Don't be surprised to see two rambunctious Great Danes, Gigi and Duke, bounding around the entrance when pulling up to the Ivy Villa Hotel & Spa.
They're the patrons of this inner-city sanctuary hotel, letting you know you're checking into a five-star establishment with a difference from get go. The space is so pet-friendly they even have welcome packs for your pets.
But I was checking in sans pets, and looking forward to relaxed overnight stay in one the newest hotels to open in Jozi. The Ivy officially opened its doors on 1 August 2019, nestled in Strathavon - a quiet and exclusive suburb in the heart of Sandton.
This villa hotel hugs a lush central garden, complete with tranquil water features and duck pond, ensuring your mind gears down a notch as you sip on your complimentary welcome drink in a private check in lounge. All the while attentive staff check you in seamlessly - letting you know, no request is too lavish to arrange and that the bespoke butler service is at your beck and call 24/7.
As a new urban escape, the space is still developing but I got to experience the executive suite as part of their range of spacious superior suites. It comes complete with self-catering facilities, as well as 24/7 room service if required.
A really secluded escape, it is easy to forget that some of Africa’s most cosmopolitan business, shopping and restaurant destinations are right on your doorstep - and they are more than happy to arrange a transfer service for you.
“The hotel’s premium rooms and personalised services, along with its magnificent award winning Camelot Spa, ensure that guests’ every need is attended to,” says hotel general manager, Lindsay Wright.
“Our butlers have worked across the world and have been trained to offer the most remarkable service, and support guests in myriad ways including unpacking luggage, personal shopping services, arranging a private chef experience in our villas, introducing a cognac and cigar service, or offering wine pairing recommendations,” says Wright.
“They are reachable 24/7 via WhatsApp, and work closely with our exceptional concierge team to ensure that no stone is left unturned in creating a truly luxe experience for our guests.”
Dining delights at Reuben's
The Ivy is home to Johanneburg’s only Reuben’s Restaurant & Bar, with the chef patron curating exceptional seasonal menus influenced by Asian and Cape Malay themes for breakfast, lunch and supper.
And having eaten at Reuben's in both Franschhoek and Cape Town's One and Only - the experience is consistently flavourful and a sensory delight to both the palate and the eye. Signature favourites, with seasonal tweaks are there to be enjoyed - including the crispy squid and belly pork. They're currently running a three-course pairing for R250pp - including a confit duck which is delectable.
The expansive patio framing the main reception area and along the restaurant - where breakfast is also served - is perfect for a light Eggs Benedict or to enjoy a sundowner cocktail - with the pool down below equally inviting.
The hotel also offers a more intimate experience for guests and visitors who make a booking to ‘pick their poison’ from the exclusive cognac, champagne and cigar lounge called Poison Ivy.
Take some time out at the spa
As I mentioned the atmosphere and surroundings of the hotel all add to a rejuvenating experience at the intimate Camelot Spa sanctuary.
You'll be tenderised to the point of passing out with their well-trained and professional therapists taking care to execute your treatment just the way you like it. Relax in the steam room or pool afterwards, otherwise the hotel is dotted with zen spaces within the garden for you to enjoy a refreshing smoothie or cocktail.
Adding to the exquisite atmosphere of the hotel is the curation of Anton Smit sculptures that add eye-catching appeal to every nook and cranny.
If you enjoy the finer things and are looking for a place of calm, to unwind as you check your stress in at the door - head to the Ivy Villa Hotel and Spa for sure.