If you are looking for a personal luxurious experience at one of Port Elizabeth’s top hotels, look no further than Isango Gate Boutique Hotel on Summerstrand’s strip. A 5-star gem tucked off the main road filled with elegance and charm, good service, and mouth-watering food.
We are voyagers. We love to travel as much as we can, whenever we can. Working full-time often means less travel time available (without taking leave). So, we don’t always look far for places to go.
Do you know the term staycation? A staycation is ‘staying at home’ on ‘vacation’. Typically, it refers to vacations in your home country, but you can take it further to vacationing in your province or even city.
Why should you have more staycations? By travelling within South Africa, you remove the need for visas (if you’re on the green mamba – a nickname for South Africa’s passport) and the dreaded currency exchange for us Saffas. By staying in your province or city you eliminate the cost of plane tickets and planning many leave days. You can put more money into staying at great accommodations because travel costs are low.
Isango Gate Boutique Hotel
From the outside, the simple clean-cut architecture of the hotel coupled with its well-kept garden entrance had a quiet elegance to it. We parked in the secure hotel parking, unloaded our bags, and headed inside. Honestly, we felt nervouscited to stay in one of the best hotels in the Bay.
You can expect a wonderfully warm welcome at Isango. Once we had checked in, we were offered a tour of the hotel and facilities because it was our first time there. We accepted the tour and explored with our host, while another employee carried our luggage to our room. (The porter service is offered on arrival and departure). Throughout our stay, the staff were welcoming and accommodating to us and every guest that entered.
Rooms at Isango Gate
The hotel has 10 light and spacious rooms that are beautifully decorated, with clean tiled ensuite bathrooms. The homely yet sumptuous rooms have large inviting beds with a turndown service offered to us on the first night. There is additional seating in armchairs or a couch around the TV. There is a bar fridge with various drink options and a tea and coffee service. Each room has a small balcony that either overlooks the gardens or decked pool area.
If you are staying at the hotel for a special reason, like celebrating an anniversary or planning to propose, let Isango Gate know when booking. The team goes out of their way to make the room beautifully romantic. This room was done for guests spending their anniversary night at the hotel.
There is newly built student accommodation across the road that does detract from the view but is it really any different to being surrounded by buildings in Europe or the US? We read reviews that the students are noisy, but we stayed over on a Friday night and the area was quiet.
Presidential Suite at Isango Gate Boutique Hotel
The presidential suite is probably the size of a small apartment. It was raining when we arrived so walking into the temperature-controlled warmed suite was delightful. It offers a sizable opulent bedroom, ensuring a memorable stay. The first-rate clean ensuite bathroom has a double vanity, rain shower and large bathtub. After dinner, the TV is perfectly placed on the wall for watching the selected DSTv channels while snuggling in bed. There are two gowns hanging in the closet waiting to be worn. The large lounge opens onto a balcony that overlooks the infinity pool below. From the balcony, you can see the ocean and hear the waves while enjoying a tea and coffee or a minibar drink.
Facilities at Isango Gate
Isango may be small but there is a lot on offer. The entrance lounge brought style and comfort where the chairs call for company and the ottoman offers an array of reading options. There is a second seating area on the floor above, where all the rooms are. There is a desk area to work out at and armchairs to lounge in.
Mvumelwano Conference Centre accommodates 80 people and offers you everything and more to have a successful and outstanding conference. There is also a beautiful 8-seater boardroom available to hire. See Isango Gate’s conference packages here.
There is a gym to keep fit while travelling and a swimming pool to lounge at or cool down in. The beach is a hop skip and a jump away.
Ndlovu Sinazo Bar
If you are a guest at the hotel, head down to Ndlovu Sinazo Bar for a pre-dinner drink. Or, if you prefer, you can end off your meal with a cigar alongside the infinity pool. If you aren’t a guest, worry not! The bar offers light meals, cocktails and wine by the glass seven days a week for lunch and evening snacks to the public.
Penda Pendu Restaurant
Up a few steps from the entrance lounge is the bright Penda Pendu Restaurant with high back chairs and perfectly laid tables. The menu changes with seasons ensuring fresh food options throughout the year. A new menu is launching soon so follow Isango Gate on social media to find out dates.
Breakfast is included in your stay and is the perfect way to start the day. The breakfast buffet offers a selection of cereals, fruits, hams, cheeses, and baked goods. You order your hot breakfast off the menu. Tea and coffee are ordered from your server, but water and fruit juices are self-service. We thoroughly enjoyed the Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine hot breakfasts. The muffins and croissants were delicious too! While at breakfast, a fellow guest couldn’t remember which breakfast she ordered the day before. The breakfast server easily reminded her, even asking if she would like said breakfast in her room as the guest had done before.
We highly recommend eating here for dinner! Whether you’re a hotel guest or a member of the public, a night eating at Penda Pendu Restaurant will satiate you and have you reminiscing on a great night. We went all-out and relished in a three-course meal. The food was absolutely incredible and generously portioned! And to be honest, we basically rolled up the stairs we ate so much. From the soup to the lamb shank (literally one of the best we’ve eaten in Port Elizabeth) to the malva pudding, we enjoyed it all! Chef Julia and her team serve the guests with Chef checking on every table personally. Her attention to each table showed her passion for food and created a fantastic experience, more than just a meal out.
There is a lovely gas fireplace separating the larger room from a smaller secluded dining area perfect for celebrations. There was a 21st dinner party in this area on the night we were there. The table setting and decorations were elegant and fun, and the birthday girl had a great time.
Isango Gate Spa
Greeted with a warm smile at the hotel front desk, we said we were there for our booked Spa treatment. Being slightly early, we took seats in the entrance lounge where we were offered tea or coffee.
Isango Gate Spa gives you a personal pampered experience. You feel completely relaxed from the moment you enter. There is a steam room (rasul), a massage room, and an outside jacuzzi. The Spa offers a range of treatments from massages to facials and skincare to tints and hair removal. With the Spa basically to yourself, you feel like royalty. Our pot of tea and coffee was brought to the Spa for us to have before our treatment.
We love couples’ experiences at Spas and for this visit we chose the Couples Bliss package. We were shown to the change rooms where two plush gowns and fresh slippers were hanging waiting for us. Once in the robes, we headed to the rasul where we disrobed and destressed. Then we lay down for our neck, back and shoulder massage in a beautifully smelling warmed room. The massage was deeply relaxing with the calming instrumental music making the experience even more serene. Our last part of the package was enjoying a glass of champagne (a non-alcoholic option was offered) in the jacuzzi. It was a chilly winters day, but the warm water was perfect.
If you are looking for a luxurious hotel where you can switch off, get pampered and enjoy marvellous service while devouring flavoursome mouth-watering food, then Isango Gate is your place to be. The staff are obliging and take a personal interest in you and your experience at the hotel.
Isango Gate Boutique Hotel and Spa in Summerstrand is the perfect gateway to spoil your significant other or to simply indulge yourself. It makes a beautiful venue for celebrating achievements, important milestones, anniversaries and more. The restaurant and spa are open to the public allowing you to taste the heavenly food or enjoy a lovely spa treatment by their professional staff should you decide not to stay over.
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