The Peech

Melrose, Johannesburg, South Africa Book from Book from £152 per night

A funky boutique hotel in the leafy suburb of Melrose with eye-catching contemporary design and its own bistro and champagne bar
In a quiet backstreet of Melrose, wrapped around by a mature, high-walled garden, this small boutique hotel offers guests a safe, comfortable and stylish haven well away from the cut and thrust of the city centre. James Peech completely gutted then refurbished this 1950s house and built 2 additional garden annexes to create one of the city’s coolest retreats, which happily marries the best of contemporary design with a big splash of afro-ethnic attitude.

A predominantly beige and white colour scheme provides a quiet backdrop for some colourful furnishings and fabrics: ochre velvet sofas and feature wallpapers mix with more ethnic elements like carved ebony tables, blesbok and antelope skin rugs and kuba cloth wall hangings. The Peech’s 16 stylish and airy bedrooms have every mod-con, the bistro restaurant is up to the mark, there’s a rotating exhibition of paintings and photography, and the hotel is imbued by the easy, open nature of its young owners.

Highs

  • Spacious light-filled bedrooms with stacks of designer attitude
  • A quiet garden, dripping in greenery, with a small swimming pool and lots of shaded spots and loungers
  • Friendly, helpful staff
  • The bistro serves delicious food so there’s no need to leave the hotel if you’re looking for top-notch cuisine
  • Melrose is one of Johannesburg's most attractive suburbs with a great choice of bars, restaurants and shops, and it's close to both Rosebank and Sandton

Lows

  • There is currently construction work taking place next door to the hotel, but the owners have assured us that disruptions will be kept to a minimum. Work is due to finish in December 2018
  • The Peech is a good 20-minute taxi ride away from the city centre and you’ll need transport to get to restaurants, museums, markets etc
  • Some feedback suggests that hotel-arranged taxis can be unreliable, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time
  • Johannesburg does have safety issues - but The Peech is in a good neighbourhood and is designed to ensure security so that guests feel at ease

Best time to go

Anyone from the city will tell you: the Johannesburg climate is one of the best in the world. It has far less seasonal variation than Cape Town, which means that any time of year is a good time to be here.

Our top tips

You need at least 3 nights to do the city some kind of justice and you could easily spend a week sightseeing and still have stacks left to see. The Peech is a brilliant choice for your first or last night in the city as it has easy access to the motorway which leads to the airport.

Great for...

Eco
Wedding
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 16
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

The Peech’s best value rooms are the 12 doubles in the annexes. These Classic Rooms are quiet and airy with light flooding in through the slatted blinds of their enormous picture windows. And you’re treated to every possible creature comfort: a kingsize bed with crisp white linen, feather duvets and a bank of cushions and pillows, a Nespresso machine, WiFi and a laptop safe in the open-fronted wardrobe.

There are a further 2 bedrooms in the main house (Heritage Rooms), and 2 luxury Peech Suites in a separate annex. All have the same seamless commingling of contemporary and ethnic elements: stainless steel stair and balcony rails, Artemide desk lamps, floors of polished concrete or soft grey carpet contrasted by blesbok skin rugs, kuba cloth hangings, and boma-style branched screens which give additional privacy to the ground-floor terraces and first floor balconies. Most rooms have a sofa and the Garden Suites have extra design touches such as a hanging pod chair.

Bathrooms are large and spotless with shining blue mosaic tiles and Grohe taps, heated towel rails, big bathtubs and rain-showers. You get a full range of Molton Brown toiletries, piles of white towels, and cotton bathrobes.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • CD player
  • Central heating
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Ipod dock
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

The bistro restaurant and adjoining bar are the neural centre of this small hotel. They look at their best at night when you look out through the glass frontage to the pool and garden, bathed in ethereal, green light.

Our breakfast began with fruit kebabs and muesli soaked in honey which was accompanied by a mixed-fruit smoothie, freshly baked bread and croissants, and pot-fulls of tea and coffee. A cooked breakfast is then served: any variant on the full English or, perhaps, the eggs florentine, which gets full marks from us.

Lunch and dinner menus pick and mix from the world cookbook. On our last visit, starters included gazpacho, calamari with roasted onion and beetroot salad and grilled prawns with olives, chorizo and roasted peppers. Mains included filet steak with cauliflower puree and roasted vegetables, Cajun chicken in garlic butter with a sweet potato gratin and grilled harissa lamb cutlets with tzatziki, couscous and tomato and feta salad. And there are some wicked desserts: ‘decadent’ chocolate torte, crème brulée or maybe an almond and cream cheese cheesecake. There is an excellent selection of South African wines, bubbly courtesy of Veuve Clicquot, cocktails and local craft beers.

If you fancy eating out, James has put together his own list of Jo'burg’s best eateries, many just a short taxi-ride away.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurant
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Put aside a morning or afternoon for the Apartheid Museum. No visit to the city could be complete without a visit to this architectural masterpiece, which tells the story of the darkest period in the country’s recent history

  • Take a township tour of Soweto, a highlight of any visit to Johannesburg

  • Shop in the nearby malls at Melrose Arch, Rosebank and Sandton, or cruise some of their many art galleries

  • If you don’t have time to get to the Kruger, have a big game hit at the Krugersdorp Game Reserve. You are guaranteed sightings of rhino, giraffe, buffalo, hippos and lions

  • Chill out in the Emmarenti or Walter Sisulu botanical gardens. Both of these green lungs are great escapes after visiting the noisy, polluted city centre

  • Get in shape at the mega gym next door - it's one of the city’s best and offers special concessions for hotel guests. It has a 50m lap pool, cardio machines and a weights room, as well as individual trainers to supervise your exertions. There's also a nice park opposite the hotel.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

Johannesburg can seem an intimidating place, especially if you have kids in tow, so it helps to feel that you are really safe at your hotel. The Peech couldn’t feel more secure with its quiet walled garden, off-street parking and friendly staff, even though the general vibe of the restaurant and other shared spaces is pretty grown-up.

Family friendly accommodation:

The Heritage Rooms can interconnect and Room 2 has space for an extra bed. All of the Classic Rooms and Peech Suites can accommodate an extra bed.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Our first time in Johburg and we found this hotel perfect for our needs - not too big. We were doing short stopover en route to a safari. It seems to be in a good, safe location and you have access to mega gym next door. We found the peech staff charming. Couldn't fault the service. Our room in main house was spacious and comfortable, We hear they are expanding the restaurant but food was pretty tasty already.

10/10,

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Rates for The Peech