It’s been just under 2 months since Lucid Ventures launched Home* Suite Hotels, with its first property located on the corner of Oxford and Bolton Road. Conveniently close to the Gautrain, yet in the serenity of the Rosebank suburbs, the hotel offers travellers all the modern convenience of a hotel with the comfort, space and individuality of a home.
“Imagine the sense of excitement when visiting a friend’s exquisite house and then the feeling of warmth when you are welcomed and made to feel completely at home. That’s what we’re trying to create with Home* Suite Hotels” say Lucid Ventures founder Gidon Novick. Lucid Ventures is a hospitality-focused investment fund founded by Gidon Novick, who founded kulula.com and the SLOW lounges as Co-CEO of Comair. His co-directors are Andrew Kuming, head of leading urban developer K&S and Graham Wood, former head of Tsogo Sun.
Home* Suite Hotels are positioned to fill the gap between large hotels and high-end boutique hotels. “We’ve pulled together an exceptional team to build the most desirable hotel experience in South Africa,” says Novick. The hotel has been designed by Tonic, with a bold use of lighting and colour, furniture and fittings, creating something quite unique and design-forward. “South Africa lags cosmopolitan cities like Berlin and Paris in hotel design and so we decided to push the boundaries” says Phillipe Van Der Merwe, founder of Tonic Design.
As someone who has travelled widely and often, Gidon Novick and his team spent a long time deciding what was and wasn’t needed in a hotel – and one of the most important room elements, especially seeing as guests are staying overnight, is the bed. After a long search, they selected Hypnos Beds – the brand of beds that are favoured by the Queen of England – and while the beds are costly, it was seen as a non-negotiable. Black out curtains in the rooms ensure a deep sleep, but should guests get up during the night, there’s a help-yourself larder in the dining area for the midnight munchies.
Speaking of the kitchen, the menu, which was created in consultation with Table Seven’s Luke Wonnacott, offers classic comfort food executed perfectly – the perfect toasted cheese and tomato sandwich or chicken pie. Locally roasted ‘Best in Jozi’ Father Coffee is available in each room, with a petite plunger, and sundowners are served on the roof pool deck, which overlooks Rosebank.
The check-in and -out process is seamless – guests can have as much or as little interaction with the reception team as they want by using an app to get into their room. The app produces a ‘key’ which is scanned before automatically opening the door – and it also provides the guest with a wifi code.
However, should guests need any in-person assistance, service is an important facet of the Home* brand: “Each and every member of the team regardless of their functional role is responsible for creating an outstanding guest experience. We only hire people that get pleasure from helping others,” says Novick.
Since its launch, Home* has steadily been making inroads into the market, and recently played host to Bidtravel’s CEO Lidia Folli, who treated her team, close friends as well as a few hotel guests to an evening of fun and food when she took over the kitchen from Chef Bayethe. The café-styled eatery at the hotel provided a superlative space to host dinner for 28. Says Lidia, “I felt right at home* in the kitchen from the get-go – the super friendly and helpful kitchen staff, the open, homely space, a full pantry and gadgets for every process made my cooking experience all the more satisfying which spilled over into all my dishes, made with generous helpings of love and laughter.”