About this listing
Your cocy Bedroom overlooks the beautiful garden and swimming pool. Wake up to the sound of birdsong and the smells of a mouth watering breakfast. Cafe's, restaurants, convenience stores and banking facilities within walking distance
Symi and Ava's (the one who types is the one listed first...) loving home can be your base camp to see South Africa, or if you have to brave the city for a business meeting. True South African hospitality will make you feel right at home – walk in the beautiful garden, play with the dogs, indulge the cats, cook in the kitchen , enjoy a refreshing dip in the swimming pool, put your feet up, and relax.
You will see us around during the day and night, as the house is also our creative space. Home to a working office where we run our businesses.
We are hardworking folk, we are unpretentious, fun loving and warm - what you see is what you get kind of folk. If you are the same, we will get along like a house on fire!
What we offer:
We offer guests accommodation in our home, this is the place where we live, love and work, and we are proud of our house and the way we live our lives.
Please note that if you do not like animals, want hotel style accommodation with private bathroom, en suite amenities etc, this is not for you.
Nestled in one of Johannesburg’s older suburbs, Linden, the area is safe and away from the hustle and bustle of city life. You will find Small, intimate restaurants that will leave your mouth watering without killing your budget, walking distance from the house, as well as a shopping center, auto banks, butcheries, cheese shop, chemist, post office, and bottle store.
We're close to Cresta Center, and Sandton City - which is accessible via Gautrain (yayyy!! ) from Oliver Tambo International Airport (where you'll be landing if you're coming into this country from anywhere interesting).
Other attractions include Mandela Square [ sporting not only the famous statue, but also a smorgasbord of fantastic restaurants, and theater ], The Cradle of Humankind and the wonder Caves [ for the more adventurous of traveler ], lions, rhinos and other game farms [ where you can play with some local wildlife and get your picture taken ] and more. .. We will provide you with route maps, information, suggestions and the number of the local taxi and touring companies.
Eating in - Our food is home made and lovingly prepared. We serve Breakfast, as well as Dinner upon request. You can ask our guests, the definitely NEVER go hungry!
Price per person:
Breakfast @ R100 include :Toast,butter & Homemade Jam; Coffee or Tea, Eggs and Bacon, Seasonal Fruit
Dinner options available @ R100.00
(you eat what we eat)
If you have special dietary requirements we will be able to cater for you as long as you give us all the information - SQ
Please book 1 day in advance, so that we have time to prepare your feast.
Connecting to the outside world:
There is Wireless internet through-out the house, is as fast as it gets in South Africa, and if you don’t download things you shouldn't, it’s free.
We will do your washing @ R60 per load - no Ironing. South Africa is hot, and your clothes will be dry in no time.
The Bedroom is standard South African size, and looks out over the huge garden, and sleeps up to two people - there is big cupboard for your clothes and necessities, plugs for your chargers [ Just remember your universal adapters ], as well as a Desk to work at. We Provide you with clean linen as well as towels.
You are welcome to prepare your own meals and snacks. You may put your groceries in the cupboard and the fridge. All we ask is that you clean up after yourself. Ava might ask you to show her how to cook something traditional.
What makes our place unique?
I think it's the fact that we are just ordinary people. We work, we play, we love and we laugh. The house is homely and warm, the garden is huge and tranquil, and the animals friendly, just like us.
We love meeting people from across the globe and making new friends, so come and stay with us for a while… you might never want to leave.
Nothing is off limits except for our office and bedroom.
We share meals and the rest of the house with our guests, who are encouraged to frolic in the pool, Relax in the garden, work out in the Dance studio etc.
Interaction with Guests
We live and work from home and are always around.
We love to spend time with our guests during the evening, and when work allows, we are always keen to chill out and banter during the daytime as well.
Our Neighborhood is old with lots of trees and really tranquil. There are lots of little shops and wonderful local restaurants to choose from, all within walking distance.
We do not offer Pick up/Drop offs - UBER Taxi is the safest and cheapest taxi service in JHB - no cash payments, deductions go off automatically from your credit card - use this code and get FREE travel vouchers: uberMarrokMorgana
How to get to us:
From ORT guests take the Gautrain to Rosebank Gautrain Station, where you can take a UBER taxi to the house.
Distance from Rosebank station to our home is 7.2km, which takes around 15 minutes in normal traffic
Other Things to Note
We cannot accommodate more than two people at a time.
No Smoking inside the house, if outside, not near open windows/rooms
Do not throw cigarette Butts in the garden, it makes the birds choke
No abuse of alcohol / drugs
Be kind to the animals, they are part of our family
Keep your space clean and tidy, including the bathroom and other areas of the house if you use it eg Kitchen
Enjoy your stay, relax, have fun
This will be your bedroom while you stay with us - the most beautiful view of the garden, while you do your correspondence. Ample cupboard space for your clothes and other items.
