For me, waking up to birdsong has always been synonymous with peace and tranquillity. The same goes for lush gardens, lounging by the pool and a glass of good wine. It seems that The Peech Boutique Hotel’s resident cat, Pippa, agrees when I watch her lazily adapt her position in a sunny spot on the couch.
With all of this and more, how could things be anything but peachy at The Peech Boutique Hotel, a residence that had been a family home for well over 40 years when originally acquired by its current owner, James Peech? I’d like to believe that this is what initially inspired the hotel’s look and feel as it has a welcoming, yet modern atmosphere that lures guests from all over the world to linger in South Africa a little longer.
According to Oliver, the hotel’s general manager, visitors often stay here on their way to or returning from a safari in the Kruger National Park, as it is a comfortable stopover, relatively close to the airport and ideally located when it comes to what is hip and happening in the City of Gold. Melrose has a certain charm to it, being a chic suburb between Sandton, Rosebank and Melrose Arch and the hotel’s location, right across from the James & Ethel Gray Park, makes for the perfect green spot in what is known as South Africa’s biggest business hub.
The hotel also supports a home for children with intellectual disabilities called Little Eden, which I thought is quite fitting for a hotel with such a lovely garden and a park across the street. And, after what has been said about the plans for their soon to be vegetable garden, I cannot wait to return.
Using produce from their own veggie patch is not all, though. Even though there is always room for improvement, it is clear that the hotel has thought through the process of conserving the environment and they infallibly support numerous local artists, projects and initiatives through their in-house gift shop.
The lounge area of The Peech Boutique Hotel is quite intriguing and invites you to browse through a couple of interesting locally designed and produced souvenirs for sale. This includes Africology’s eco-friendly range of home and body products, Flying Colours’ bespoke jewellery, I was shot in Jo’burg’s photography (a platform generating an income for street children), Krag Drag’s clothing for children which captures South Africa’s essence brilliantly, Mathilde & Co’s toys and garments, some samples of Patrick Mavros’ work (a silversmith by appointment to the British and Spanish Royal families), Sally Williams Nougat, Skinny Laminx’s products and even Peech labelled tote bags.
After browsing through these unique gift options, the pool area and a glass of wine is calling. Late afternoon snacks are served with sundowners by the pool and there is no better way to exit the day than to toast to a day well spent. The restaurant is cosy and charming, offering scrumptious breakfasts and delicious dinners with outside tables overlooking the garden and the tables inside are carefully placed around the fireplace for those cold winter evenings. With summer in full swing, the doors will probably be thrown open that guests can enjoy the lovely lush gardens.
According to Oliver things are promising to be even more peachy towards the end of the year, with new rooms that will be unveiled and an additional swimming pool for laps that will get guests going. The restaurant will also be expanding, as the additional rooms mean more guests will visit.
It’s not only the experience that is peachy at The Peech, but also business. Running a hotel such as this and keeping the authenticity of its past intact is no easy task. Still, guests keep returning to what once was a family home, because it’s here where they feel welcome and at home.
Written by Renate Engelbrecht
Sources: Manley Communications