work desk to complete the room. Back-tracking to the room entrance, ours had an entryway with luggage stand and cupboard (with safe), adjacent to a relatively small bathroom. I believe the bathroom size is a legacy of what was inherited from The Grace, and whilst the shower was a little ‘cosy’ for a tall person like myself, the bathroom was more than adequate and comfortable, with separate bath and shower, and vanity.

FOOD & DRINK: Dining at 54 on Bath is focused around the hotel’s restaurant, Level Four, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served daily from 14h30 to 17h00, with a choice of English tea sandwiches, freshly-baked scones, pastries and premium tea leaves, whilst the Perrier-Jouët champagne bar overlooks the terrace garden and is a great meeting spot for pre-dinner drinks and evening sundowners. We enjoyed dinner at Level Four and were treated to some of the best service I’d experienced in a while. It’s always a balancing act, getting that right mix of attention without being over-bearing, but this was spot-on. What added to the experience was the outstanding food. To start, I opted for the seared ‘Yellow Fin’ tuna, peas, avocado mousse, wasabi powder and pickles, which was a nice intro – separated by palate-cleansing sorbet – to a main course of the ‘Black Angus’ fillet, potato fondant, oxtail, mushroom puree and baby onion. My request for ‘medium rare’ was exactly to my liking, particularly when washed down with a glass of red wine from the impressive wine list. For breakfast, the spread was extensive, but I kept it simple with a ‘Continental’ combo of fresh croissants packed with salmon, salami and a variety of cheese, together with a cup of coffee.

BUSINESS: 54 on Bath has six flexible conference venues that can accommodate up to 120 guests, as well as a boardroom for 20. It’s well-suited to business meetings, small conferences, cocktail parties and breakfast presentations. The following conferencing equipment is available as standard: conference stationery, flipcharts, whiteboards, and a data projector.

LEISURE: There’s a swimming pool, but no gym in the actual hotel, although 54 on Bath does offer complimentary access to the nearby Planet Fitness Rosebank. The hotel has direct access to Rosebank Mall, so you don’t need to leave the hotel building to get there, and the mall has a host of restaurants and movie theatres, as a well as fast-food outlets. A short walk down the road is the Keyes Art Mile, which features a selection of galleries, design stores and restaurants.

VERDICT: Outstanding service (including what I would call a ‘bespoke’ welcome/check-in in the inviting and beautifully-decorated reception area), excellent food, comfortable accommodation, and a great location, particularly if you need to be in Rosebank for business, or even Sandton, just ‘down the road’. A premium corporate option and one to consider, if your budget and/ or travel programme allows.

Address: 54 Bath Avenue, Rosebank
T: +27 11 344 8500