Want to go somewhere new? Like, brand-new? The most anticipated new hotel openings in Joburg are getting us seriously excited about the travel opportunities stretching ahead of us. The City of Gold is now full of lodgings so lovely that you’ll definitely want to stay for longer than a layover. Let’s appreciate what’s on our doorstep with these fresh-faced hotels to escape to this year. Now it’s up to you to decide what order in which to visit them.
Editor’s pick: voco Johannesburg Rosebank
Why we love it: With so many Joburg hotels done in fiercely good taste, there’s something refreshing about Africa’s first voco hotel – with modern elements, contemporary flourishes and a colour scheme heavy on flamingo pink. Because as much as we enjoy a marvellously theatrical lobby and marble checkerboard floors, we also fancy something a little buzzy, bold and the place to be seen. Situated in The Bank on the corner of Cradock and Tyrwhitt Avenues, this scene-stealing landmark hotel is a swish experience from the outset. Inside, it’s all swirly carpets, gold-trimmed frames, tubular bronze lighting, thick curtains with tassles and covetable matte black designer tapware, with a dash of offbeat art to keep things fresh. Shades of navy blue and almond green create a stylish look, tastefully complemented by modern furniture pieces. Our Superior King Room was high-end in all the right ways (fabulous views, heaps of space, a walk-in rain shower, heated floors in the bathroom and a bed covered in cloud-like linens), but not at all over-the-top. It also provided quiet respite from the busy shopping district – so much so, you wouldn’t know The Zone @ Rosebank and Rosebank Mall are just a stroll away. Unfailingly professional staff are in the know about the latest restaurants to try, but there’s no denying that Proud Mary on the ground floor is the beating heart of the hotel. The buzzing restaurant and bar draws a high-gloss crowd starting at breakfast and continuing until the early hours with its weekend brunch, life-changing drinks and plates to share. It’s a dreamy spot for a nightcap. At breakfast, dishes include decadent hotcakes with vanilla and lemon ricotta cream, berry compote and honeycomb crumb; eggs Benedict with sushi-grade salmon in thick slices, lemon truffle asparagus, dill oil and trout roe; and the biggest crowd-puller, the Asian omelette – a concoction of sugar-cured prawns, kimchi, feta, sprouts, coriander, spring onion and chilli oil.
24 Cradock Avenue, Rosebank
010 023 2600
Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch
Why we love it: This new tech-forward hotel has put a ton of thought into the first impression, and it shows. Described as a business-leisure hybrid, the Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch is super-sleek from the staff to the architecture – a real design pin-up for Melrose Arch, with Archer Bar & Eatery at the heart of the local scene. The service is exemplary: You get a fantastic sense of the Marriott hospitality right away and there are almost always bespoke, attentive greeters at the door to help with any immediate request. Well-travelled guests will love the 306 impeccably designed rooms and suites, luxurious amenities, touchless tech and lightning-fast Wi-Fi. Styled in charcoal greys and striking black shades, you won’t soon forget the impressive design and small details in the bedrooms. Between the bedside USB plugs, pillow-top mattresses, plush furniture as well as electronic housekeeping and ‘do not disturb’ systems, you’ll find every comfort imaginable. Our high-design Deluxe Guest Room – with a dark and moody colour palette – had a comfortable bed, black-out curtains, 55-inch flat-screen TV, and a marble bathroom with both a shower and a tub. While room service is available 24/7, you can choose to order in from any of Melrose Arch’s phenomenal restaurants and the staff will collect the food and bring it to your room. Order the complimentary breakfast and take in the tranquil sounds of morning before a day of exploring – the breakfast buffet is incredible, with pastries that wouldn’t look out of place in France. When you fall for Melrose Arch and decide to stay forever, visit the hotel’s website for one, two and three-bedroom apartments to rent.
42 The High Street, Melrose Arch, Birnam
010 495 4200
Radisson RED Johannesburg Rosebank
Why we love it: Sassy and playful, Joburg’s first Radisson RED is perfect for those keen to experience the younger side of the city. Aiming to blend home comforts, design-led flair, hotel treats and office-away-from-home functionality, it’s a hybrid hub where curious locals and travellers come to eat, drink, work, relax and sleep. The staff are accommodating and rigorously polite from the moment you arrive at the check-in desk – nothing seems like too much trouble. The 222 compact but comfy rooms continue the vibrant theme with layers of colours and patterns, which will make Radisson RED loyalists feel right at home. To experience the interiors at their best, nab one of the serene and cosy yet sleek and comfortable One-Bedroom Premium Suites. Every detail is considered – the abstract wallpaper in monochromatic red, the smart TV that you can stream your devices to, the convenient plugs next to the bed and the illuminated mirror in the bathroom. However, a big part of the draw here (and what sets the trendy, affordable hotel apart from others in the area) is the rooftop bar and red mosaic-bordered pool. Diners can feast on salt and pepper fried calamari, tempura cauliflower, cheese and jalapeño balls as well as pork ribs with sour cream and crispy bacon bites from lower-ground restaurant OUIBar + KTCHN before spending the evening taste-testing their way through top-notch tipples. There’s no denying that Rosebank is lively at night – the neighbourhood is ever-evolving and constantly packed with things to do. For those seeking a cool sleepover within walking distance of some of the city’s best foodie corners and bars or a fun night out, this is the place to stay.
Oxford Parks, 199 Oxford Road, Dunkeld
010 023 3580