Haswell Guest House is the result of the restoration of the original farmhouse of Oaklands, a charming suburb built in the north of Johannesburg in 1913. Leaving the heavy afternoon highway traffic only three kilometres behind us, it was a pleasure being welcomed by the General Manager Ettienne Van Schalkwyk. Filling out our registration forms on a patio overlooking the picturesque garden with its 100-year-old oak tree, with cool refreshments being served, was a welcome change from trying to do so at the check-in counter while balancing luggage.
What is it Like?
Though the guest house caters to a lot of business functions, its unusual, serene setting can also be the ideal romantic getaway for couples who are looking for some quiet quality time and a bit of green without the hassle of a long trip into the country. What was wonderful was the personalised service and attention to detail.
Where is it?
Situated in the north of Johannesburg between Melrose Arch and Houghton, the little haven is close to all amenities, three kilometres from the M1 highway and only walking distance from a few quaint restaurants and market-like shops. A very central location if you want to go shopping or catch a movie at the very trendy shopping malls Sandton City and Rosebank Mall.
There are three en suite rooms, each with a private patio, available with twin or king-sized beds. The Hadeda Suite is decorated in an eclectic style with its own log fireplace and entrance; the Jacaranda suite has a taste of Middle East and the restful decor includes hand-painted detail. The Garden Suite is elegant and spacious and is so named because it leads onto the garden. The en suite bathroom opens onto a private patio ‘so that you can bathe under the stars’. All come standard with air-conditioning/heating, Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV with DStv, hairdryers, tea and coffee. The generous bathrooms are designed for maximum comfort, with dressing gowns, slippers and toiletries provided, as well as heated towels and separate showers.
Restaurants & Bars
Breakfast is served any time between 07h00 and 10h00, but if you want an earlier start as is often the case when travelling on business, this can be arranged. All meals are homemade and, come dinner time, they are prepared and served when you wish. Where you choose to dine is also according to preference, and ours definitely suited dining under the old oak tree, though there were no qualms about moving the table decor to where we wanted to sit.
Business & Meeting Facilities
With a 24-hour team on standby, booking for a conference, intimate wedding, a room while travelling on business, or a romantic getaway, is a painless and very easy experience with staff who go out of their way to assist you with all your preparations.
There is a beautiful pool area with loungers that are protected with lots of shade. A walk around the lush neighbourhood and visiting the mini market are great ways to just relax and enjoy the ambience of the getaway. The gardens are beautiful, with numerous species of plants, rosebushes and ferns to admire. Even though one is in the city, there is abundant birdlife to watch.
Great escape from the concrete jungle, with excellent service that makes every cent spent very well worth it.
Ettienne Van Shalkwyk, General Manager on +27 79 716 0469 or +27 11 438 0993 for bookings. Visit haswellguesthouse.co.za for more information.