I don’t always write about hotels, even when they host me for a night of two. The reason? Writing about hotels isn’t always the most exciting post for me or for you. But after staying at a unique property in Johannesburg with strong historical ties to the community, I felt compelled to share.
The Monarch is located in the prestigious Rosebank neighborhood of Johannesburg, where the building has stood since the 1930s when a telephone exchange was built on the site. The building later became the Saxonworld Post Office but in 1995 all seemed lost for this 18th century Cape Style building. But in 2005 the site was turned into a boutique hotel, keeping all the grandeur of an era long gone. Today the hotel has recently undergone an expansive retrofit and has never looked better.
When I entered the reception lounge my eye was drawn to the elegant but comfortable furniture and the quirky features dotting the room in a well-choreographed design. The smiling face behind the reception desk led me to my room with total ease and within minutes I was relaxing in my luxury suite. All of the rooms at the Monarch are sumptuously decorated, but with comfort in mind as well. They’re also large and allow guests the opportunity to spread out whether they’re in town for business or pleasure.
A few of the high points of the hotel for me were:
- Free WiFi (yay)
- Delicious food options at the restaurant
- Comfortable and high tech rooms featuring floor warmers
- Conscientious and incredibly hospitable staff
- Convenient location across from the train station and next to a mall
I had the luxury of staying at the Monarch twice, and each time walked away impressed and happy. I’m not sure when I’ll be back in Johannesburg, but I can’t think of a nicer place to stay than the Monarch.