The Best Hotels in Johannesburg

Known locally as Jozi or Jo’burg, South Africa’s largest city embodies modern Africa. The town’s most famous resident, Nelson Mandela, lived just up the road from the stylish Residence Boutique Hotel and penned his autobiography at the Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa. For a different side of the city, visit the Fairlawns Boutique Hotel for high tea or the Clico Boutique Hotel for a break from the hustle.

17 4th Ave, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, 2198, South Africa
The tony suburb of Houghton, whose best-known resident was Nelson Mandela, is home to leafy lanes lined with stately estates. Not too far from the Mandela family manse is the Residence, a stylish boutique property that lives up to its name, evoking a private lair of a chic distant relative that guests are fortunate enough to visit for a spell.

The rooms are plush, with velvet headboards, sumptuous rugs, and glittering chandeliers, but the bathrooms are a sight to behold: the gleaming marble tiles and outdoor showers and tubs merit a special mention. Nods to the nautical can be found in the Boat Lounge, where mini sailboats and life preservers inspire the decor. There’s often a pianist tickling the ivories in the Piano Lounge, where guests can retire with a post-prandial cocktail.
27 Sturdee Ave., Johannesburg
The suburb of Rosebank has the best of both worlds: it’s home to major commercial hot spots, but it also boasts peaceful pockets of lush lanes. The understated Clico Boutique Hotel sits in one of the latter areas, but guests will be surprised to discover that it’s just a few minutes’ walk from some of the city’s liveliest eateries and shops.

It’s all about personalized attention at Clico, and the nine rooms make it easy for staff to attend to guests’ every whim. The chef can customize menus, and the staff will dote on guests with a smile—even making sure they toast the sunset with a glass of Veuve Clicquot in hand. When staying in a hotel named Clico, after all, one can rest assured champagne will be flowing freely.
191 Oxford Rd., Johannesburg
All the trappings one would expect from a Hyatt—sleek design, attentive service, and plenty of amenities—are in a prime location in Rosebank: Johannesburg’s Hyatt Regency checks all the requisite boxes for a work trip. When there is time for play—or when done browsing the hotel’s 27 shops and relaxing in the Amani spa—guests can walk next door to the Firs Shopping Centre for more window-shopping or bowling or a movie at the Zone complex. A convenient location close to the Gautrain station makes for easy access from the airport, and the spacious rooms and top-notch breakfasts make lengthy stays a treat.
67 Jan Smuts Ave., Johannesburg
When the Four Seasons took over Johannesburg‘s celebrated Westcliff Hotel (a colonial-style grande dame that was admittedly fraying around the edges), its brief was clear: update the tired ambience with a cutting-edge makeover. For its first property in South Africa, the luxe hotel group spared no expense, closing the hotel down for a year and a half until they were satisfied with the full revamp, which debuted in December 2014. The new Four Seasons has modern elegance in spades, from the minimalist View restaurant (the main feature here is, as the name suggests, the panoramic view over Johannesburg’s lush landscape) to the 117 rooms outfitted with chrome details and local contemporary art.

For generations, the Westcliff has been the bastion of Johannesburg’s most rarefied citizens, who decamped to the hotel for special occasions or met for high tea on the terrace. With its new look, the property is ready to welcome back its longtime clientele while opening doors to a more youthful set in the process.
1 Melrose St, Melrose, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa
It’s a sad fact that many swaths of Johannesburg aren’t exactly walkable, but that’s not the case at Melrose Arch, a trendy complex filled with some of the city’s hottest restaurants, galleries, and shops. Guests are in the heart of the action if they book a stay at the African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel, a slick property with 118 stylish, contemporary rooms adorned with modern African art. And now that the hotel falls under the Marriott family umbrella, guests can expect all sorts of perks and upgrades associated with the brand.
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