The start of ARH...
Created by owners Otti & Zelda Meijer, the property was thoughtfully designed to create a space that is both roomy and practical. The natural colour palette blends harmoniously with the carefully selected artwork, most of which was created by Zelda herself. This personal touch is echoed in the hotel’s one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, many of which were designed by Otti and custom-made to his specifications.
Otti is originally from the Netherlands and has been residing in SA for over 30 years. Zelda is a born and bred South African from Johannesburg.
They owned an Eco Safari company, Africa Unlimited Safaris, for 10 years and sold it in 2006, but missed the tourism industry and hence the birth of ARH. With their love for the bush and animals they created a Hotel with high standards but in a relaxing atmosphere for people from all over the world to enjoy with them and their team of dedicated staff. Nestled in a tranquil suburb, African Rock Hotel is an exclusive five-star boutique property - the first and only one of its kind in Kempton Park and just a short drive away from OR Tambo International Airport. Offering guests’ unparalleled service in an unforgettable setting, the African Rock Hotel has a distinctly earthy feel, with a serene atmosphere and calming ambiance.
ARH was the original home of the couple as well as the offices of Africa Unlimited Safaris. Due to the size and proximity of the property, being so close to Johannesburg International Airport, it lent itself to the perfect position for the Hotel.
The contemporary architecture of the African Rock Hotel is the result of a collaborative effort between two different architect firms, both of which were commissioned by the owners to create the exclusive yet comfortable space Otti & Zelda had dreamed of.
Ensuring the economic benefits of the hotel are widespread, the actual construction was supervised by the owners and carried out utilising the skill and handiwork of local South African labourers and craftsmen. Now that the hotel is operational, this dedication to the local community continues with all resources being drawn from Kempton Park and its immediate surroundings. The hotel’s commitment to sustainability extends to being mindful of environmental issues – African Rock Hotel is proudly ‘green’ and endeavours to recycle whenever possible.
The property has created facilities to cater to the needs of its primary markets – both leisure and corporate inbound. This includes specially-designed wellness treatments to revitalise even the weariest of travellers, along with fine dining created by a top chef, in its on-site petit restaurant, the “Blue Hippo”.
ARH opened its doors on the 20th of November 2009.
Otti & Zelda are both hands on people and enjoy running the hotel that way.
On request, Otti also does destination management for a few small self-drive group tours, which keeps him in contact with the Safari Travel Trade, locally and abroad.
When the request came to design, plan & lead a few exclusive “guided 4x4 self-drive adventure safaris” into some extremely remote and untouched natural habitats in southern Africa, Otti did not blink but jumped at the opportunity. Getting back to his first passion; the African bush, leading adventures.
Africa Unlimited Holidays (Pty) Ltd. Is the adventure safari brand and it is a division of African Rock Hotels CC. For more information on what could possibly be your next African safari adventure, please visit: www.africaunlimitedholidays.com