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Johannesburg, South Africa, is an up-and-coming city with trendy neighborhoods and attractions like the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, safari and nature tours, and the Apartheid Museum. When searching for a place to sleep, you’ll encounter an abundance of smaller, independent hotels (as opposed to big chains), guesthouses, as well as some eco-friendly properties scattered among the city’s outskirts. Hotels are very affordable in Johannesburg, but there are even more deals in self-catering rooms (where you make your own meals), making it a great destination for budget travelers or anyone who wants to treat themselves to some luxury. Here are the best hotels in Johannesburg.
Best Overall: City Lodge Hotel
For a central location, excellent service and overall good value, the City Lodge Hotel is an excellent choice whether you’re visiting Johannesburg for business or pleasure (or both). Located in Newtown on the western side of Johannesburg’s central business district, the 148-room City Lodge Hotel is part of the downtown renewal movement. There’s a boardroom for business travelers, a sparkling rooftop swimming pool with lounge chairs and umbrellas, free parking and a fitness center. Guests can also relax in the lovely lobby or at the bar and lounge. Rooms have views overlooking the city, tiled baths with soaking tubs, as well as modern furnishings. The hotel is a five-minute walk from Market Theatre, Museum Africa and Mary Fitzgerald Square.
Best Budget: Premiere Class Suites
If you’re really trying to make your money stretch but want a clean, spacious and comfortable hotel in Johannesburg, book a room at the Premiere Class Suites. The 28-room, self-catering hotel in Sandton (North Johannesburg) is accessible by the Gautrain stations and features apartment-style accommodations. One and two-bedroom apartments include fully-equipped kitchenettes, separate living areas and modern, home-like décor. Prices are extremely reasonable, but the hotel lacks popular amenities like a fitness center, restaurant, or pool. Nearby is Melrose Arch, where plenty of restaurants, supermarkets, and shops are located. The hotel also provides safe, undercover parking for guests. TripAdvisor members felt that they got a good value for the price.
Best for Families: Thaba Eco Hotel
Families visiting Johannesburg who enjoy the great outdoors will love the Thaba Eco Hotel, set on the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve. The kids' club offers supervised activities such as nature walks, horseback riding, outdoor games and educational survival skills. The hotel also offers drive and picnic tours in a safari jeep with picnic baskets to “secret spots” around the reserve. The accommodations were built using ancient building techniques, but rooms have modern touches such as heated towel rails, a free, stocked minibar, luxurious baths and a lounge area – plus breakfast is included. Families can lounge by the beautiful outdoor pool area, go mountain biking or bird watching, and adults can visit the soothing spa for a range of treatments.
Best Business: Hotel QSL on 44
Business travelers needing to stay near the universities and central business district should consider the Hotel QSL on 44, located less than five minutes by car to the University of Johannesburg, Wits Business School, Regent Business School, Milpark Business School, and IMM Graduate School of Marketing. The 11 rooms are individually-decorated and have a chic, urban vibe with unique design elements (think asymmetrical décor, frosted windows and exposed piping), plus comforts like plush slippers, pillow menus, work desks, Wi-Fi, and balconies or decks (in some). The hotel has a roster of business amenities such as suit tailoring and pressing, a business center and airport shuttle service.
Best for Romance: Valverde County Hotel
For a romantic setting, the Valverde County Hotel is located north of central Johannesburg in the beautiful countryside and is a popular destination for weddings. The eco-friendly hotel has 25 country-style rooms with wood furnishings, four-poster beds (in suites), wood or tile floors and even fresh flowers and candles to set the mood. Enjoy a soothing treatment at the spa, which offers holistic and couples’ massages. Or, simply unwind in the outdoor pool. The Salsa Verde restaurant serves fresh, seasonal ingredients from the on-site aquaponics farm. TripAdvisor members were extremely impressed with the hotel’s green practices that go above and beyond.
Best Nightlife: Motel Mi Pi Chi
Johannesburg has a fantastic nightlife scene, but it is spread out in several neighborhoods across the city. One of the most popular is Melville, and the 11-room Motel Mi Pi Chi places guests in the action near the 7th Street stretch of bars - at an affordable price to boot. Although the name indicates a motel, rooms are beautiful, modern and spacious, with white-washed walls, minimalist décor, exposed brick, high ceilings and wood floors. There’s also a mini fridge, clothing racks (in lieu of closets) and a private courtyard with a concrete outdoor shower room and a waterfall. Guests can enjoy a sub-Saharan style breakfast in the open kitchen and lounge area with beautiful Portuguese tiles and glass panels.
Best Boutique: Genesis All Suite Hotel
Travelers who prefer an elegant, boutique hotel should consider the 50-room, Genesis All Suite Hotel. Located in the residential Fairmont neighborhood, the hotel is near the Genesis Shopping Center for both leisure items and groceries. Sprawling suites consist of one, two, three, or four bedrooms (practically apartments) ranging from 538 to 1,400 square feet. Suites have flat-screen TVs built into the walls, unique modern furnishings, a minibar, fully equipped kitchens, premium bedding and private balconies. Guests can dine at the bistro, at the elegant bar and lounge or grab a drink and unwind by the pool. Free, secured parking is included.
Best Luxury: 54 on Bath Hotel
If you’re looking for a splurge while in Johannesburg, the 54 on Bath Hotel is a prime choice for luxury. Fall asleep with fluffy duvets and feather-topped beds or gaze out at the terraced garden or Johannesburg skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows. Elegant décor consists of shades of gray and silver and photos of scenic landscapes, plus amenities such as plush bathrobes and turndown service with macaroons. Indulge in the fourth-floor champagne bar, at an afternoon tea service or enjoy the restaurant’s fresh, contemporary cuisine. The narrow outdoor pool lures hotel patrons for a refreshing dip and is an excellent place to watch the sunset. The 75-room hotel is located in the heart of Rosebank near the Gautrain Station.
B&B: Cotswold Gardens Guesthouse
If you’re looking for a classic B&B, the six-room Cotswold Gardens Guest House may be just what you need. Individually decorated rooms blend modern and vintage furnishings, and each room has its own tea and coffee facilities with home-made biscuits served daily, under-carpet heating, electric blankets and Wi-Fi. Two self-catering suites have fully-equipped kitchens. The B&B is located near Rosebank Gautrain station and the conference centers at Glenhove. The guesthouse is known for its fabulous collection of art, as well as peaceful, colorful flower gardens with a delightful swimming pool. TripAdvisor members loved the location in the suburb of Saxonwold and raved about the innkeepers.