54 On Bath, Johannesburg’s boutique hotel dazzles

Sinking into a minty-blue crushed velvet couch, on top of the black marble coffee table lays a gigantic book of the best cartoons published in the New Yorker over the last 80 years – The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker.  Like kindred spirits, Johannesburg and New York City certainly have a few things in common and if you’re looking for that boutique-Manhattan experience, look no further than at 54 on Bath.

54 On Bath opened on July 9, 2012 and is located in Johannesburg’s trendy suburb, Rosebank.

With my welcome drink in hand, I’m greeted by a young woman dressed impeccably in a minty-blue suit ensemble, accented by a string of white pearls, with her hair pulled-back flawlessly.

She joins me in the sitting room and proceeds with the formalities of the check-in procedures.  The entire time I do not leave the comfort of the plush couch.

“Miss Wong, this is your key card…will you be requiring the services of the gym?”

Apparently if you’re feeling active and didn’t pack accordingly, a complimentary gym bag with everything you need will be made available to you during your stay.

“Will you need a wake-up call?  What would you like to drink tomorrow morning?”

A wake-up call would be great, but seeing it’s only 7pm, isn’t thinking about what I’d like tomorrow morning a bit early?  Perplexed, I replied curtly.

“6:30am and Café Latte please.”

I head to the room and am pleasantly surprised by a revitalizing Carrot Orange Shooter and a delicious Chocolate Mousse with a note reading, “especially prepared for you by Beverly,” how thoughtful.

Waking up has never been this easy

Right on time, the phone rings.  I hang up, and turn over, nestling my head into the many duck-down pillows, hoping to steal another few minutes of sleep.  My eyelids begin to close and as if on cue, the doorbell rings.

“Good morning Miss Wong.  May I come in?”

The gentleman set down a tray with a steaming hot and aromatic Café Latte on the desk, next to the tower of munchies – roasted nuts, sugar candy and Tiffany Blue-coloured jellybeans.  The simple and beautiful purple orchid on the tray greets me.  Good Morning.

Still wrapped in my luscious white robe warmed by the heated towel rack, I drawback the drapery, revealing a city blanketed by purple.  Johannesburg in November is breathtaking with all of its Jacarandas in full bloom.  Waking up at 6:30am has never been this easy.

The boutique experience

Every experience at 54 On Bath is like an exceptional moment, extending beyond the expectation of most hotels.  It’s unique architecture, classic and sophisticated design, numerous photographs of the building and the surrounding urban landscapes by Ryan Hitchcock, the use of orchids that reflects a timeless elegance, and the warm atmosphere turns your short-term stay into a personal one.

The staff is incredibly attentive.  In fact, finding a need to ask a question or demand for  service most likely won’t be necessary.  The team at 54 On Bath are detail-oriented – from the way you’re first received, to the communication in the room, to the seven different pillow choices, to the Truffle Mustard available at breakfast, to the complimentary ironing service, and to the houndstooth-covered furniture – no element is left to chance.

54 On Bath is a place where you’ll want to lounge, linger and live.  My stay was painfully too short.


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