Passion Points: Escape
Set amid six lushly landscaped acres, the Saxon was originally designed in 1990 as the home of South African businessman Douw Steyn and was famously Mandela’s hideaway while he edited his renowned autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. Several years later Steyn decided to re-purpose the grand residence into a boutique hotel and conference center, once again enlisting architects Neil Powell Neil and calling in interior designer Stephen Falcke to retain the home’s handsome modern aesthetic and to build upon the extensive collection of African art and crafts. Augmenting the 24 guest suites are a 900-square meter pool that reflects the hotel’s entire façade, lily and koi ponds, swimming pool, meeting facilities, bar, lounge, restaurant, excellent gym, and full service spa and salon. (You can even have your hair done in corn rows. With extensions!)
The standard suites are open-plan with enormous four-poster beds, ample seating areas, a small dining table, fancy sound system, a desk and work area with multi-national electrical outlets and Internet access. The baths are also open, with big, deep tubs, separate walk-in showers, and vanities and sinks on either side of a closet. The loos, thankfully, are enclosed. The spread at breakfast is worth writing home about (and here I am), and the dinner I had there was excellent. We stayed there on our first night before going out on safari the following day. Would that I could have scrubbed-up there afterwards as well. Next time for sure.
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