It’s all about Old World elegance at Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa. Upon arrival, guests are immediately transported from bustling Johannesburg to a bucolic French countryside château. With names like Empire, Provençal, and Bismarck, the suites evoke a European feel, complete with frescoed walls, gilded details, and canopied beds.
But don’t be fooled by the lavish decor. This isn’t a stodgy affair. The Fairlawns is a 21st-century abode, with all the fittings to match: plush linens, rain showers, underfloor heating, and free Wi-Fi, to name a few. The Balinese spa and the celebrated high tea have helped make the hotel a fixture on the Joburg social scene, so guests are likely to bump into local movers and shakers as they stroll along the rolling lawns.
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While in Joburg, both business travelers and pleasure seekers are sure to spend a big chunk of their time in Sandton, and the hotel’s proximity to this hub makes it prime real estate for travelers of either stripe. The hotel isn’t far from the Sandton City and Hyde Park Corner malls, and Montecasino, popular with birders as well as gamblers thanks to its colorful bird gardens, is nearby. For dinner, make sure to book far in advance for a table at DW Eleven-13, one of Joburg’s top restaurants.
Need to Know
Rooms: 39 suites and a standalone villa. From $314. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: Choose from fine dining at the Terrace and the private dining room, pastries at the Victoria Tea Lounge, and cocktails at the Champagne Terrace. Spa and gym details: There’s a gym as well as a Balinese-inspired spa.
Who it’s best for: Would-be royals looking for a regal retreat. Our favorite rooms: The six villa suites are spacious, and named for luminaries such as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama. Good to know: The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service in the Sandton shopping district.