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Introduction: Situated in the exclusive suburb of Houghton Estate, 10 2ND AVENUE HOUGHTON ESTATE is an established 5 Star Boutique Hotel of superb luxury and effortless style nestled into lush, landscaped gardens. The stately elegance of the 5000m2 property and the centrality of its location make it the ideal place for the leisure and business travellers alike.

20 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport, within easy reach of the business hubs of Johannesburg, Braamfontein, Rosebank and Sandton, and surrounded by an array of recreational activities. 10 2ND AVENUE HOUGHTON ESTATE is a 24-hour secure estate, conveniently located 5 minutes away from the Rosebank Gautrain Station which links to OR Tambo International Airport, Sandton and Pretoria.

Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My arrival experience: Warm welcome with a welcome drink before being escorted to the room.

What I loved: The countryside feel in Johannesburg and the fantastic internet connection making it an ideal place for business travellers.

What about the food: Good a la carte breakfast and dinner with attentive and friendly service.

What about the service: The service is better than most small boutique hotels I have stayed in South Africa. The staff are smiling and helpful, but also more well-trained than similar hotels in the country. Great attention to details with cookies in the room upon arrival and a snack for turn down service.

What about the rooms: Beautiful small rooms with flatscreen Tv, bathtub and separate shower. Complimentary mini-bar is a big plus as well as the complimentary, unlimited, high-speed internet access which, unfortunately, is rare in boutique hotels in South Africa.

Number of rooms: 15.


Type of property: City hotel with country feel.

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa.

Facilities: Swimming pool and boardroom.

Complimentary internet: Yes, very fast and unlimited. Impressive!

Affiliations: Preferred Hotels.

My overall impression: Great experience.

Rwanda is one of my favourite countries after a wonderful visit in 2013, travelling across the country and experiencing the wonderful countryside in the land of a thousand hills. I recently went back to Rwanda as I had to stopover in Kigali between getting from Johannesburg to Brazzaville. It was great to be back for a night, staying at 5 Swiss Hotel, a very nice budget hotel arranged last-minute by Rwanda Development Board. In the past, I have stayed at the two Serena hotels in the country and which I wrote about back in 2013.

Like in 2013, Rwandair was happy to help me out with a ticket in exchange for social media promotion and a write-up and it was great flying this airline again. It has an impressive network in Africa and even flies to Dubai for an affordable price, making it hard to come up with an excuse not to visit Rwanda.

Here are five tips that can make your trip even better.

1. Some nationalities don't need a visa to visit Rwanda, but Denmark is not one of them. If you are running short on time, go to your nearest embassy where you can easily get a visa. If you plan your trip in advance, it is possible to obtain a letter online at . I did that in 2013 while I this time was running too late and had to get a visa last minute at their embassy in Pretoria.

2. Take the bus around the country. The infrastructure of Rwanda is surprisingly good and unlike most other African countries. Travelling across the country from Kigali to Gisenyi was a fantastic experience, and one of the most beautiful overland journeys in the world. Remember this is the land of a thousand hills.

3. Rwanda is one of the few gorillas-countries and research in advance is required. You need a special permit so make sure to plan well ahead. Also keep in mind this is very expensive. 750 American dollars!

4. Rwanda is otherwise great value for money. You can take a motorbike taxi anywhere within the city center of Rwanda for around a dollar. Hotels are available to fit any budget.

5. Make sure to visit the Presidential Palace museum in Kigali and Hotel de Milles Collines, the world famous hotel from the 2004-movie, Hotel Rwanda.

Capital House Boutique Hotel is a lovely 5-star guest house in the quiet Waterkloof area of Pretoria. One of the most expensive and safest areas of South Africa. Selecting Capital House Boutique Hotel for my project was an easy decision after reading about it on Tripadvisor.

The first good impression of the hotel was their fast responses to all my e-mails and a last minute request to check-in early morning was also granted with no hesitation. Very impressive and not common, even in the better 5-star hotels around the world. As Tertia told me on the first day, they are not like other hotels, they like to do things differently at Capital House. Tertia and Sean run the place with a passion for hospitality and, for example, do a different kind of breakfast from other properties I have stayed. Sean explained they only use fresh ingredients from Woolworth, South Africa's "luxury" supermarket, and the best of it's kind I have seen anywhere in the world. They also provide you with a sherry and chocolate at turndown service and takes the time to explain and help with whatever you might need. Sean gave me many good pieces of advice on things to do in Pretoria and South Africa itself, and I enjoyed our conversations.