Ava and Symi were very welcoming and homely. Gave great advice for where to go for coffee and shops. Very helpful organising taxi when we were leaving and were very helpful via emails before we arrived. Room was warm and comfortable, with the added homely touch of hot water bottles. They were available to answer our questions and help us when we left/arrived etc. great couple!! Thanks girls x
we have always had a good experience with Air BnB until this visit. The two owners were very pleasant and sharing. The situation was renting a room in someone's house where we all shared one bathroom. There was dog poop all over the yard, the pool was dirty, and dishes overflowing in the kitchen. Although I mentioned we like real milk in our coffee one morning it was just powdered and she said "oh, I forgot to get it". The room was small, a hard futon and no amenities like waste paper basket, places to hang towels etc.The price was good and it was in a very nice neighborhood and there was wifi. Sorry to say we won't be back.
Wow - we're gobsmacked, really.
The past week-end's guests sell themselves as people with an inherent love for Africa, who endeavour to better the lot of many people by owning their own NPO in the US with the specific aim of providing educational materials to African Schools. In your presence, at least one of them is non-confrontational, seemingly kind, while the other one skulks off to the privacy of her room.
One of the two told that she knows how Americans are known by their reputation, as conceited, self-absorbed and rude --- and that it wasn't accurate... however, she did have it in for the (terribly uneducated) taxi driver who had to drive up and down the streets of Linden because she didn't give him the correct directions. We chuckled. Sometimes language is a barrier.
She kept telling drivers to take her to Central Park as she couldn't remember Park Station.
We chuckled. Sometimes language is a barrier.
For all their "investment" in Africa - every tale about their travels in Africa was punctuated by how old or backwards the train was, or how basic the amenities were.
They were taken aback by
the lack of a towel railing in the bedroom (it's a second bedroom, not a guest house - hang your towel in the bathroom on the rack provided like everyone else),
the softness of the bed, (but only after they left, not while they were here)
the size of the bedroom (nobody asked you to remain in the room the whole time - and by the way, a government sanctioned house in this country is the size of the bedroom you had - without the view...),
the sharing of the bathroom in the house (even though someone cleaned their toilet once a day, and washed the sticky bath after them - next time, kindly read the description to see if you have an en suite bathroom... here in Africa, if you rent a bedroom in a house and it doesn't say en suite, it probably isn't),
and the fact that when they arrived, Johannesburg had been in constant rain for the past 2 weeks leaving the pool blue, with some algae growing on the top step of the pool. so to not be pedantic about it... how it works is that lightning and rain upset the chemical balance of a pool, no matter how well-maintained it is. the pool is used daily when weather allows - and we maintain it ourselves with a lot of love and attention. for folks in the know - there are trees right next to the pool, so if the pool was dirty, you would have compost growing and gunk all over - that's not what was happening here... it's always blue except on the day that the lightning or 2 inches of rain hits... by the next morning the snarky comment came "oh someone cleaned the pool"...
Ava explained that we just added the normal chlorine and the Kreepy did the rest... I see it's still an issue of not grasping how this works - I hope I've clarified it for you?
Everything about our home was smaller than theirs (we have a 1800m sq garden, and we're self-sustaining for a substantial part of the year out of the garden - so as garden sizes go, it's one of the reasons we choose to live here!).
Well - in closing....
We're really excited that they won't try to be back...
And - tonight, when we go to sleep, the washed dishes will be in the dish rack,
and nobody is going to run out in the midst of a highveld rain storm to pick up dog poop for in case they wish to look out their window...
if lightning strikes during the night, the top step of the pool will have algae in the morning,
and - the free coffee / tea in the lounge area, will still be free, and will quite probably still have powdered milk (cremora) as a reasonably acceptable Suthafrican alternative. Your Mentioning that you prefer milk in your coffee in this country, would mean that you'll accept whatever milk is available.
Especially when it's free.
(South)Africa is not desperate for people who come here to do us "favours".
We are a strong people who take what we get, make the best of it, and do so in gratitude and joy.
Oddly - much like the other folks we've met with Air BnB.
You would do well to interact with the people you stay with, to see how they live, and to chat with them. To learn what they have to teach you, rather than trying to explain to them how their standard of living is so far beneath your own - and how you have other friends in South Africa who would have treated you better.
Next time, just stay with them.
There is really NOTHING that we could have done differently to make you like the size of your room, or to change the weather for you, you harped on about powdered milk as if it was a flippant disregard for a basic human right, and you didn't even see the beauty that was created for your enjoyment.
you had the option to leave this as a private message for Ava and myself to better the accommodation we provide. you chose to do this as a public insult.
i think that may say enough in itself.
