The Peech Boutique Hotel in Melrose, Johannesburg, has doubled in size, with the recent addition of 16 new Luxury Rooms, increasing its capacity to a total of 32 “eco-chic” rooms, including a two-bedroom Luxury Villa.
Three years ago, owner James Peech, was able to acquire a property adjacent to the existing hotel, which allowed him to realise his vision of expanding the offering. “The owners sold the house to us on condition that we didn’t demolish it and kept the magnificent oak tree in the garden,” says Peech.
Peech says he went to great lengths to assemble a dream team of architects, landscapers and interior designers to work with him to realise his vision of a “grown up” Peech, while retaining its unique atmosphere as a residence. He says: “A great hotel should be a place that feels like home, only 10 times better!”.
Architect, Catherine de Souza of Meshworks, interior designers Aparna Ramani and Taryn Kallie of Design Republic and landscapers Deirdre Canston of Inspirations Garden Design, worked closely with Peech to develop the next evolutionary phase of The Peech.
“We placed a lot of emphasis on elements such as natural light and fresh air, considering how guests like to recover and recharge after they’ve been travelling,” says Peech. At the same time, he also pushed the envelope with the intention of advancing the very concept of what a boutique hotel in Johannesburg could and should offer.
De Souza explains that in keeping with the residential feel of The Peech and its gardens, the additional rooms were conceived along lines that rejected outdated notions of traditional hospitality, with its bulky structures and sterile corridors. Instead, Meshworks designed the new rooms as pavilions “floating in the garden”, sensitively integrated with extensive landscaping.
She says the new pavilions are envisioned as a “contextual response” not only to the original residence and gardens, but also to Johannesburg’s unique identify as at once a large African city and the world’s largest man-made forest. She calls the concept “garden urbanity”, and the aesthetics and materials of the pavilions reflect the steel concrete and wood of urban infrastructure, while the sculpted landscaping brings the largely indigenous vegetation right up to the rooms.Each of the pavilions, with upstairs and downstairs rooms, has been designed as a flexible space with stackable glass doors that open onto private patios or terraces, allowing each room to connect with its surroundings while offering guests the opportunity to customise the degree of privacy or openness they prefer.
The new rooms will officially open for guest occupancy on the 15thof December, 2018. The Peech is also planning to add a second restaurant and wine bar during the course of 2019.