Hidden away in the heart of Johannesburg, the polished Peech Hotel is home to a peaceful garden and pool, an intimate cocktail bar and delightfully modern decor. Its cottage-like rooms boast African details and calm blue mosaic bathroom, and are just one of the many things that make the hotel a serene escape from the buzz of the city beyond its doors. Like what you see? Stay here while on one of our South African adventures…
Get this when you book through us:
A 375ml bottle of Cap Classique sparkling wine in your room on arrival
Double rooms from $147.86 (ZAR2,287), excluding tax at 15 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of 1% per room per night on check-in.
Rates include breakfast.
Craving a kick of endorphins? Peech guests have private access to the Planet Fitness next door (for R110 a session), including its large heated indoor pool, indoor running track and full rota of fitness classes (yoga, Pilates, cycling, kick-boxing and more).
At the hotel
Gardens, WiFi, library lounge. In rooms: air-conditioning, flat-screen TV with DSTV, minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, tea-making kit, all-natural Kalahari bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Rooms on the first floor in the building away from the main house offer an extra degree of privacy.
There are two: a larger outdoor lap pool (heated via solar panels in the winter months) and a smaller family-friendly swimming pool. Both are flanked by poolside sunloungers (topped with over-sized Mungo towels) and sun-shading umbrellas.
In-room massages can be arranged on request.
All ages welcome. An extra bed (suitable for children aged three to 12) can be added to any room type for ZAR950 a night (includes breakfast). Children two and under can stay in a cot for free. Cots and extra beds should be requested when booking.
Snag a table outside on the shaded patio on warm summer evenings; when it’s cooler out, make a beeline for the table closest to the indoor fireplace.
The French-style Bistro is open to hotel guests only for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The seasonally changing menu includes both local dishes and modern international favourites; ingredients are locally sourced (many come from the restaurant’s organic kitchen garden).
The intimate cocktail bar has the broadest range of Veuve Cliquot in the country and is open until the last guest leaves.
Peech Bistro is open daily for breakfast (6.30am to 10am), lunch (noon to 2.30pm) and dinner (6.30pm to 9.30pm).
The restaurant menu is available until 9.30pm and a limited snack menu at other times.
The closest airport is Johannesburg’s Tambo International, roughly 45 minutes away by car. There's an airport shuttle (the Gautrain) to Sandton that departs every 12 minutes between 5.30am and 8.30pm. To reach this stop takes 15 minutes, then it’s a short cab ride to the hotel. Private airport transfers can be arranged for R680.
Park Station, Johannesburg’s main railway hub and the largest train station in Africa, is a 15-minute drive from the hotel. Premier Classe (www.premierclasse.co.za) runs trains to Cape Town, Durban and Hoedspruit.
The hotel is located in Melrose, a suburb between the Sandton, Rosebank and Melrose Arch. There’s secure parking.
Moyo on Melrose Square serves delicious and authentic African recipes from across the continent; including excellent tagines and fish curries. The atmosphere among the Berber tents and intimate alcoves is just as special, with live music and storytellers. Book a table on the terrace; a reservation is essential.
We pull up at our destination in the leafy Johannesburg suburb of Melrose, and the elegant but robust steel gates glide open. The grey gravel driveway, framed by an avenue of mature trees, leads us through the lush gardens of the Peech Hotel into a pocket of peace in a famously frantic city.
A sense of restfulness isn’t always easy to find in Jo’burg. Here, the open-plan reception has a welcoming, unhurried vibe, with impressive efficiency behind it – the complete opposite of what so often awaits the weary traveller. We’re led through the manicured garden, where a sleek, dark-tiled pool, a neat row of sunloungers and a gently swaying hanging-basket chair tempt me to take some time with a good book and a leisurely cocktail. The Peech is aptly named, with peachy colours everywhere; it’s sweet (but not kitsch), and as stress-free as you could hope for. By the time we reach our room, we’ve already lost any sense that we’re in the middle of a big city.
Our upstairs room comes as a surprise – in a pleasing way – with a warm, cottagey feel to the decor, big bed, open-plan closet and bay window framed by wooden blinds. The walls are covered with African artefacts, each bearing a little label explaining what it is and the tradition behind it (plus price-tags, for any guests wishing to take some home with them). The bathroom is just as charming, with a shower, bath and stylish oversized washbasin, all tiled in rich-blue mosaic.
Now we’re here, it is tempting to stay within the intimate confines of the hotel; like many visitors we're only in the city for a short while before heading on to one of South Africa's famous safari lodges. We determined however not to miss out on Johannesburg’s celebrated restaurant scene. (A list of top local eateries has been thoughtfully left in our room.) We drive through the lush northern districts under a purple haze of jacaranda trees in full bloom. In October, Johannesburg is a city covered in a technicolour blanket of foliage; if you saw it from the air, you would never imagine that millions of people are bustling beneath.
A short drive from the hotel is the Melrose Arch complex, a hip and happening ‘island’ in the suburbs. We’re spoilt for choice, with restaurants ranging from the famous Moyo’s, which offers a theatrical African dining experience (when you can get in), to the Meat Company with its melt-in-the-mouth steaks. Mrs Smith and I decided on one of the pavement tables at Giovanni’s, an Italian on Melrose Square. Eating out is joyously affordable in South Africa: we relax with a bottle of champagne and a pizza and watch a square full of people, all apparently trying to choose where to dine. We ended our evening in the peaceful seclusion of the Peech, which has its own wonderful menu – and wine list.
Many of the more affluent suburbs contain shopping malls that feel more like self-contained mini-cities; Rosewood, on the other hand, contains a two-storey African market. We spend an entire morning watching the stallholders making the next hand-crafted item with wonderful delicacy and confidence. It’s a great place for a wander; it’s a good idea to wear your negotiating cap, since all the artisans are up for the challenge of beating the prices on the next stall. Rosebank also features plenty of Paris-style boutiques to occupy browsers, so it was past aperitif time when we make it over to Melrose Arch (an essential reservation having been made) for dinner at Moyo’s. Tonight, there’s a local band playing on the roof of one of the adjacent buildings. Their songs fill the evening air with melody; the square itself is filled with fire cauldrons to lift the evening chill.
Strange as it may seem, face painting is a must at Moyo’s. It’s just sufficient to make you feel both silly and at ease, and the night-long live music creates such an infectious atmosphere that even the most self-conscious diner is bound to get into the spirit of things. From the extensive menu, offering delicious dishes from all over Africa, to the jovial and attentive service, Moyo is a real highlight in Jo’burg and definitely deserving of the recommendation from the hotel.
We’re welcomed back at the Peech with a smile; one look at the face paint tells our hosts exactly where we’d been. Over a late-night cocktail in the garden, we reflect on the hotel’s mix of classic style with a hint of urban, with a core of the most important element: genuine service. We collapse into our freshly made bed and sleep regally – a deep sleep, far removed from the cares of the city, our souls well and truly rested.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Peech Hotel’s Guestbook below.
We stayed at the Peech for one night before catching a flight home to Seychelles. It was a wonderful experience that was far too brief! The staff went out of their way to be super-helpful, and dinner and breakfast were delicious. We'll definitely go back for a longer stay as soon as we possibly can!
Stayed on 6 Feb 2019
The attentive and helpful staff. The accommodation.