Want to feel like a real celeb?

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

I actually felt like a movie star when I booked into the Westcliff Hotel in Johannesburg.

But who would not feel that way when it is well known that this hospitality establishment in Johannesburg's Saxonwold offers facilities of an international standard?

My partner and I slept in the suite that is frequently used by singer Mariah Carey when she visits Mzansi. Neither of us has ever slept better.

We probably slept so late because we were overwhelmed by the knowledge that the queen of song had slept there too.

The room is spacious. It boasts state-of-the-art facilities to make guests as comfortable as possible.

There are top-of-the-range television sets with several DStv channels, a fireplace in case it gets cold, a mini-bar with an assortment of drinks, an inviting shower and bathroom and a desk to work on if you are on a business holiday.

With luxury like that the stage was set for a romantic evening.

Room 108, in which we stayed, happens to have the best view of the surrounding areas, giving one a vantage point from which to enjoy the green suburbs of Houghton, Parkview, Rosebank, Parktown and Norwood.

You can also see Joburg CBD's skyline from the balcony of this majestic room.

The Westcliff is not built like a conventional hotel. Its grand architecture resembles a collection of cottages on a cliff. It is truly magnificent.

The hotel also boasts upmarket facilities for the busy business executive.

If you have to work - bad luck - the hotel has a business centre with every facility.

Guests have access to the Internet free of charge for the first hour.

For guests who would like to shed those extra kilos while enjoying themselves, there is a state-of-the-art gym on the premises.

The best part is that guests do not have to pay anything for this facility because it is included as part of the expenses for the night.

For people who enjoy a swim there is a cosy swimming pool.

And if you want to spoil yourself further, the hotel has a fabulous spa.

The service is superb. You do not have to walk at all if you don't want to because there is a 24-hour shuttle available to transport you from your room to the reception.

As long as you stay at the hotel you don't have to bother about driving your own car and this is a lovely bonus, given that the fuel price bites all of us.

The shuttle, for an extra fee, will even take you shopping at the nearby malls. It will also take you to Soweto if you want to see the sights in the biggest township in the country or want to interact with local communities. And most tourists want to visit Soweto.

Judging by the varied accents of the guests at the hotel, the Westcliff does attract many foreign tourists.

The experience we enjoyed at the glorious hotel persuaded my partner to start murmuring something about our having our honeymoon at the Westcliff. I can assure you I overheard her speaking to herself, but then who can blame her?

The Westcliff is also a favourite hotel for heads of state, particularly from the African continent, as well as celebrities and other big money-spenders from abroad.

In 2004 our own Charlize Theron made this place her home while she was visiting the country.

While my partner and I stayed at the hotel we were gripped by a security scare.

Just as we were preparing to go to the dining room, men in dark suits and dark glasses swarmed into the hotel.

For a few seconds we thought we were under a terrorist attack.

It turned out that the men in black were members of the VIP protection unit providing security for Ghanaian President John John Kufuor, who was in the country and was staying at the Westcliff.

Being among all those celebrities and important people made my partner and I feel like celebrities ourselves.

After all, we slept on the bed that Mariah Carey, and who knows who else, slept on.