Established in 1995, ‘Melleneys Exclusive Guest House’ is now under new ownership and has been fully refurbished and re-launched as Hudsons on Twelfth Exclusive Guesthouse. Shaun and I were invited to spend an evening at the ‘new’ hotel – which very luckily fell over his birthday!
We headed over there after work on a Friday afternoon for some R&R, as well as a specially prepared five course dinner.
A little history on the hotel
“Melleneys” was one of the first established Guest Houses in the Rivonia area in 1995, starting off with only four rooms and was the only premises in Johannesburg to obtain 5 stars at that time.
The original owners were a considerably wealthy and well known couple, who spent a great deal of time ensuring that the hotel was filled with charm and old world glamour.
The owners have since passed, but the classically designed hotel grounds and rooms still scream elegance and opulence – even with all the renovations undertaken by new owner Caroline Hudson. While she has spruced up the entire property from tip to toe, she has kept most of the garden ornaments and decor from the original hotel, purely because of how priceless and irreplaceable these features are.
The garden is a lush oasis and is so peaceful you’d be forgiven for forgetting you’re staying in the heart of Rivonia.
Hudsons on Twelfth
The newly refurbished hotel is a 4-star Guest House, consisting of 10 en-suite bedrooms and has been designed to be your home away from home.
Each suite is individually decorated with either a private garden, a view to the classically designed grounds or into the tranquil forest which extends from the beautiful, serene gardens.
The covered patio and breakfast terrace looks onto a sparkling blue pool, surrounded by the soothing sound of a water fountain.
I feel the venue could be an amazing place to block book for a family celebrating a birthday milestone, such as a 40th / 50th / 60th Birthday. Or perhaps even a baby shower? Alternatively, for a quick getaway to relax and unwind for those travellers passing through Joburg.
Our Room at Hudsons on Twelfth
We were lucky to be offered one of the best suites in the hotel – The Loft, which had a downstairs reading area and a huge bathroom.
Upstairs was our beautifully decorated room with the most comfortable bed and linen imaginable. I know that may seem like a strange thing to be fussed over – but good linen and a comfortable bed are the two most important things to me when staying at a hotel and Hudsons doesn’t disappoint.
We dropped our bags off straight away and made a beeline for the bar – we both needed a drink after the disastrous traffic to get to the hotel. 😱 (I will never get used to Rivonia traffic)
We were seated on the terrace, right by the pool and we enjoyed our drinks while the sun peaked behind the clouds.
Dinner soon followed, specially prepared for the evening by Chef Wayne from Chef Knows Best
Amuse Bouche – We started off with this Springbok Carpaccio Crostini – which was surprisingly delicious – I never thought I would ever eat or enjoy Springbok!
Starter: This Tian of Tomato and Basil Pesto was the best dish for me, probably because I am not the biggest meat eater. The tomato was soft and juicy and perfectly complimented by the Parmesan crisp and raspberry vinaigrette.
Second Course – Panko Crumbed Oyster on a bed of Tuna Carpaccio with a ponzu dressing. Not a fan our oyster’s even with crumbs 😂 But the tuna was delicious!
Main Course – After a brief interval of a palate cleansing sorbet, we were served the main – beef fillet wrapped in prosciutto, with a leak and pea puree and sweet potato mash. Besides the fact that I hardly ever eat red meat, I was now so full and was only able to eat the pea puree and mash, which were divine! 😁
But Chef Wayne was not done yet.
Dessert – This Masterpiece of a dessert consisted of a melted chocolate fondant (swoon) raspberry macarons and a chocolate cake crumble. Of course I found some room for it and finished half my plate.
It was at this point that Shaun and I realized we had eaten too much food and excused ourselves to go lie down upstairs in what can only be described as a full on food coma 🤪 Still totally worth it!
Hudsons on Twelfth is a wonderful alternative to impersonal hotels and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this beautiful hotel. We enjoyed the Air BnB type setup, but with the service, cuisine and small homely touches that most bigger hotels miss.
Our stay at Hudsons on Twelfth was hosted by the property.