BACKGROUND: Based in a 65-year-old Cape Dutch building, Clico Boutique Hotel opened in 2006 and in its original carnation was an upmarket guesthouse, offering just seven rooms. After adding a conference and function venue and two extra rooms, the property was upgraded to a five-star boutique hotel. Last year saw the latest addition – a complete refurb of its function venue and one of the hotel rooms, as well as an extension of the restaurant offering to an outside terrace area.
WHERE IS IT? You want to think of it as a bit of a hidden gem, due to the tranquil feeling throughout the property, but the reality is that Clico is in the heart of Rosebank, located on the corner of Sturdee and Jellico avenues. It is just 900 metres from the Rosebank Gautrain station, which is either a short walk or taxi ride away. It’s also in close proximity to Rosebank Mall, which is over the road from the station. If driving to the airport, it’s approximately half an hour, depending on traffic.
ROOM FACILITIES: Clico has nine rooms of various sizes, with six offering a queen-sized bed and three a king/twin beds. Our ‘king’ room was a ground floor unit and one of eight rooms that look onto the garden and pool area. Furnished with understated warm earthy browns, creams and soft greens, each room features a mini-bar, safe, flat-screen TV with DSTV, a ‘desk-come-dressing table’, air-conditioning and under-floor heating. All beds are extra length and fitted with orthopaedic memory foam toppers. A selection of teas and bodum coffee is available in each room, with fresh milk provided daily. I thought our room was of decent size, with a small lounge area tucked into one corner (with sleeper couch), whilst the en-suite bathroom featured a nice, big Victoria & Alfred bath and adjacent shower with excellent water pressure – something that pops up on my personal checklist. All in all, a comfortable room for a corporate stay, even if you had to spend time working in it.
RESTAURANTS & BARS: The restaurant opened in 2015 and has built a stand-alone reputation as a quality lunch and dinner venue. On the night of our dinner, it poured with rain, so the restaurant was closed up – something that didn’t detract from the experience. It’s a relatively intimate venue, but it wasn’t a busy evening, with just a couple of tables occupied. The service was attentive, without being over-bearing, and the food was delicious. I decided to forego the six-course tasting menu and opted for a starter of the smoked salmon with potato salad, olives, quail eggs and capers, followed by the pork belly main course, which came with cauliflower puree, bok choi and apple. Tough to find fault with what was an outstanding meal. That was backed up by the breakfast experience the next morning, where the stand-out feature was the Eggs Benedict I went for – a nice take on this traditional dish.
BUSINESS & MEETING FACILITIES: Business services at Clico include telephones in the rooms and free fibre wi-fi throughout the establishment, as well as scanning and photocopying facilities at reception. The function and events space, which opened in 2010, is set in the garden and is flooded with natural light, making it the ideal venue for urban weddings, small conferences, group meetings and bespoke events. The recent refurbishment added more stacking doors to increase the sunlight and the view of the garden-facing terrace. Fitted with all the necessary equipment – such as a data projector, an electric projector screen and background sound – the space is well-suited to EXCO-type meetings and small workshops. Conference chairs are adaptable and the venue can accommodate 50 delegates cinema-style, 22 delegates U-shape, 26 delegates boardroom-style, and 24 delegates classroom-style.
LEISURE FACILITIES: Just a swimming pool, but any additional entertainment needs are likely to be met by the nearby Rosebank Mall. Also worth checking out the nearby Keyes Art Mile, which features art galleries, trendy restaurants and funky spaces.
VERDICT: Perfect, if you need to be in the Rosebank area, with comfortable accommodation, top-notch food, good basic work-on-site facilities, and a meeting/conference option, if needed. You won’t go wrong with Clico, particularly if you favour a boutique hotel over a traditional group/chain offering.
A: 27 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank
T: +27 11 252 3300