Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Glamour Meets Style at Port Elizabeth’s 5-Star Shamwari Townhouse

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, when you find a ‘home away from home’ that’s a bit better than what you left behind, you’ve pretty much struck ‘Road Gold’. And when it comes to Shamwari Townhouse, situated in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, you get that and more.

With its curving façade, sleek lines and indigenous gardens, you get the sense from the moment you arrive that you’re in for more than a stylish bed for the night. The original structure built in 1937 and painstakingly restored to its former glory, this is an architect’s dream. It is a space that inspires the mind, and, in the truest sense of its 1930’s Art Deco-style, the Shamwari Townhouse unabashedly carries guests away to a lavish world of sophisticated glamour, luxury and grace.

An unusual offering in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, the property reflects the passion of Adrian Gardner, founder and CEO of the world-famous Shamwari Game Reserve. Themed rooms – like the Jazz Room (notable for its six-course wine pairing menu), the Piano Lounge, Champagne Lounge and Salon Privé – feature furniture pieces with curved fronts, Fornasetti wallpaper, glass chandeliers, inlaid wood, mirrors and clean lines. Each separate space is characterized by a monotone colour scheme in soft tones of lilac, mauve, jade or turquoise, offset by light and dark wood, inset black lacquer, metallic wallpaper, chrome accents, geometric shapes and clean lines.

Classic style is complemented by modern extravagance – like the feature fountain, visible from floor-to-ceiling windows in the Jazz Room, which delivers a stream of water as smooth as glass to the pool. A private cinema,

designed with special permission by the Royal Family, was inspired by the one Prince Charles keeps in his London Residence, Clarence House. Plush carpets that sink with each padded step lead downstairs to the private Dining Cellar, the only room in the townhouse to follow the Provencal style. An oversized dark wood table set with gleaming candelabras and opulent red velvet chairs overlooks row upon row of neatly laid vintages – including French Champagne along with the South Africa’s best wines – set behind glass in climate-controlled comfort until the arrival of their day of glory.

Art, sculpture and photography by celebrated local artists – including Obie Oberholzer, Jon Riodran, Bianca Plate, and Anton Momberg – hint at the unique dimensions of a modern South Africa, making you take pause, look and reflect. The visual experience of Shamwari Townhouse is complemented by a soundtrack of iconic Jazz – the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Josephine Baker and more. One almost expects to look over and see the likes of Marlene Dietrich enjoying a long slim cigarette the lounge.

Private Guest Suites feature a more contemporary design. Secluded garden views from the private patio or balcony, an en suite lounge, dining room, kitchen complete with your very own espresso machine, king sized bedrooms and an extravagant double bathroom afford the luxury of a cleverly designed space that delivers both functionality and privacy.

The language of luxury at the Shamwari Townhouse beguiles even the most travelled of guests. A reflection of an era desperate to celebrate life’s opulence after the austerity of the First World War era, today the townhouse offers guests a boutique Art Deco experience that combines exceptional design, impeccable service and modern convenience for ultimate luxury.

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