Johannesburg - It is hard to believe that Gooderson Fabz Garden Hotel & Conference Centre is actually situated in the bustle of Johannesburg, so tranquil is the accommodation once you drive through the gate.
The location is rather Fabz. Situated in the Lonehill/Fourways area, it is minutes away from shopping malls, several casinos, and a good selection of golf courses to suit both skill level and the pocket. There is something for the whole family to while away the day.
A late start is advisable, to let the notorious Jozi trail of cars make the commute. While the locals hoot and get heated just 500m down the road, you can be tucking into Fabz’s very generous breakfast, oblivious to the rat race playing out beyond the doorstep.
The hidden secret of this charming city hotel is the back garden which opens up to a wonderful countryside view, giving one the sense of being completely out of the daily grind.
After time in the city, the exquisite English country gardens are the perfect backdrop for a gathering, complete with a good ol’ cuppa with scones, strawberry jam and cream. If the weather doesn’t play its part, you can still enjoy the outdoors indoors, in the glass conservatory.
The lake, with its fountains, provides the serenity and, for those who have been struck by Cupid, the restaurant provides a table on the water’s edge, candle-lit to set the scene for a memorable occasion.
And, speaking of the restaurant, be prepared for gargantuan portions. I arrived famished after a day of travelling and fretting in the city centre. I opted for the schnitzel. I was confronted by a meaty mountain that dwarfed the plate, oozing with a cheesy topping and all the extras.
Fabz’s popular Sunday buffet lunch is well worth booking for even if you aren’t staying.
The modern, simply decorated executive room provided a comfortable abode, and it is at night that you notice just how peaceful your surroundings are.
Unless you are flicking through the DStv, you can be alone with your thoughts, without the endless buzz normally associated with city hotels.
The hotel offers a wide selection of family and superior suites as well as twin, double and single rooms which all have garden and lake access.
At first sight, you may mistake the hotel for a house because, apart from the sign, the frontage is quite unassuming. Right at the end of the lane, Fabz Garden Hotel spreads out expansively at the back, with enough space for business gurus to take a stroll as they prep for the next presentation.
That is one aspect of Fabz that has earned it a strong reputation as a conference hosting venue. It lends itself to a number of options, and there is also catering available for your delegation.
But it is not all business. The hotel plays eager host to corporate parties, kiddies’ birthdays and is also the most relaxed setting for a wedding.
The adaptability of the space is matched only by the enthusiasm of the staff. With bed and breakfast rates from R695 per person per night (R525 for seniors) you’d be daft not to consider it.
The hotel provides a touch of countryside charm and tranquillity in the manicured gardens by day. Sharing a delicious dinner in a magical outdoor setting at night is the perfect panacea for the stresses of modern living.
So, if you head to that neck of the woods someday, you will be in for a big surprise, and you might not believe your eyes.
* Call 011 465 3551 or visit www.goodersonleisure.co.za