My favourite hotel in Joburg used to be The Grace in Rosebank. There were better hotels, of course, with all sorts of bells and whistles. But The Grace had a certain old-world charm, a certain air, like a graceful and charming and happy old face. The service was excellent and the staff top notch and enthusiastic. It was the kind of place where you rushed to tip.

Then it was taken over by a large group and was renamed 54 on Bath. It wasn’t as great, it lost a splash of its personality, and the décor was not always quite so, but the restaurant was still fabulous and the sheets still the richest and most comfortable in Joburg. The service was still tip-top and the hotel retained some of the quiet elegance of yore. The staff called you "Sir" at the door, even when you looked like a beggar. The gin and tonic was proper...

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