Five-star luxury accommodation in a country setting

Set on a beautiful lake surrounded by a dairy farm and golf course, the 75-room retreat is an oasis of tranquility located between Johannesburg and Pretoria, and only 25 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport.

Irene is a suburb of Centurion, but has become a weekend destination to most of Gauteng, as it is conveniently situated between Midrand and Pretoria. The Union Buildings in Pretoria are a mere 15 min drive away and travelling to Sandton, Johannesburg takes only 30 min. Now with the new Gautrain rail system – for â??People on the Moveâ? -these journeys are even more convenient, as the Centurion Gautrain station is situated at the Centurion Shopping Centre only a five min drive away.

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Our trip to Jo’burg last weekend coincided with an invitation to review the newly refurbished African Pride establishment 12 kms from Pretoria

From the moment we arrived, the staff were welcoming and helpful. Doormen are there to open car doors for guests and a walk on a red carpet leads to the foyer and a complimentary drink, before checking-in.

Guests are escorted to their rooms by staff on golf carts, and the reception staff were more than ready to help when I needed to use their guest facilities for printing some documents.

My 12-year-old daughter rated their Meadow Green restaurant as the best dining experience of her life: she’s a vegetarian and the chef took her on a personal tour of the buffet and offered to make her a special dish if she wasn’t happy with the selection – but he didn’t need to: there was plenty to choose from!

From biltong salads and sushi to curries, tiger prawns, grilled salmon, tender lamb and the finest steaks, the buffet was a sublime gastronomic experience – and that’s not mentioning the vegetables and dessert display!

Pianist Kirsten Watkins entertained us on a white baby grand while we ate, and the view over the lake completed a magical evening.

Guests can also enjoy sundowners at the gazebo or Lakeside Lounge: watching the sun set over the lake lends a tranquil touch to the already magnificent surroundings.