Recounting my accommodations on my month long journey, it’s time to finish up in Johannesburg and Villa Simonne. I debated in choosing this hotel because it was more of a resort than a proper hotel.
When you’re looking for accommodations, you want to be near attractions or within walking distance of bars and restaurants. Johannesburg is such a vast, spread out city like Los Angeles that the idea of being near anything is mute.
There are few reasonable hotels in malls that I kept on pondering. I had almost pulled the trigger on Hotel Fire & Ice! in Melrose Arch, a modern hotel in a new entertainment complex that has all sorts of eateries, shopping, entertainments and the like. Think Universal City Walk in L.A. or Orlando.
I kept on looking at pictures at Villa Simonne. The grounds looked exciting. The rooms looked all decked out with plenty of spaces. The pool at night looked lovely. Then, there photos of guests and parties looked like a lot of fun. Most of all, the prices per night (around $75) was a steal for what you were paying for.
The location was giving me some reserve. It’s located in an upscale neighborhood that seemed like Beverly Hills. You’ll see a lot of large homes in a suburban like setting. The Villa would be not be within walking on anything. Thus, you would have to take taxis/Uber the whole time.
I lucked out because the staff were so accommodating to me. They tried their best to get me into a daytime safari, calling five or six different places. Even though there wasn’t anything available, they helped me book my bike tour of Soweto. The owner greeted me and would chat with me while I was waiting for me car.
My favorite member of the staff was Sahara, their big malamute dog. Dogs tend not to like me but Sahara loved me. Probably the friendliest dog I’ve ever met.
As I saw in the pictures, there were a lot grounds to explore with little out coves and nooks. In my four nights there, I only saw a couple of other guests. Then the third night, the whole place was rented out and there was a big time get-together during the day.
My room had a balcony with table and chairs overlooking the pool and view of the clear night skies. There was a living room, king-size bed and shower and tub. You really do get your money’s worth.
It’s a gated compound, so you’ll get a fob that opens the front gate. Uber was such a godsend in my visit to South Africa, so I highly recommend you have a data plan with your visit. If not, the Villa will get you a hired car which will be a bit pricey as compared to Uber.
I took some pictures of their bar, game and cabaret areas which can be rented out for the big costume parties. Unfortunately, nobody was around to drink with so I didn’t get to see the rooms in full swing.