We had a fab time with Ava and Symi, who were the most amazingly warm, welcoming and fun hosts. Beautiful big garden, delicious cooking (much from the garden), and such laughs! Thanks so much, ladies. Andrew and Richard
Dear Andy and Rich,
Thanks for coming to visit us. You've made your way into our hearts, and we will simply have to be on the "to visit" list when you're back in South Africa.
We hope that you find a spot to purchase close to us, and that we'll see more of you.
You were a joy to have in the house, and we think of you guys fondly.
Be well, be blessed, and we wish you many happy years together, in perfect health.
The girls are welcoming unpretentious hosts which instantly makes you feel at home. When you are a single traveller, it's a blessing. They had no trouble at all in dropping me a picking me up whenever I needed which was a god send as the public transport in general for the size of the city is terribly lacking. Highly recommend a stay here. It was a very safe area and friendly environment to be in. Would stay again without hesitation. Thanks girls, you're the best!
If I am honest, I did not have any high expectations from this website. All I was looking for was a place to sleep comfortably and take a shower everyday but what I got was...
A place that showered me with love... and a cat that woke me up from comfortable sleep every morning. And when I say woke me up, I mean, it snuggled under the blanket, licked me arm and then put its head there and purred away.
But before I get carried away... its a wonderful house filled with the right kind of energy. It has a wonderful backyard which is quite big and full of a million trees and plants and birds and smells. The kitchen smells like chocolate chip cookies and beef steaks. The area around the house is safe and lovely.
The two wonderful women there are one of the most sane people I have met in a long time. They have their shit sorted out, they know what they want from this world, and they know where they are going. And they have filled their house with love and positive vibes. You would just love being there in the middle of that.
I literally fell in love with these women (my mommies) in the week I stayed there. We had some wonderful chats hanging out in the kitchen while Ava baked and Symi found Law & Order episodes for us to watch. They showed me around the city and took me places. I shared in a really nice family Christmas Lunch... and I want to keep going on but I would rather you stayed there and made your own wonderful memories...
J'ai passe deux trop courtes soirees chez Ava and Symi. Ce sont des hotes formidables, accueillantes, genereuses et droles. Je me suis tout de suite sentie a l'aise, comme a la maison. La chambre est confortable, le jardin et potager superbes, la piscine agreable, le tout dans un quartier calme et secure.
I think it's true; the one sad thing about travelling is the friends that are made along the way and the difficult part is when you have to say good-bye.
I had such a fun time at Symi and Ava's; they made me feel welcome and part of their family right from the start. We laughed our heads off most of the time, other times were spent teaching me about the interesting place that Johannesburg truly is....
The house is on a park-like lot; everything is there for the asking. The pool, gardens, the run of the house itself., the family pets...
I will miss them and I do hope they come to Vancouver some day!
About the Host, Ava And Symi
Hi folks, we are Ava & Symi.
We've been married since 2009 - YES, it's legal in South Africa ;), are in our early 40's, have been lucky to travel a little bit, meet a whole bunch of awesome, crazy, wonderful people around the globe, and have fun in their kitchens.
We love being spontaneous and going on wild adventures, have hilarious 'International cook offs' and, we plan to have a truck load more...
We love good books, and you will find some very interesting reads in the Library, our music selection ranges from classical and opera to hard rock, and local music, depending on the mood and cooking that’s happening. Food and gardening go hand in hand for us, and we produce a lot of our own vegetables and also fruit in season.
What do we do besides loving life?
AVA – I started dancing at the age of 4, and I am still going strong. I am a Professional Egyptian Oriental Master teacher, Mentor, Choreographer, Performer and dance enthusiast - My dance studio is located at our home in Linden, Johannesburg, South Africa, but I am fortunate to travel and teach all over the world, meeting great dancers and making wonderful friends.
SYMI - I am a Business and Life Coach, Business consultant and Trainer, as well as an awesome Web Designer, Reiki healer, Bread baker, and very talented, and published, poetess/writer - I am also Ava's number 1 fan!
We are enthusiastic about life, and each other. We love to have fun, cook and work in our garden, and to spend time with our friends. Our animals [ 3 lovely dogs and three very opinionated cats ] are our children, and we simply cannot do without GREAT South African cheeses and wines [ we definitely produce the best wines on the planet! ]
Our motto is to literally get the tequila and the salt out when life hands us a lemon - life is too short to
1/ stuff a mushroom, or
2/ to go sit in a corner and blame everything and everyone for being miserable.
We believe that to love and appreciate your good fortune an blessings will bring more wonderful things into existence.
As your host, you will be treated as one of the family and will be welcomed with a big smile and even bigger hug - YES, we are friendly, open and warm people.
Mi Casa es su Casa [ I hope I spelled it right - 'Ava' ].