John Lennon and Yoko Ono is one of the most talked about and photographed love stories in rock history. The 26-year-old Beatle met the 33-year-old Japanese artist one fateful evening when he attended her art exhibition in London in 1966 and their enduring love lasted up until his murder in the 1980’s. They were well-known for their “bed-in for peace” on their honeymoon and everyone remembers that famous photograph of a naked and vulnerable-looking John Lennon curled up next to Yoko (on what would be the last day of his life) featured on the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine. So it is not surprising that the Grand Daddy Hotel has a “Ballad to John &Yoko” themed trailer in their Airstream Rooftop Trailer Park.
Having spent many an evening at the Sky Bar on the rooftop of the Grand Daddy Hotel I had always wanted to know what the trailers were like, sitting there quietly, silver-gleaming in bullet-like fabulousness. I never got to peek inside one (no matter how hard I tried) so I was quite excited when I unlocked the door to my very own one for the night. It seemed smaller inside than I imagined, but cosy. The usual hotel crisp white linen with sweeties on the pillow. Then I saw it, the signature piece. A beautifully decorated acoustic guitar, begging to be played. Once I spotted that, I started noticing all the small touches – the LP’s stacked neatly above the record player and a dustbin decoupaged with John and Yoko images. Subtle, whilst giving an air of simplicity and peace. Just how John and Yoko would’ve liked it.
Going into the en-suite bathroom I found a further tribute to the famous couple. Black and white framed images covered the walls and on the mirror was the famous John Lennon self-portrait etching. After a few minutes of feeling nostalgic about The Beatles, a bygone era and the romance of epic love affairs, I found some delicious-smelling potions which absorbed my attention. I liked the note advising that I could buy a bigger bottle of the product from reception if I really liked it. I made a mental note to try out all the products on the shelf (as one does in a hotel) and decide after that!
I had arranged to meet friends for drinks down the road, but would’ve been equally as happy to have had a few drinks at the Sky Bar and then spend the rest of the night staging my very own “bed-in”, cocooned in my silver capsule, having a hot shower and smelling delicious, drinking tea and watching the telly from under the comfort of my snug duvet. Perhaps I would have if I had someone to play “Imagine” on that beautiful guitar for me.
Perfectly placed in vibrant and trendy Long Street, the Grand Daddy Hotel is a plush and luxurious place to stay, with a touch of hipness that also makes it a cool place to go for drinks or dinner. The seven airstream trailers, for which they are famous, can be found on the rooftop trailer park. The rooftop is also home to the Sky Bar and there are often events or gigs, as well as classic movies being screened. If staying in a trailer doesn’t appeal, there are stylish suites and superior rooms in the hotel.
What to expect
Each airstream trailer has a theme, so each one is very individual. The one I stayed in (The Ballad of John & Yoko) has an extra large bed (perfect for a bed-in) and a sense of calm and peace. The others range from the polka-dotted Dorothy trailer, to the 1950’s-style Pleasantville and the boudoir-esque Love and Lace trailer. All seven trailers come with tea and coffee-making facilities, a television with multiple channels and their own bathrooms.
What I loved
In this case, it had to be the guitar (in fact I think they should have mini replicas for people to buy as keepsakes!). But overall I think the whole concept of staying in a trailer on the rooftop of a hotel definitely ranks as one of my all-time-things-to-do. It’s novel, it’s different, it’s creative and it’s fun!
Need to know
I stayed at the Grand Daddy Hotel on a Monday night so the bar area was very quiet. I do know (from experience) that the Sky Bar can get quite busy on a weekend, so this may not always be the case. If you are looking for peace and quiet, I would advise you stay there during the week. If, however, you are looking a party where you can crawl into your bed that is only a few metres away, then book yourself into the Ballad of John & Yoko – it is the trailer closest to the bar and you can literally reach your drink on the bar from your door. Very rockstar indeed!
Where to eat
Breakfast is included in the room rate and I enjoyed a full breakfast the next morning. Breakfast includes a choice of cereals, yoghurt, a continental-style buffet and a full English breakfast. L’Apero restaurant in the hotel also serves lunches and dinners and there are often specials. If the sun is shining, go to the roof and enjoy your lunch there. In addition there are two bars, The stylish Daddy Cool Bar and of course the Sky Bar. Long Street itself is the heart of the city and most eating and drinking establishments are within walking distance.
How much it costs
From R1 330 per person per night (based on two people sharing) a Superior Room or Airstream Trailer. R1 880 per person per night for an Airstream Suite. Breakfast is included.
For R1 795 per person sharing, spend 2 nights in a luxurious Superior Room or funky Airstream Trailer. This includes transfers to and from the airport, a 3-course set menu dinner in L’Apero on either the Friday or Saturday night, breakfast each morning, a delicious in-room surprise from Honest Chocolate and access to all the entertainment the Grand Daddy Hotel offers each weekend. If you really don’t want to leave, extend your weekend and add Sunday night for just R500 per person. Valid until 31 August 2012.
For the ultimate “drive in” experience, watch a classic movie on the big screen and then climb into your vintage airstream Trailer for a good nights rest and a hearty breakfast in the morning. Included is a delicious picnic for two to enjoy before or during the movie (I have seen them, they look delicious) and free popcorn during the movie. R600 per person, subject to availability. Monday nights only (subject to change) and you can choose to stay in an Airstream Trailer or a luxurious Superior Room.
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