Ten Bompas - Boutique and chic in Johannesburg
Very much an insiders secret, Ten Bompas is a boutique hotel located in Dunkeld West, an upscale neighbourhood located in the centre of the posh northern suburbs of Johannesburg. Its exterior dcor is subtle, with only the sign for the restaurant, Sides, distinguishing it from the neighbouring houses. Inside, it looked more like a posh restaurant than a hotel, with the bar to the left and the dining room on the right. The maitre ds desk doubled as reception. All three were staffed by chic people dressed in black yes, I was in design hotel land.
Checking in was quick and painless. One of the staff showed me up to my suite, No. 5. Each suite is individually decorated, and Id provided them with a list of three which looked interesting after looking at the images on the Ten Bompas website (http://www.tenbompas.com). Id long since forgotten which one was which, so it was a pleasant surprise to find a room decorated in warm golds and rich teals, with plentiful use of texture (the room was a collaboration between an architect and a couturier). It reminded me a bit of some of the posh places Ive seen in Egypt. Ten Bompas was originally designs as long-stay accommodation for corporate executives, and it shows in the size and layout of the suites, with sitting and sleeping rooms separated by a floor-to-ceiling fireplace (visible from both sides). There was also a guest toilet and cloakroom off the sitting room as well as the en-suite attached to the bedroom. A bucket of ice cradled a champagne bottle on the coffee table in the sitting room, and a tray of canaps sat nearby.
I was delighted to discover that it would be possible to do some laundry despite my relatively late arrival (around 5pm) and early check-out, and sent the dust-laden clothes from my last night at safari off to be cleaned. (It was waiting for me when I got back from dinner great service!).
Sides, the restaurant at Ten Bompas, is one of the hottest restaurants in Joburg, and has gotten very good reviews so I was looking forward to it. I was a bit early for my reservation so I got a drink and took a look around the bar. Off to one side was the spacious lounge, with a free-standing fireplace imbedded in a column, and to the other was a sitting area with a computer (there is free internet access). I was briefly tempted to check my email, but decided not to in the end.
The crowd at Sides is young and chic similar to the sort you might see in a restaurant in SoHo in New York. Its very popular with non-residents as well as people who are staying at the hotel. The menu is seasonal and since it was the beginning of July it featured hearty winter fare. I had a delicious risotto with a glass of white wine, and chocolate mousse for dessert.
After dinner I took a look around the hotel. Ten Bompas is built around a sunken courtyard with a lawn and pool and plenty of outdoor seating (not much use when I was there, but doubtless popular in the warmer months). They have an extensive wine cellar with a great selection of SA wines, as well as some imports.
I returned to my room to find a fire crackling in the fireplace theres always something so welcoming about a fire. I relaxed in the sitting room for a short while, writing in my journal, before going to take a bath. Ten Bompas has lOccitane toiletries, which included a huge bath sugar cube with essential oils. Id never seen anything like it, so I tossed it in it smelled great.
Ten Bompas is a great hotel for people who want a smaller but still buzzing place to stay. I didnt get a chance to use it during my stay, but theres also a free car service which will take you anywhere within a 10km radius, putting most of the places youd be interested in visiting within easy reach without having to hire a car. This is a great place highly recommended!