I recently stayed at The Peech hotel in Melrose as part of the Fair Trade Tourism 10-year anniversary blog campaign. It’s a little oasis in the middle of Joburg’s hectic northern suburbs, and they call themselves Eco-Chic which is such an apt description. In fact, there are so many reasons you should try this hotel out, that I decided to make a list.
- Award-winning boutique hotel
The Peech recently won the “Best City Boutique Hotel” at the World Boutique Hotel Award with the motivation “A stylish, oasis of calm amongst the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg”.
- Super stylish
The hotel is a study in cool interiors, art and stylish details. Bare concrete floors are combined with African details and comfortable armchairs. Much of the art displayed is also for sale, like the cool images shot by former street-kids in the amazing initiative called “I was shot in Joburg“.
3. Social Commitment
The Peech take their commitment to uplifting surrounding communities very seriously. In order for their initiatives to have a real impact, they have selected one worthy NGO to support; Little Eden, an NGO that cares for persons with intellectual disabilities. The hotel donates old linen and crockery, encourage their guests to give a R 5 contribution (that is matched Rand for Rand by The Peech – last year a total of R 50,000 was raised), and host Little Eden’s “employee of the month” each month. They also receive and deliver items donated by guests through Pack for a Purpose.
4. Environmental pioneers
I actually need a whole blog just to describe all the environmental initiatives that The Peech have implemented. But let me tell you about their zero-waste initiative: through recycling, reusing, composting and encouraging their suppliers to deliver products in reusable trays (that The Peech have supplied at own cost), they have reduced their weekly garbage from 10 to 2 bins! And they’re not done yet; the goal is just one bin a week.
5. Local food & drinks
In the bistro, you can feast on things like homemade burgers, homebaked bread, locally produced yoghurt and greens from their own veggie garden. Wash it down with a local craft beer, or wine from one of the many small vineyards that the owner personally seeks out.
6. Beautiful Gardens
The garden is peaceful, with lots of flowers and a big, old oak tree in the middle. Before James Peech bought the property, it had been a family home for over 40 years. It is not hard to imagine stylish garden parties, with women in their finest frocks, icy g&t’s and laughing children.
- Cool conferencing
Want to host an eco-chic meeting? Look no further than the Green Room. This building, located in the beautiful gardens, is designed with the very latest in green architecture in mind. It needs no light, heating or air conditioning!
8. Bathroom amenities
I am a self-confessed bathroom snob, and really think that any self-respecting South African hotel should provide locally produced lotions and potions. The Peech uses Just So, a paraben, mineral oil and silicone free collection that is working towards carbon neutrality. Oh, and the stuff smells divine!
- In-room signs
Is there anything more off-putting than a small laminated towel sign (you know the one I mean, about re-using them) in an otherwise stylish bathroom? Or a stop-sign style reminder about turning the lights off? The Peech have got this totally right, with their custom made laser-cut signs!
- Fair Trade Tourism
Last, but definitely not least, The Peech is certified by Fair Trade Tourism. This means that they adhere to a set of stringent criteria that include; fair wages and working conditions, fair purchasing and operations, equitable distribution of benefits and respect for human rights, culture and the environment. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’ve read all of the above!