Capital House Boutique Hotel is a unique experience with beautiful old school rooms in ten different categories. The internet is complimentary,  fast, stable and unlimited. It makes it a perfect place to stay for business people that need a break from the standardized and impersonal chain hotels.

I enjoyed my stay and will have to agree with the Tripadvisor reviews. It's a unique, homely experience run by passionate people.

For more information

Introduction: When it comes to deluxe business hotels in Sandton, Johannesburg, The Maslow is renowned for offering premier 4-star Sandton accommodation for business travellers. The Maslow is located in Sandton’s financial district, only a few minutes away from the Sandton Gautrain station, Sandton City mall and Nelson Mandela Square. With modern conference facilities and meeting rooms, Sun International’s The Maslow is Sandton’s premium business hotel. Superior comfort, relaxation and elegance are guaranteed when staying at this high-end hotel in Sandton.

Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My arrival experience: Quick check-in. No escort to the room.

What I loved: The design and the smoke-free environment.

What about the service: It was hit and miss. Some staff are truly great, while others need more training. I was disappointed with the breakfast buffet as it was far below the other standards of this great hotel. The complimentary shuttle to Nelson Mandela Square and the Sandton Gautrain station is very nice and runs every 15 minutes.

What about the rooms: Beautiful contemporary rooms. Mine had a comfortable bed, two flatscreen Tv's, freestanding bathtub, double sink and a large separate rainshower. The bathroom has Molton Brown amenities and the room were better than at similar business hotels.

Number of rooms: 281.


Type of property: Johannesburg, South Africa.

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa.

Facilities: Swimming pool, spa, gym with out-dated facilities and business/meeting facilities. I am surprised this is only ranked as a 4-star hotel. It is better than many 5-star hotels in both service, accommodation and facilities.

Complimentary internet: Yes, unlimited and quite fast.

My overall impression: Great experience. A lovely business hotel that exceeded my expectations. I would love to stay here again.
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Introduction: In the flow of time, some opportunities are truly rare - a visit to Forum Homini is one of those.

Emerging from the ancient dust in the Cradle of Humankind is Forum Homini Boutique Hotel. Set within a private game estate this 5 star hotel offers deluxe cave style accommodation for discerning travellers, fine dining at award-winning roots restaurant, an intimate wedding venue and excellent facilities for those with business in mind.

The fascinating history of mankind is weaved into the walls, the artwork, the layout and the décor.

Forum Homini is an evolutionary concept!

Forum Homini means: A place where people talk about… people, art, culture, food, wine and many more.

The vision for Forum Homini was to make the dramatic story of the development of humans accessible, interesting and fun – a place where talking to each other is stimulated by the environment.

Forum Homini is situated on the Letamo Game Estate where the variety of natural occurring habitats such as savannah, acacia bushveld, wetlands and koppies, cater for a large variety of game that inhabit the estate.

The hotel was designed to blend into the environment, making landscaping very important. Small walkways, grass covering the roofs and the use of more than 140 endemic plants to the area create a unique and natural effect.

Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a short stay at the property.

My arrival experience: Warm welcome and fast check-in before being escorted to the room. Welcome amenities and a 1L bottle of water in the room upon arrival.

What I loved: The unique design, breakfast, attention to details and to find Molton Brown products in the bathroom.

What about the food: Forum Homini is a unique hotel and with a concept I have not seen in any of the 1,000+ hotels I have stayed. A 5-course breakfast of high quality. I normally don't like breakfast, but this was a wonderful way to start the day. The menu changes daily for all meals. Their Roots restaurant has been named one of the best restaurants in the Johannesburg area by Eat Out. I really enjoyed it and would rank it on level with a Michelin-recommended restaurant, just below a star.

What about the service: Great, professional staff in all areas of the hotel. From the Mozambican security guy to the General Manager. Attention to details such as bath salt, welcome amenities and a printed menu daily are very impressive.

What about the rooms: Uniquely designed rooms. My suite had a comfortable bed, double rain shower, bathtub, bath salt, flatscreen Tv, mini bar and a fireplace making it an ideal winter escape.

Number of rooms: 14.


Type of property: Country hotel.

