Tuesday, May 01, 2007

castle kyalami


My eardrums have a dull ache with humming noise, my clean shaven head’s pores are topped with early morning dew droplets. In a crisp and cool breezy morning, I have just had a walk outside sprawling garden of Hotel Castle Kyalami. By 8am, I was ready and was heading for breakfast. When asked for the direction, guy at the reception seemed a bit shell shocked but did point me towards an empty hall with a polite request ‘we serve breakfast only from 630am’. I immediately realized my folly of not having set the clock behind 2 hours. My instant reaction was not to portray any surprise. ‘No problem, I shall have a walk’ I said. I walked out without any sweater or warm clothes, sky was still grey but horizon was enfolding a tinge of pink and birds were ready to leave their nest. White, Yellow roses were fully bloomed with other flowers in scarlet and orange laid a colourful spread over green top . From the top of Castle Kyalami, I could see suburbs of Midrand, Sandton twinkled lights.

Castle Kyalami appears a miniature version of Windsor Manor in UK. Tall square, hexagonal turrets lay with mud brown tiles, a big iron gate welcomes visitor to the property and straight road heads up to the hotel porch flanked by countries flags mounted on poles. Behind them are sprawling manicured gardens, patch of golf range. Perched on the top of hill, manor is visible from the vicinity. In the porch is a stone sculpted figurate acting as a faucet of fountain. Once inside the hotel, another fountain makes two pathways leading to small table called reception. Either side of reception table are two curved staircase that join the attic that houses cushioned sofas, chairs with long square table with a bowl containing decorated ostrich eggs. Now the attic leads in four directions with small stairs to hotel rooms that are housed under these turrets. Walls are painted cream, carpets in red, and flooring is cream white Italian tiles. Walls house photographs of erstwhile dignitaries and friends of owner who stayed at this place. Behind the reception is a restaurant that has candle stand with part of restaurant joining in an open balcony facing the garden, other part joins a bar and another door leads to a room that has books and cigars. This room has Victorian furniture and small door leads to swimming pool and tennis court. A stroll amidst these surroundings transported me to the settings of novels authored by Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes .I could imagine the guests climbing down the stairs to join a supper. Flamboyant oldies at the bar discussing about hunting episode of the evenings, a young couple slipping out in the balcony to share intimate moments, a loner is in the library reading about esoteric objects. And a shriek is heard from upstairs………and murder mystery thickens. Nothing of this kind did happen in my stay at hotel castle.

Built by Greek to house his family and rumoured to be owned by Michael Jackson , the property has turned into a hotel not as luxurious as palace hotels in India but a welcome change from City Lodge in Sandton that I normally stay. Rooms are in fact are mismatch of modernity with antiquity. What amused me was having two showers on opposite side with controls on one side. Is it designed so that we don’t need to turn our body to wash our back? Or is it for couple to take showers together but at a distance. But the idea is not bad for Dubai bachelors who share room together and have hard time to take shower in early rush hour.

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1 Comments:

Blogger LadyE said...

Nice slide show. It looks like an interesting place. This is in South Africa?

6:08 AM  

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