54 on Bath: An empire state of mind

2012-12-14 08:49
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54 on Bath

If you’re thinking of a romantic or luxury city break with a difference, you’d do well to consider Tsogo Sun’s 54 on Bath.

I’ve fallen in love with Joburg.  

If you had spoken to me a few months back my view would have been totally different. In fact, I could dig up an Instragram tweet that goes something like this, “Jozi, she isn’t pretty but she sure is hard working.”

Okay, so I’m a born-and-raised Capetonian. Sure, I know all the supposed insinuations that go along with that and I’ll refrain from referring to a certain new wonder of nature - but seriously when almost every turn is breeeaaathtakingly beautiful, surely you can go easy on me?

A smoggy kind of love - 54 on Bath Gallery

Now, here I am - five trips in, after a snub of about three years - totally smitten.

It’s the edginess of this city, the darkness that illuminates a glowing reawakening, the lack of the colonial air if you will, that gets me. Compared to Cape Town's story which I love and know so well, Jozi enchants by wrapping its charismatic arms around you – comparable to New York perhaps – as it allows you to tap into concrete jungles where dreams are made, perfected in the rising from the ashes.

Yet, as a visitor, you never quite feel like you’re scratching beyond the surface. Not entirely a bad thing as it keeps you excited and wanting to come back for more.  

More often than not, local people see Joburg as a place you head to for work not play. But I think this is definitely changing – at least in my mind.

Feeling lucky...
54 on Bath Gallery

On an international level, I can identify with AA Gill, writer and critic most notably for Vanity Fair, when he says “A year ago, I'd never have suggested to a tourist that they take time to visit Jo'burg but now you've simply got to. Not just the apartheid museum and the townships and the markets and cafés, the music and jacarandas, and the high, dry veldt, but you should go because this is the luckiest place in the unluckiest continent… And almost all tourists who come to Africa with the best liberal intentions come to see animals and wilderness – very few come to see Africans.”




Its own brand of beauty - 54 on Bath Gallery

I’d go so far as to say that your circle definitely is less-bigger if you don’t have a real Joburger or two in it. They’ll point you to the insider places as well as the ones that haven’t quite got the memo yet.

Bringing me to my stay at Tsogo Sun’s boutique Hotel 54 on Bath - described by a Joburger as "spot on when it comes to luxury".

Situated a stone’s throw away from the Gautrain Station in Rosebank makes it convenient for getting around - especially if you have Sandton Convention Centre business but want to add a bit of pleasure. Although, if arriving from OR Tambo with heaps of luggage, you might make use of the guest preference forms you’ll receive with your booking confirmation and arrange a courtesy transfer. It’s all good and well seeing the best intentions expressed on paper but feeling it in reality is all the difference. 



From the moment you step inside, the five-star appeal hits you – it’s in the attention to detail applied to the decor, the kid-glove-approach of the staff and the plushness of your room. Experiencing its own reawakening of sorts, Tsogo Sun have gone to great lengths to set a new boutique benchmark when they acquired what was formerly The Grace along with the accompanying office complex.

In keeping with its address naming trend, a stay here would not be complete without a visit to its in-house restaurant – Level Four. The understated elegance and attention to detail is carried through to the food served up by Executive Chef, Gerard Vingerling and his team. The restaurant is chic and high-end but the portions are certainly out of character - I was so stuffed I gave dessert a miss. Although I did have my welcome petit fours, artfully presented, still waiting for me in my room. The signature Lobster Bisque starter comes highly recommended though.



But the place lends itself to an unhurried dinner, requiring a late nightcap or two either on the roof terrace garden or in the intimate champagne bar also found on the fourth floor.  Beyond that, if you're not quite ready to retire to your room, check out the entertainment facilities of the Rosebank Mall through the hotel’s link from the second floor. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.

If you’re thinking of a romantic or luxury city break with a difference, you’d do well to consider Tsogo Sun’s 54 on Bath.

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