Irish hospitality gracefully meets a traditional African style at Avondhu, in the beautiful suburb of Saxonwold. Avondhu a befitting name was opened by Dea and Paddy Slattery in October of 2003 (after refurbishing what was their family home), and named it after the Blackwater River which Paddy as a young boy grew up on. The carefully restored 4 star guest house offers 3 tastefully furnished studios and 1 cottage in the midst of a magnificently manicured garden.

All their bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms and can accommodate families or the business traveller equally well. Each unit is also self-contained with all the necessary amenities and a separate private entrance. When asking Dea what four star means to her? She says, “Everything, including proper functioning amenities, cleanliness along with pristine linen and high quality beds.” Although they are all fully equipped self-catering units, scrumptious breakfasts by Dea should not be missed. One recent guest commented, ‘Avondhu is cleverly designed and appointed to cater for all visitors. The bed is perfect with first-class quality bed linen. And breakfasts are truly delicious offering a great variety of food. Apart from this, it has to be the personal attention of Dea and Paddy that makes a stay here so very special and that creates a strong desire to come back again”. It certainly seems true in what they say… that the Irish are among the friendliest in the Western world (Perhaps it was not such a bad thing that in ancient Ireland, hospitality was mandated by law)!

This friendly environment coupled with a calming setting on the patio admiring the superb gardens is food for the soul. Dominated by trees, Dea encourages an active bird life with her feeders. A tall camellia tree of over thirty years old catches my eye with its beautiful blooms in shades of pink. And fluttering around this tender shrub are the many sights and sounds of different species of birds including weaver finches, loeries and the woodland hoepoe.

Accompanying the array of activity in the garden is a crystal clear swimming pool and tennis court for the guests’ amusement. As another guest Pam commented, “We have been lucky enough to stay in the Avondhu guesthouse twice and the second visit felt like we were going home. It was wonderful to have the facilities of the tennis court and especially the pool at our disposal. We enjoyed two hot afternoons in the pool.” However if you prefer you can remove the stress associated with travel and lounge on the inviting patio with a good book, or enjoy your meal time.

The location is very central to the leafy green Rosebank and ideal for shopping, restaurants and the Gautrain. Dea is also happy to book any guest on a tour to explore the friendly city of Johannesburg such as a Soweto day trip, shopping in Newtown, or the Red Bus. A final guest commented, “We too have stayed at Avondhu on several occasions. Paddy and Dea are always welcoming and helpful, but never intrusive”. It is this family feel combined with the rustic warmth of the guesthouse in the beautiful setting that keeps guests coming back time and time again.