Let’s face it: There’s so much to see and do (not to mention eat) in Joburg, that one visit just wouldn’t cut it. So, fans of this world-class city need to be armed with a solid hotel to return to … again and again. Or, why not take a staycation with five-star amenities? Smack-bang in the heart of swanky Sandton, just across the street from the Gautrain Station, function meets friendliness at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel. With a reputation for design and a penchant for hospitality, it’s one of our favourite picks – and one of the City of Gold’s finest addresses.
Part of the fun and funky Radisson Hotels family, the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel has fabulous value for style and location. The fresh urban crash pad is discretion embodied, with design-led chill-out spaces, rooms that are unfussy but inviting, and an intimate lobby bar that makes for a great escape from the crowds with frosty cocktails. Come for the bold, the business-like and the beautiful design, and stay for the convenient location and amenities. Guests here have the chance to inhabit a landmark of the Sandton skyline and take advantage of its views.
The one-bedroom suites are preferable to the smaller rooms – spacious enough to spread out and accommodate your stuff as well as more practical. The skyline-framing floor-to-ceiling windows make a stunning first impression, while dark wood paneling and a slightly masculine colour scheme contributes to a sense of ease. In addition to high thread counts and ultra-soft mattresses, the absurdly, abundantly comfortable suites feature a standing rain shower and a separate bath tub. Notable luxuries include fast free Wi-Fi, a Nespresso machine, individual climate control plus plush bath robes and slippers. You’ll feel embedded in the City of Gold in the best of ways at this energetic hotel. The Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel proves that staying local has never been more appealing.
In a city where there are so many fantastic restaurants, it’s difficult to recommend staying put in the hotel, although Central One Restaurant & Bar has an easygoing bistro vibe and a quirky, globetrotting menu. With a new dusty pink interior, the restaurant incorporates earth tones, raw natural materials and gold accents to marry haute décor and fine dining. The ambitious offering ranges across cultures and includes dishes such as grilled beef rib eye, Cape Malay lamb curry, grilled salmon and potato croquettes as well as roasted butternut and sundried tomato penne. The roasted chicken breast on a colourful cushion of Swiss chard with textures of cauliflower is worth trying, as is the South African cheese selection including fig preserve and roasted nuts. Even if you’re not here to stay, you’ll want to pop in for a frozen margarita on the starlit pool deck – one of the biggest draws of this hotel. With talented mixologists in charge of the bar, cocktail lovers are in for a treat.
The breakfast, however, is fantastic – polished and delicious. Whether you want a filling meal before a busy day or a beautiful breakfast-in-bed spread to post to your Instagram, you can’t go wrong with the all-round flawless standard order of eggs, pastries and juice … but we’ll take ours topped with crispy bacon and a side of yoghurt parfait with chunky granola. Staff couldn’t be more efficient and attentive too, tending to their customers like family members to keep this star-studded show on the road. Locals and in-the-know tourists also seek out the restaurant for specials like the Full Flavour Board for Two, priced at R460. If full flavours and unapologetic spicing are your bag, this sharing board consisting of deeply seasoned beef rump and half a peri peri chicken will get your pulse – and your taste buds – racing. It’s served with two complimentary glasses of Van Loveren Bayede! The Prince Merlot with ripe fruit, cherry, blackberry and pear aromas, which makes it ludicrously good value.
Corner of Rivonia Road & West Street, Sandton
011 286 1000