Having stayed at Morokuru Beach Lodge in the De Hoop Nature Reserve, we instantly felt part of the Morokuru family, which includes AtholPlace. We knew to expect a warm welcome, excellent service, understated luxury, and great food.
AtholPlace House & Villa is on the outskirts of Johannesburg in the chic, cosmopolitan upmarket suburb of Atholl near the trendy and elite Sandton art galleries and restaurants, the financial district, and leading commercial centres of Melrose Arch, Illovo, Rosebank.
From its origins as a gold town Johannesburg an instant city, has always been a place for immigrants. The full spectrum of ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity. Fortune-hunters, swindlers, merchants, bureaucrats, clergymen, and prostitutes were all lured by gold, which lead to massive tree planting to structure the mining shafts after gold was discovered in 1886. The city’s vernacular developed from tin shacks and tents, followed by the Transvaal Republic vernacular, British Empire style, and Art Deco, to the post-war skyscraper boom, to the well-preserved 1970s-era city centre. It’s pretty unique. A mix of glitz and shiny new juxtaposed with grime and grit.
Things are changing as Joburgers are beginning to reinhabit places they’ve previously abandoned. Now thousands of suburbanites are flocking to Jonathan Liebmann’s Maboneng district, a dynamic, hip live-work-play district carved out of the industrial eastern fringe. It’s buzzing with galleries, cafés, restaurants, studios, one-off retailers, and the Saturday Neighbourhoods Market.
It’s a city you need an oasis to return to, I quickly discovered, and AtholPlace is the perfect base to dip in and out of while experiencing Joburg’s museums, galleries, restaurants, and bars; a calm and tranquil refuge, and an ideal stepping-stone to Kruger safari adventures. A place to adjust, unwind and prepare for your wildlife extravaganza. It would also make a perfect work-from-home staycation.
The Villa is an exclusive-use four-bedroom, home-from-home in the city for up to eight guests, with an elegant living and dining room that extends out to a terrace area looking over the lovely landscaped private garden, sparkling pool, and boma beyond. It’s the latest addition to AtholPlace House, which, until Covid hit, was operated as a hotel and restaurant. The main house is now an exclusive use nine-bedroom villa. Both villas offer total privacy and seclusion from each other and the world beyond.
Minutes apart, they can also be booked together for larger get-togethers and celebrations