In 2019 alone we spent 312 nights in hotels and while we might own and manage one of South Africa’s most unique and bespoke travel brands it must be said that my career started in hospitality at one of the country’s first five-star boutique hotels, being trained by one of South Africa’s most critical hoteliers – hospitality is in my DNA and is an innate part of who I am.
For almost ten years David and I have lived a nomadic lifestyle, travelling the world spending anything from 28 days to 6 months in a city or country, and in this time we have stayed in everything from the world’s most luxurious hotels to hostels, guesthouses and serviced apartments – from the sublime to the ridiculous and everything in-between.
After almost a decade of exploring travel and hospitality products around the world, we know that we can be uber critical, finding fault or failings in the smallest things, but we also believe that through our travel experiences we have an intrinsic understanding of the ‘art of hospitality’ and what our customers are looking for.
It’s also important to understand that we now live in a world, thanks in part to technology, that is connected like never before – easy flight connections and instant access to information has meant that ‘luxury’ is no longer just first class travel, enormous suites, 1000 thread or imported Egyptian cotton linen and butlers on hand to take care of a guests every whim. Luxury is subjective and for many, the ability to turn off – from work or the world – and to spend quality time with loved ones, reconnecting with oneself or discovering community while sleeping in a bamboo hut in the middle of the jungle is luxury. Time and exceptional experiences have become the ultimate luxury.
It’s no secret that David and I have had a long enduring love affair with Southeast Asia – this is where our nomadic journey began and despite all concerted efforts to remain in the west in later years, we have always found ourselves inexplicably drawn back to the region. I often think it is in part because of the people – their generosity of spirit and dogged determination to keep looking forward. Our time in Southeast Asia has meant that we have had the opportunity to explore product that could be said is at the forefront of hospitality. We’ve been fortunate enough to stay and experience hotels like Capella and Mandapa in Ubud, the Siam and the Peninsula in Bangkok, the Sofitel Legend Metropole in Hanoi and Jaya House and Shinta Mani in Siem Reap, to name a small few. But more importantly it has also meant that we have been able to explore and discover some of the world’s best kept secrets and for us Treeline Urban Resort was one of these incredible discoveries.
Understated, quiet and reflective, Treeline has mastered the ‘art of hospitality’ and is the epitome of understated luxury. Through its ethos and values – faithful to nature and awareness of its place in the world – Treeline is a true urban sanctuary.
The interiors encourage introspection and relaxation – there is nothing cluttered or frou frou about the design. Clean lines, unobtrusive colours, gorgeous art and the affirmation of the importance of nature through the hotels green spaces ensure that every guest feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the world situated on the hotel’s doorstep.
No single use plastics, refillable coffee pods in room, locally sourced in-room snacks, gowns, slippers and amenities, a Bose sound link speaker and the use of a yoga mat for early morning sunrise salutations are just some of the thoughtful touches that heighten an already fantastic experience.
The hotel’s values and ethos are also reflected in everyone we encountered at Treeline, with every person (from housekeeping and maintenance to the servers, front of house and management) ready to offer a smile, anecdote or laugh and always curious as to how we were and if there was anything they could do to make our experience better.
Was there anything that the hotel and the Treeline team could have done differently, or in addition, to make our experience better – not at all. From savouring the incredible flavours offered to us on gorgeous crockery from Hok and Seed, to working from or chilling in the spacious and incredibly comfortable suite or lying by the pool, drinking wine and reading, our experience was perfect in every way possible.
While we understand the challenges faced in these unprecedented times, the unfettered enthusiasm, professionalism and joy we experienced from the Treeline team was a welcome respite from the ‘pandemic’ world outside and allowed us an opportunity to reconnect with ourselves and each other and has renewed our faith and passion for this industry.
Treeline can be found at https://www.treelinehotels.com
and on social media
Disclaimer: Through Marmalade Toast bespoke travel, our travel management company, we were invited guests to Treeline Urban Resort, but David and I felt that the only way we could truly understand the Treeline experience was to spend an additional (paid) night at the hotel. While we might have been guests of the hotel, the views above are a true and personal reflection of our time and experience at the property.