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It’s a long and winding road to The View, a five-star boutique hotel in Hillside Road, Amanzimtoti.
Well, not that long actually, but definitely winding. So don’t try to drive there in the dark, as we did, as Hillside Road is also very narrow – and one-way to boot.
Despite having a map, we got lost and drove the wrong way around Hillside Road twice before being rescued by a bemused resident on a late-night stroll (yes, they still do that kind of thing in Toti).
“Eh, you are going the wrong way. It’s a one-way road,” he said helpfully.
Still, there are benefits to its hillside location – fabulous views of the Indian Ocean, surrounds of unspoilt tropical vegetation, and a peaceful and private environment.
The hotel is situated inland rather than on the sea side of the freeway, so you are certainly not within walking distance of the sea. Still, at least you won’t be accosted by pesky holidaymakers asking for directions to the beach.
Originally built by the Lithgow family as a home, they then turned it into a five-star boutique hotel with two swimming pools.
The Grande Deluxe rooms we were allocated, we being my friend Anita and I, were gorgeous. Luxurious but tasteful, they had huge double beds boasting fine cotton sheeting and real feather pillows. What a treat.
There’s airconditioning and TV, naturally, in each room, facilities to make tea and coffee, and a fridge with a choice of drinks.
Each Grande Deluxe bedroom has a huge bathroom with a Jacuzzi-cum-bath. Another treat.
Oh, and really impressive was that most of the rooms have private balconies, all with those fabulous views.
And, if you so desire, you can enjoy breakfast or dinner on your balcony, thanks to full room service facilities.
Because the hotel is on a hill it’s built on several levels, which means a lot of stairs and climbing. But I liked that because it made the hotel feel less, well, hotel-like, and more like a home.
On the lowest level is Giorgios, a stylish restaurant with a wide terrace shaded by trees. Boasting the same expansive view of the sea, this is the perfect place for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The food is so good I can’t think of a better place to have a leisurely Sunday lunch, even if you are not staying at the hotel. I guarantee you will enjoy its relaxed vibe.
Talking relaxed, the hotel also has a spa, which is at at the top of the hill – so more walking – where you can choose from a range of “holistic wellness packages”, as they describe it. There is also a small gym where you can keep up with your training regimen even if you are on holiday.
Anita and I had wonderful back massages and pedicures at the spa, which left us in a state of bliss. What a shame we had to return to work the next day.
There is not a huge amount to do at the hotel if lounging by the pool is not your activity of choice, but the hotel is popular with businessmen and women who don’t have time for all that.
But you are well placed to venture further afield. We discovered a whole row of second-hand/ antique furniture and knicknack shops on the road that overlooks the sea in Warner Beach, where we managed to find some great bargains. We even browsed around Galleria mall.
The View is ideal if you want to relax in luxury and comfort and enjoy excellent cooking. The staff in the restaurant and at the hotel went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and at home. What a charming team.
The View Boutique Hotel & Spa is a benchmarked member of the Portfolio Collection. Rates start from R800 per standard room per night, including breakfast. Call 031 903 1556 or visit www.hoteltheview.com - Sunday Tribune