Hotel Review: No5 by Mantis, Port Elizabeth
This luxe hotel has SA artworks, a private cinema, and the beach just a stroll away, writes Bridget Hilton-Barber
Go play in Mandela Bay - this delectable boutique hotel is a block or two from the beach in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, and a short hop into the city with its friendly bars and bistros, hip hot spots and restaurants.
Luxury Art Deco. From the furniture and wallpaper to the objets and glassware, this hotel feels like a private sanctuary from another era. Art deco was a popular design movement from the '20s to '30s, between the two world wars, and flourished especially in Paris in the '20s and the US in the '30s.
You'll see the style beautifully interpreted in the Piano Lounge, The Jazz Restaurant, the Champagne Lounge and the rooms and luxury villa across the road.The rooms are spacious, with private balconies, fast wifi, mini bar, air con, flat-screen TV, decadent bathrooms, the works. There are six rooms in the main hotel and three in the villa.
THE WOW FACTOR
In the rooms, dining room, lounges and restaurant, a brilliant collection of South African art adorns the walls. William Kentridge greets you in reception, the restaurant features Robert Hodgins and Sam Nhlengethwa.
The passage is lined with oils by Henk Serfontein, there are works by Hanneke Benade, Hardy Botha, and photographic works by Obie Oberholzer and Sandy Coffey. Take time to explore.THE SERVICE
This is why they call PE "the friendly city".
Breakfast and dinner are served in The Jazz Room with South African cuisine with international influences, fresh ingredients, and rare local and imported wines. Go for fresh fish. You can also eat outside alongside the Zen pool with its soothing fountains.
BEST TIME TO GO
PE is fabulous all year. If it's perfection you're after, go in February when the winds are still and the summer crowds are gone.
4 REASONS TO STAY IN
The hotel's little Mountbatten Theatre is modelled on Prince Charles' cinema in Clarence House, London.
It seats 16 and you can relax with a series of DVDs and watch in style with a bag of designer popcorn.
The Cigar Lounge features a selection of single-malt whiskies and cigars.
The Healing Earth Retreat, No 5's delicious spa, combines a variety of global massage techniques with the fruits of the African soil.
The Champagne Lounge, which flows onto the outdoor terrace and pool.
4 REASONS TO GO OUT
The Blue Flag beaches of the Indian Ocean.
The sunsets at Cubana, a Latino clubby-style bar on the main beach road, with glorious sea views and fine cocktails.
The chance to head out on the Donkin Heritage Trail which takes in the Old Hill neighbourhood's Victorian landmarks and parts of historic PE.
The nightlife in Central, which features bistros, bars, restaurants and art galleries.RATES
From R2,300 - R3,300 per room per night (sharing), including breakfast.
• Hilton-Barber was a guest of No5 By Mantis.