Century-old Johannesburg farmhouse reborn as luxury guest house
Article and photos by Josette King
Lush gardens surround the pool
Room Two is a spacious rondavel
The living area is an expansive curved open space
Idwala Guest House was just the place to reconcile me with the thought of an overnight flight, at least when the vagaries of Southern Africa air travel scheduling dictate a next night layover in Johannesburg. Built over one century ago as a farmhouse in what was then the countryside to the north of the city, the property had over time been choked by encroaching suburbia.
A few years ago its dilapidated cluster of classic South African stone and thatch rondavels caught the interest of its current owners, the Friese family. Various members of the family contributed their individual expertise ranging from architecture and interior design to computer technology and hotel management to create an enclave of bucolic luxury in the heart of the city.
The sink is set in a vanity of polished poured concrete
I loved this intimate inn with its friendly staff and personalized service, excellent in-house restaurant, state-of-the art technology throughout, superbly appointed rooms and convenient central location (a mere 30-minute drive from the airport). Small wonder that although it had been open only three years at the time of my visit Idwala Guest House had already earned the coveted Five Star rating from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. Click here to read the complete article about my recent stay at Idwala Guest House.