The power of a Concierge….

ConciergeI have recently been to see ‘ The Grand Budapest Hotel” , a film in which the adventures of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel are recounted with great artistry. A definite worthwhile see with a fantastic cast and fascinating visual effects. The film set me off  thinking how there must be hundreds of legendary concierges across the world working in large famous hotels who have amazing stories and knowledge about the goings on in their establishments. At ‘ The Parkwood’ we are privy to a fair amount of excitement by virtue of the odd famous guest or top secret advertising campaigns in the making but we are infinitely grateful for the calm and lovely guests who stay with us on a regular basis. They have more than enough to offer in interesting personalities, careers & lives !  

Bunny ambush !

Bunny ambush !Easter doesn’t hold as much allure for me since I gave up chocolate and in fact all sugar in my diet but I am ever grateful for having some gorgeous God children to buy those exciting shiny Easter eggs for, so the experience lives on happily albeit vicariously through their chocolate smothered grins. The Parkwood guests are another great reason for me to buy Easter related things. Nothing I love more than a few white rabbits dotted around the hotel bringing a smile to our guests. Expect little Lindt bunnies accompanying breakfast ! Happy Easter weekend wishes to everyone!

Early Autumn ?

Autumn leaves I love the change in seasons but have to say that as beautiful as it is to see all the tree’s in Johannesburg’s suburbs turning different shades of copper, gold and red….I am not the slightest bit excited about this early nip in the air ! Aside from a clear signal that winter is coming all too soon, Autumn comes with the annoying drone of leaf blowers and the endless rasping sound of raking. The upside….cosy fire places, fluffy winter duvets and the delicious soups our chef is conjuring up this week at The Parkwood. Nothing like a good old fashioned butternut soup or chilli prawn soup to warm things up. Another definite upside to impending winter is that a girl loves any opportunity to wear her boots the minute she can.


Parkwood pampering...Regardless of rain or sunshine, wedding preparations stir up an energy that set such a happy tone! We have a family staying at The Parkwood who are in the throes of preparing for their daughters wedding at a large and beautiful venue close by this coming weekend. We look forward to the  pre – wedding euphoria that comes with the flurry of photographers, make-up artists, hairdressers,champagne and snacks. The Parkwood team wish our ‘family’ a happy & pampered stay and the most memorable , precious wedding day!

Inner city walking tour of Johannesburg !

Jozi walking tourHaving recently taken part in a 6 hour walking tour of the inner city of Johannesburg with expert guide Gerald Garner, I can recommend this to any South African or visiting tourist. The best way to experience a city is on foot, and why not your own city….don’t save this for just Paris or London .I am now a fully converted urban tourist. Gerald is an extremely knowledgeable and interesting Jozi city tour guide which makes it  such a pleasure. The focus being on the architectural and political history of the areas you walk through as well as the regeneration program and status of the city currently. Our tour group was made up of about 20 members of our Johannesburg guesthouse association ( ….all eager to learn how we can enhance our guests stays in Johannesburg. Our particular tour included Braamfontein with all its trendy new shops, galleries and restaurants, the ‘Historic core’ …the City hall, library gardens, Rand Club and Ghandi square, followed by the ‘Retail district”….the Kerk street open market and Eloff street fashion stores and then lastly the ‘Corporate mining district’ with the beautiful Anglo American headquarters, the Magistrates court ,Mandela and Tambo’s original law firm offices. All this either on foot or the Rea Vaya bus system for which I now have a whole lot more admiration. Never once did I feel anything other than extremely safe and confident. Our city streets are full of security guards who take their jobs so seriously that they kept telling us that we weren’t allowed to sit in certain places. No loitering allowed….a bit annoying when you need a little break every now and then but it has clearly kept the city on the move and free of trouble makers. Between the Gautrain ,Rea Vaya and the open top bus, absolutely everyone can have a very affordable tour of our city! Take a look at Gerald Garners website for all the different tour options and schedules.


Room close-up The Parkwood is enjoying another week with guests visiting from all corners of the world. Welcome to visitors from Dubai, London, Tanzania and Cape Town! We have been really fortunate to host regular business commuters from both Durban and Cape Town in particular over the past ten years. It is hugely flattering to see so many familiar names on our reservation calender each week and know they are returning each time because they feel at home. The Parkwood  ethos  is ‘ relaxed luxury”. We are respectful of  a commuters busy on-the-move schedule and aim to envelope them in a relaxed urban sanctuary, distancing the hustle & bustle. Our fairly recent addition of ‘Home-style” dinners has added enormous value to their stay. Our guests return from a busy day of work and either dine in our cosy dining room or have the optional luxury of room service. (Yes,….my personal favourite when traveling alone and feeling work-weary). Our chef prepares a small but delicious menu option each night of the week for them to choose from. Thanks to our loyal commuting guests…we admire what you do and are thrilled to have you back again and again!

Urban tourism…..a passion !

  JHB in your pocket I was fortunate enough to attend a really good talk recently on the topic of the amazing inner city of Johannesburg. It was given by Gerald Garner who amongst other talents has authored ‘Places & Spaces and ‘Joburg Places’ and is involved in marketing a fantastic booklet currently in circulation called ” Johannesburg in your pocket”. He is a passionate ambassador of Johannesburg’s inner city regeneration and conducts guided walking tours through all the different areas of the city. His talk takes one through the stages, phases and history without loosing your attention for a minute.( Quite an achievement for me ). For a born and bred Johannesburger, I felt ashamed at how little I really know about my own city. It has a history through architecture, business and politics that rivals any large city in the world. So, the penny has dropped…urban tourism is a world-wide trend and we have so much to offer right here on our doorstep. I will be doing a few of Gerald’s walking tours in the near future and will report back on the experience. I have a feeling that if the talk got my attention, the walk will turn me into a passionate ambassador myself. Urban tourism is the way forward…I look forward to recommending this to our guests from all over the country and the world.

Rainy March

temp_slide_2After more than two weeks of non stop rain The Parkwood gardens are looking lusciously green and abundant.One forgets how accustomed we are to moderate weather in Johannesburg. A few weeks of rain has found me apologizing profusely to our foreign visitors for our inclement weather, only to be met with confused looks in return. A Belgian couple staying with us recently said that they felt at home as they are used to high rainfall and also suffer from the dreaded pot-hole issue on their roads!! Why did I think that was unique to Africa. Back to appreciating our beautiful city, albeit slightly challenged by Eskom’s load shedding schedules which are playing havoc with most industries and family households.They certainly pose an interesting challenge to those of us in the hospitality sector. The upside of this being the cosy candle-lit dinners enjoyed by our guests at The Parkwood this week and the inspiration that colder weather brings about in terms of delicious heartwarming soups to add to the menu. Zucchini & parmesan being one of my favourite. Meet Theresa, our ever smiling waitress prepping the dining room. Theresa our ever smiling waitress Looking forward to another great week with interesting guests from all over the world !

Best 5 star Guest House in Gauteng !!

Provincial winners !

The Parkwood is honored to be a Provincial Award Winner in the category of BEST 5 STAR GUEST HOUSE !

Thank you Lilizela for this extremely prestigious award and for your very inspiring words….

                                                        Lilizela awards

“We are thrilled at the field of provincial winners in each of the Lilizela Tourism Award categories. They represent an industry whose excellence is literally boundless, and who are setting global standards in best tourism practice. We have every reason in the world – literally – to be proud of our industry, and of you.”