Location: Muldersdrift, South Africa. An hour from Johannesburg.

Facilities: None. This property is about great food and relaxation.

Complimentary internet: Yes and surprisingly fast.

Affiliations: None, but could in my opinion be a member of Relais & Châteaux.

My overall impression: Great experience. A unique experience and a place to stay if you love Relais & Châteaux properties, like I do.

Earlier this year, I visited Samoa and had many wild wonderful adventures including hitchhiking with the police and many other cars. For something completely different, Samoa is actually a destination with many great hotels. I consider two of them luxury hotels, two of them comfortable full-service hotel and the last one a great, unusual hostel.

Luxury Hotels

Aga Reef Resort and Spa
Introduction: Did you ever have a dream of a South Pacific Island Paradise with pure natural beauty, colorful friendly people in combination with romance and relaxation. A place were the vibrant colors of the tropics are blending in with the living culture of the island. You just found Samoa. We might not be perfect in everything we do, but what you will experience comes directly from our heart. This is the way we grew up and this is what we like to share with you. Come and be a part of Samoa, come and be a part of Aga Reef Resort and Spa.

The above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My Arrival experience: A warm welcome before being escorted to the room.

What I loved: The beautiful, unique location.

What about the food: Basic breakfast, could be better. Full breakfast should be included for all guests, instead of just continental.

What about the service: Wonderful staff, especially the front desk staff that was of extraordinary help to me during my stay.

What about the rooms: Simple, but beautiful. Flatscreen-Tv's, comfortable beds and rainshowers.

Number of rooms: 16.


Type of property: Resort.

Location: Samoa.

Complimentary internet: No. No hotels in Samoa offer complimentary internet.

Affiliations: None, but could be a member of organizations like Small Luxury Hotels of the World or Preferred Boutique.

My overall impression: Great experience.

Sinalei Reef Resort

Introduction: Welcome to our world of pure and natural beauty. From the moment you enter the stunning, lush, naturally landscaped surroundings and step under the artisan-carved entrance way, you will know you have discovered a sanctuary like no other. The famous Samoan generosity of spirit and hospitality is proudly displayed to create an environment you will never forget. Sinalei Reef Resort Samoa is a true paradise where the irresistible beauty of nature surrounds you. Come and discover the essence of Samoa, an experience that offers food for your heart and soul.

The above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.
Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My arrival experience: Long check-in before being escorted to the room.

What I loved: The location including the beach.

What about the food: Very good a la carte breakfast. I also enjoyed a good local fish & chips for dinner.

What about the service: Friendly staff, but lots of staff needs a lot more training.

What about the rooms: Simple rooms with outdoor showers as the highlight.

Number of rooms: 29.


Type of property: Resort.

Location: Samoa.

Complimentary internet: No. No hotels in Samoa offer complimentary internet. One of the only countries in the world and something to be aware of. They advertise free internet on their Tripadvisor page, and I arrived very disappointed to see they find it acceptable to charge for it. We are talking 2015.

Affiliations: None.

My overall impression: Good+ experience.


Full-Service Hotels

Sheraton Samoa Aggie Greys Resort
A full-service Sheraton hotel with a typical Sheraton feels and look. The service is obviously not like staying in a Starwood hotel in Bangkok, but very good compared to other Pacific islands resorts. The restaurant is very good and I enjoyed a quite wonderful pizza with ingredients from New Zealand. The beach is very nice, despite I did saw a rat in the late afternoon.

Return to Paradise Resort
Like at Sheraton, I also saw a rat on the beach of the Return to Paradise Resort. Before visiting Samoa I had only seen one rat in my life, and that was in one of my favourite places, Franschhoek, South Africa. Now I have seen three. Despite having a rat issue, I enjoyed this resort named after 1953-movie with Gary Cooper that took place here. The food is quite good and quality of this resort is close to a Hilton or Holiday Inn, but with it's style and standards.

Comfortable Hostel

Samoan Outrigger Hotel
This hostel is a 3-star hotel on Tripadvisor, which is very misleading. It is a hostel with fales, shared rooms and private rooms. I stayed in a private room without a bathroom or airconditioning, but it is a very beautiful room and the staff are very kind and nice. It has great reviews on Tripadvisor, so if you are a budget travel that don't need the comfort of a luxury or full-service hotel, this hostel is recommended.
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