Guesthouse is situated in Newington Street, Richmond Hill on a quiet tree-lined lane, filled with historic and gracefully restored buildings.
The peace of the picturesque neighbourhood belies its location in central Port Elizabeth where the heartbeat of the city pulses nearby and the main N2 highway that charters motorists in and out the Bay is but a few streets down. The saying goes that in Port Elizabeth nothing is more than 15 minutes away and with Richmond Hill this most definitely rings true.
The position of the suburb puts it not far from the airport, beachfront, hospitals and top Port Elizabeth schools as well as within walking distance of a large variety of restaurants and trendy retail outlets, making Newington Place the ideal site for a weekend getaway, as a base for exploring the greater Port Elizabeth area, or for business travelers who need to swiftly get around the city.
The recently renovated Victorian guesthouse sweeps across a double plot, surrounded by gorgeous gardens filled with trees and fragrant and colourful plants providing a serene haven close to Port Elizabeth`s centre. Inside old world charm meets understated elegance and peace as antique wooden floors and large, airy sash windows are interspersed with modern touches such as crisp linen and sizable walk-in showers, ensuring the ultimate in comfort.
Antique furniture, crystal and silver contrast beautifully against a palette of blues and creams, completing the eclectic atmosphere while technology such as flat screen televisions, hair driers and the availability of WiFi see to the needs of contemporary lifestyle.
Accommodation options are varied with the main house offering five spacious bedrooms, while a self-catering family cottage and another self-contained room present privacy in the garden. All the rooms have gorgeous garden views and most of the bedrooms are equipped with flat screen televisions. Rooms are serviced daily with fresh linen and towels provided.
The main house includes a kitchen, lounge and dining area, ideal for mingling over a pre-dinner drink or sinking into a plush couch to unwind and reflect.
Outside there is a large communal swimming pool, built in braai and el fresco bar for visitors to enjoy as well as a newly built deck overlooking the garden. Secure off-street parking is provided and guests have the option of requesting breakfast or taking a short walk to explore the numerous culinary options in the surrounding neighbourhood.
The Richmond Hill area is a highly popular social hub that has recently taken Cafe culture to new heights and also holds much of the city`s historically significant landmarks, making for a quirky and individualistic neighbourhood that overflows with culture, art and joie de vivre. Even the restaurants and retail outlets in the suburb retain a unique style and charm that is hard to ignore and not far distant from what one would experience in an Italian piazza or a French sidewalk cafe. Newington Place staff are on hand to respond to any queries as well as provide assistance with restaurant bookings and organised tours.
Accommodation at Newington Place:
As pretty as a rosebud in bloom, this room is warm and inviting with a serene atmosphere and highlights a king size, four poster bed where one can wake up in the morning to the sights and sounds of nature in the garden. The large bathroom holds a bath, walk-in shower with rainfall shower head and is the only bathroom in the house that offers a bidet. A large bathroom window allows for plenty of natural light and warmth and an ornately carved antique cupboard provides a full length mirror. The room comes equipped with a mounted flat screen television.
Arum Lily Room
True to its name this room reflects soft light and pastel shades of greens and creams that are gently balanced against stately elegance and antique pieces the colour of rich earth. The room features a bathroom stretching its entire length, holding a free standing Victorian bath and large walk-in shower with rainfall shower head. Plush day chairs are positioned well to take advantage of the sun that streams in through the window, with views of the garden and quiet street beyond. An antique tea trolley doubles as a dressing table and the intriguing chest at the foot of the bed whispers tales of times gone by. The room is equipped with a flat screen television.
Protea Room is ideal for those who do not travel light as it features an enormous antique cupboard that could claim to have space for most of Imelda Marcos` shoe collection. The king size bed is large and inviting and sunlight pours in through the windows adjacent to the reading alcove. A beautifully restored dresser and day bed complete the old world feel. Modern touches include a mounted flat screen television and an enormous glass paneled walk-in shower with rainfall shower head. Hunky Dory a self-catering garden facing cottage can sleep five, has its own private patio and use of a Weber kettle braai. There are two separate en suite bedrooms and an open plan lounge, fully equipped kitchen and dining area as well as flat screen televisions. Old blends with new as antique cupboards rub shoulders with modern couches and newly renovated bathrooms. The cottage can be booked as a complete unit, providing ample space for a family of five. Room one has a bath and shower, while room two has a shower only and can accommodate an additional person or child on a single bed.
Newington Place Activities:
Richmond Hill is one of the oldest and most historical suburbs in Port Elizabeth, combining a blend of pretty Victorian and Old Edwardian architecture where to a degree, time has stood still and unique hints of yesteryear mingle with contemporary living. Newington Street itself forms part of a Heritage Walk and an amble down its tree lined streets will reveal many old and beautiful buildings. For those more energetic, the full Richmond Hill Trail begins at the Westbourne Oval that was once a dam but now acts as an athletics ground, before meandering past many architectural wonders such as the stunning St Cuthbert's Anglican Church and 22 Landsdown Place, a beautifully restored building originally constructed in 1899 as a meeting place for Freemasons.
