Commanding some of the best views in Joburg, this affordable B&B is trendy and a good-food stay, says MELANIE VAN ZYL
Latino flair and views to die for at this Melville guest house
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, it was the hipster joint Pablo EggsGo-Bar and then Pablo House followed, because what goes better with an all-day breakfast bar than a couple of great beds? Both Joburg establishments are owned by Louis and Leigh Roux and ooze the Latino swank inspired by their notorious namesake, Pablo Escobar – think tropical palms and prints, air plants, areas of vintage decor and gilded embellishments. Claiming the highest point in Melville, Pablo House is no ordinary B&B. Each room has fast WiFi, compact Nespresso machines, UHD Smart TVs with Netflix (you simply must watch the series Narcos while here), Marshall speakers to play your own tunes and luxurious rainshowers with Charlotte Rhys toiletries. Suites one, two and three are in the main house overlooking the Melville Koppies and Sandton beyond (number three was my favourite), while rooms four and five are set a level lower, with more privacy but still blessed with breathtaking views. The sixth room, on the ground floor, is the most secluded option with a small, private garden patio. Cleverly curated furniture adds colour to the communal living area, which includes a sundowner patio and wellstocked bar, and walls are plastered with huge works of art, creating a fun space. Melville has always been famous for its buzzing nightlife and innovative restaurant scene (Hell’s Kitchen is a regularly vibey spot, and the newer Mootee Bar is a must-do for expert cocktails). For my evening out, I chose the relatively new dining spot, Love Me So, for fresh Asian tapas and excellent ramen. Later, when I retired to my queen-sized bed, tucked in with a cosy, faux-fur blanket, I even used the eye mask and earplugs thoughtfully left on the bedside table. BEST FEATURES Outstanding views of the leafy city, but it’s the value for money – in terms of location, design detail and amenities – that will bring guests back again and again. Also, catching a tuk-tuk to breakfast at Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar, down the road on Fourth Avenue, was unusual and the fare was a welcome change from the continental spreads found at most guest houses. COST From R1 250 for two, which includes breakfast for R100 pp at Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar. Avoid food FOMO and order the shakshuka. CONTACT pablohouse.co.za
CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT Order a stiff G&T with squashed lime wedges to go with sunset on the nearby deck; the outside area is sheltered from draughts but conservatory-style windows still reveal the epic view; owner Louis Roux is a member of the band Shadowclub, and you’ll find rock-star memorabilia in Room 6.