On arrival, the first thing that jumps at me is the hotel’s sophistication: the driveway rises up a steep hill in a royal sort of way; a row of tall, elegant trees are meticulously lined along its walls; the front yard is covered in the most pristine lawns.
And when my friend and I arrive at the entrance to the hotel, the city of Pretoria is in full view.
It’s a gorgeous setting.
131 on Herbert Baker was originally a private residence before being transformed into the luxury boutique hotel we see today. It still maintains a homey atmosphere. The hotel comprises nine guest rooms and suites, and eight individually appointed bedrooms. The interior matches the elegance of its exterior.
Grissini, the hotel’s restaurant, offers an intimate fine dining experience and the lounge area has a chic setting where one can enjoy cocktails or sundowners.
Our room is sharp and well-appointed. It features, among other things, a king-size bed, air conditioning, spacious cupboards, a plasma TV, DVD player, satellite television, wireless broadband internet access and an electronic safe. Our room also includes a private balcony, where we decide to have our dinner.
After some delicious prawns as starters, I went for the kingklip, which I found to be delicate and succulent - I love a well-flavoured kingklip! My friend went for the steak, and he was particularly impressed by how it was tender through the middle, yet crispy on the outside as per his request. Both came with mixed vegetables and chips. The presentation was top notch.For dessert I had an amazing cheesecake and my friend went for the chocolate mousse.
This was a faultless dining experience.
Breakfast is included in the rate, but Grissini also welcomes non-residents to the hotel for breakfast, lunch and dinner - by reservation only.
131 on Herbert Baker also consists of one large and stylish presidential suite, which I viewed during my stay. The suite includes a spacious private lounge with an over-the-counter bar and a dining area.
For business travel purposes, a boardroom equipped with a plasma screen, DVD player, wireless connectivity, projector and screen and flip chart that can accommodate up to 20 people is available. There’s also a medium-sized swimming pool located in the inner courtyard of the hotel.
All in all, this is a quiet, laid-back setting that’s ideal if you’re looking for some time away from the clutter of the city without going too far out of it.
It’s also a suitable retreat for you and your person.