The largest city in South Africa (technically a megacity), Johannesburg is a bustling, cosmopolitan metropolis. Known as The City of Gold, it was established in the late 19th century, following the discovery of precious metal in the area, and how grown to be a financial, cultural and commercial superpower in the country. As such, it’s oft frequented for business purposes, as well as a transit point for those travelling on to tourist destinations like the Kruger National Park. There are some fascinating museums in Joburg, detailing the nation’s history and many leading theatres.
Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa
Famed as the property in which Nelson Mandela stayed following his release from prison, this was the place in which he put the finishing touches to his autobiography. It was then a private family home, now it’s a boutique hotel with 10 acres of grounds, an infinity pool and a spa. Even after this change in ownership, it was visited by the South African President – a suite has been named and designed in his honour. The hotel and spa have a strong, stylish modern African theme throughout. Guests receive 24-hour butler service and can dine in two restaurants, both serving authentic local cuisine.
Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff
Westcliff village is an affluent district and it’s here that the Four Seasons established their hotel. Set on a hillside and surrounded by gardens, fountains and courtyards, the accommodation is stylish, with classic hints and nods to African culture. The restaurant, Flames, serves fine regionally inspired dishes (including braai food) and has a terrace offering far-reaching views. There’s also an alfresco spa lounge, where guests can order lighter bites and healthy dishes. The spa itself provides harmonising relaxation experiences, with a dreamy 25-metre adults-only lap pool. Families have their own pool area to enjoy, as well as excellent facilities catering to children.
Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa
Found in the Morningside district of the city, Fairlawns (once a manor house) places guests a little further away from the centre, in a leafy, residential area. The 42 suites and large villa make up the guest accommodation, with a homely meets contemporary-grand look. Meanwhile, the spa area has a Balinese theme, with Asian-inspired treatments. Outside, a pool area is flanked by plush loungers and tropical style foliage. And when it comes to dining, guests can choose from the fine dining Amuse-Bouche, Manor House Bistro, Into the Woods and the Muse Champagne Room, the latter created in association with the French Champagne house, Perrier-Jouët.
A popular choice for the business traveller needing a prime city-centre location, this large property offers 326 rooms and suites, as well as an in-house convention centre and direct access into Sandton Mall. Those booking the top tier of room, benefit from split level accommodation with a private Jacuzzi, a bar, and alfresco dining space. The rooftop pool and spa offer an opportunity to relax and unwind, while a rooftop restaurant, Jozi-style fine dining establishment, the Library Lounge and a further bar, provide high-quality food and drinks. Guests at the five-star hotel also have access to a gym, a free Gautrain station shuttle and a three-hour laundry service.