Richmond Hill forms part of central Port Elizabeth and is awash with British colonial history and monuments such as the Horse Memorial, the only horse memorial in South Africa; Fort Frederick, built in 1799 by early British settlers to protect the Port Elizabeth Bay; and the Donkin Reserve, part of the Donkin Heritage Trail that weaves a tale of love and loss as it tells the story of Rufane Donkin who named the city in honour of his beloved wife. Elizabeth Donkin died giving birth to their only son and the monument at the Donkin Reserve was erected in her honour before Rufane took his own life 20 years later on the anniversary of her death. The trail takes you through 47 places of historical interest and marvellous examples of mid-19th century buildings including the City Hall and Main Library.
Other popular historic and cultural attractions in the city include the Red Location Museum, tracing the rise and fall of apartheid in South Africa; The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, showcasing a wonderful collection of international and South African art; the Prince Alfred Guard Memorial, a National Monument featuring a Victorian Drill Hall, climbing the 204 steps of the Campanile Memorial that looks out over the harbour; No 7 Castle Hill, one of the oldest surviving Settler Cottages in the city; and Route 67, a collection of 67 art pieces celebrating the public life of Nelson Mandela.
Greater Port Elizabeth City
Port Elizabeth is one of the largest cities in South Africa and often chosen as a holiday destination due to the wide variety of attractions and activities it has to offer ranging from cultural and historical points of interest to Blue Flag Status beaches, stunning floral reserves, award winning wildlife destinations and a fabulous selection of retail therapy.
The beachfront promenade is a hive of activity where innumerable outdoor activities can be enjoyed and popular attractions, besides the beaches, include the Port Elizabeth Museum for a walk through time, Bayworld, to meet the seals and other marine life and the Boardwalk Entertainment and Casino Complex presenting much fun filled family adventure. The huge dome shaped Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is sure to catch your eye and within the city suburbs there are numerous large retail outlets, the biggest and newest of these being the sprawling Bay West Mall that offers shops restaurants, cinemas and an ice rink and entertainment complex.
On the outskirts of the city one will find unexpected gems such as the Kragga Kamma Game Park, a great, compact safari park where you are guaranteed of seeing plentiful wildlife including white rhino, giraffe, cheetah and plenty of plains game as well as the Cape Recife Nature Reserve situated on a scenic stretch of beach and considered one of the best places in the Port Elizabeth for bird watching. The reserve is also home to SAMREC, a penguin rehabilitation centre that will warm your heart and delight the kids. The Maitland Nature Reserve is a source of rich natural beauty, boasting a spectacular indigenous coastal forest and beautiful giant sand dunes, while the St Croix Island Marine Reserve can be reached by boat charter and is home to the largest colony of African penguins in the world. This area is also a popular scuba diving site, best enjoyed in winter when visibility is at its peak.
If your interest has not yet been piqued then you should also know that Port Elizabeth is host to numerous golf courses and health spas and is home to Ironman South Africa. Walking and hiking trails abound, the most popular being the Sacramento Trail, an eight kilometre coastal walk through the Schoenmakerskop-Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve; the Cormorant Trail, also beginning in Schoenmakerskop and the Roseate Tern Hiking Trail, taking you across the unspoilt dunes of Cape Recife.
Wildlife Reserves and Game Parks Suggestions
Approximately 1 hour from Port Elizabeth lies the acclaimed Addo Elephant National Park that is well worth a day trip and will afford you with awesome elephant sightings. This huge park not only offers the Big Five but also the Big Seven and a boat charter into the seas will get you in close proximity to great white shark and the southern right whale.
While in the area you ca not go wrong with a stop at Cosmos Cuisine, only a short drive from Addo. This award winning restaurant serves up breakfast, light lunches and dinner, taking advantage of the amazing citrus produced in the Sunday's River Valley where the restaurant is found and paring it with local delicacies such as kudu, eland and gemsbok.
Slightly further afield is Shamwari, a highly popular Big Five Private Game Reserve, offering self-drive and guided safaris as well as Pumba Private Game Reserve, noted for its rare white lion breeding programme.
It takes a bit of time to get to the Mountain Zebra National Park but for nature lovers the trip will be well worth it as this park protects endangered Cape mountain zebra as well as threatened vegetation biomes and affords a serene and peaceful experience amidst untouched and pristine mountainous landscape.
Ornithologists would not want to miss the almost 400 bird species that grace Sibuya Game Reserve, located on the banks of the Kariega River. The reserve also supports one of the highest wildlife.
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