Jo’burg has been described as South Africa’s heartbeat. It is also regarded as risky and travel alerts warn about crime in the city. It’s true. There is crime. But it’s overstated and largely sensationalised by the media.
Those who live in Johannesburg will soon set you straight about where to go and when. We say it’s all about perspective, really. But checking in with a local or two is probably essential.
Jozi is thrilling. It’s the continent’s most cosmopolitan city, an intense weave of culture, history and play, and the vigour of South Africa’s economy.
To leave it off your itinerary is to miss an essential South African experience.
Here is our guide to help you find hotels in Johannesburg – our top 10 depending on what you’re in Jo’burg for …
IN JO’BURG ON BUSINESS
Most of Johannesburg’s business operates from Sandton. There is an inner city revival effort that has seen some return of corporate enterprise, but nothing like the mass exodus that led to the mushrooming of Sandton and subsequently Midrand, as Sandton sprawled ever outward. Resist the urge to stick to tried and tested hotel chains, as there are numerous boutique style hotels, and luxury guest houses in and around Sandton that will more than meet your needs. Stay as close as possible to your business to beat the morning gridlock that is traffic in Jo’burg.
Examples of boutique hotels/luxury guest houses in Johannesburg’s Sandton / Midrand :
ONE: Falstaff Hotel, Morningside – this intimate 41-roomed hotel is in the heart of Sandton. It has its own award-winning restaurant, secure parking, a gym, swimming pool, same-day laundry and WiFi access, as well as airport transfers –
TWO: Sandton Lodge Rivonia – conveniently close to Sunninghill and Woodmead, this boutique lodge offers 30 en-suite luxury suites, landscaped gardens, swimming pool, ADSL access, laundry service and an inhouse chef for lunches and dinner (breakfast is included)
IN JO’BURG FOR THE NIGHT LIFE
Johannesburg’s nightlife is as dynamic as its corporate world. Restaurants, clubs, cocktail bars and live music dominate the scene. You’ll find something happening anywhere around Jo’burg from Newtown (inner city revival area with loads of jazz bars, eateries and music venues), through the northern suburbs of Sandton, Rivonia and Rosebank and the more ‘soho ‘burbs’ of Norwood, Greenside and Parktown North, to Montecasino and Soweto.
Examples of hotels in Johannesburg’s nightlife zones:
THREE: Mapungubwe Hotel Apartments, Marshalltown – close to New Town, and the inner city financial rebirth area of Marshall, Anderson and Ferreira Streets, this hotel gives you easy access to The Market Theatre and the Johannesburg Civic Theatre, local art galleries, museums and restaurants.
FOUR: Clico Boutique Hotel, Rosebank – housed in a sixty-year old Cape Dutch building, this venue is close to Rosebank’s Design District – home of pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants – and other Rosebank nightlife venues
IN JOZI FOR THE ATTRACTIONS
Johannesburg is a feast of things to do. From the Apartheid Museum, Cradle of Humankind, City Sightseeing Bus, and Johannesburg Zoo to hurling yourself from the Orlando Towers or going on a ghost tour, there is something for everyone. Where you base yourself will depend on your itinerary, but somewhere with easy access to the arterial roads is wise.
Examples of hotels in Johannesburg with easy access to attractions:
FIVE: Afrique Boutique Hotel Ruimsig – perfectly placed for access to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, the Cradle of Humankind, the Rhino and Lion Park, Gold Reef City and Krugersdorp Game Reserve, this little hotel lies on the banks of the Crocodile River in beautiful gardens
SIX: The Winston Hotel, Melrose – close to Sandton and with easy access to the Gautrain links with Pretoria Accommodation, Sandton and Johannesburg CBD, the Winston has 40 rooms styled either in ‘La bijou’, ‘English Country’ or ‘Royal Safari’
IN JOZI FOR THE WEEKEND TRIPS
The Magaliesburg, Hartbeespoort Dam, Dinokeng and the Waterberg are all weekend playgrounds of Johannesburg. Getting out of the city on a Friday afternoon is taxing – traffic is mayhem. But if you base yourself in the far northern suburbs with access to the R512, R511 or the N1, you will find getting away is a lot easier.
Examples of hotels in Johannesburg for weekend trips:
SEVEN: Fabz Estate Hotel, Lonehill – almost country living, this hotel on the edge of the city is not only ideal for a quick getaway, but it is close to shopping malls and other northern suburb attractions
EIGHT: Ninety North Guest House, Ferndale – a tree-lined suburb is home to this little four star guest house that is perfect for getaways to Sun City, Harbeespoort Dam, the Magalies Meander and Cradle of Humankind
IN JOZI FOR THE SHOPPING
Johannesburg is a kingdom for mall hoppers. From Sandton to Hyde Park, Rosebank to Northgate, Cresta to Eastgate there is a mall to meet your every need.
Examples of hotels in Johannesburg ideally placed for shopping:
NINE: Northcliff Manor Guesthouse – with easy access to the inner city, the N1, Cresta Centre, Brightwater Commons, Fourways and North Gate, this architecturally appealing home, with views out over the city and a flair for the dramatic is a stay with a difference
TEN: The Marion on Nicol, Hurlingham – is the perfect stepping stone to Sandton’s shopping mecca as well as sidewalk cafés, excellent restaurants, art galleries and the hectic pace of life that is Sandton
PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO JOHANNESBURG
- Johannesburg’s Popular Attractions
- Things to Do in Johannesburg
- Johannesburg Accommodation
- South Africa Accommodation