10 Best Places to Stay in Johannesburg

The 10 Best Boutique Hotels, Guesthouses, and Lodges in and Around Johannesburg

De Hoek, One of Johannesburg's best hotels
••• De Hoek. © De Hoek

There are many fine high-rise city hotels to choose from if you are looking for the best places to stay in Johannesburg. But far more rewarding for the leisure traveler will be the boutique hotels, country houses, lodges and guesthouses in the older, leafier suburbs, and those situated just beyond the city borders. These places that stand out - in terms of character, friendliness, service level, value for money - or all or some of these factors.

Here are the 10 best places to stay in Johannesburg, from the most to the least expensive, and this list will help you get in the mood for a great holiday or safari.

  • 01 of 10

    The Westcliff

    The Tuscan theme is more than faux at The Westcliff, with strong Italianate connections at this elegant low-rise, five-star hotel. Gracious in all ways, not least its elevated situation on a wooded ridge, grand views and terraced grounds and formal gardens. It is both the most child-friendly hotel in town and the best place for sundowners.
    Rates: From R2,820 to R3,890 a person B&B.
    Tel: +27 (0)11-481-6000.
    Booking: Book direct.

  • 02 of 10

    As the name suggests, this self-catering cabin-style lodge is located within the Cradle of Mankind World Heritage Site and also close to Lanseria Airport (easier for internal travel than Oliver Tambo). It offers the most basic – but very atmospheric – accommodation in this listing. Set in a tranquil bushveld environment, it is designed for guests to sit on the timber decks and just ontspan (relax), or maybe go for an easy stroll in the bush (no dangerous animals). If it's a simple nature vibe you're craving, the Cove will massage your soul ... just don't forget the provisions.
    Rates: Start at R180 a person sharing.
    Reviews
    Tel: +27 (0)84-514-6708
    Booking: Book direct.

  • 03 of 10
    De Hoek, One of Johannesburg's best hotels
    ••• De Hoek. © De Hoek

    This five-star country lodge on the sylvan banks of the Magalies River - an hour and a half from Joburg and close to Pretoria and Rustenburg - is set in one of the few pristine valleys left in Gauteng province. The buildings were designed by relatives of one of the original settlers in the valley, in the old style: tin roof and stone walls and lots of timber inside. Classically trained Michael Holenstein oversees the kitchen with much finesse, serving French style cuisine. If are you there in winter you'll want one of the slightly more expensive fireplace suites.
    Rates: Start from R1,760 a person B&B.
    Tel: + 27 (0)14-577-9600, mobile +27(0)82-893-3787
    Booking: Book direct.

  • 04 of 10

    The description “house” is a little misleading, but Mount Grace does have a human scale as well as bucolic views to the Magaliesburg Mountains. This rambling hotel is set 10 acres of lush gardens, and it exudes a natural elegance. Thatched roofs add a taste of South African rural living and the indoor-outdoor spa is a treat. It's a place of quiet and peace and is centrally located between Joburg, Pretoria and Rustenburg (no children 12 or younger).
    Rates: Start at R1,260 a room mid-week B&B, and from R1,680 room only on weekends.
    Tel: +27 (0)14-577-5600.
    Booking: Book direct.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Teremok Riverside, one of Johannesburg's best hotels
    ••• Teremok Riverside. © Teremok

    On the principle that every place is special in its own way – something like all animals being equal – Teremok is a little more special than most. Its setting on the bank of the Jukskei River very close to the busy commercial Fourways area is just one facet of its luster. It starts with the story of a boy escaping the Russian Revolution and ends at one of the most accomplished guesthouses on the Highveld; all very modern and very slick. In all respects, this is one classy place.
    Rates: R950 a room B&B.
    Reviews
    Tel: +27 (0)11-467-7791.
    Booking: Book direct.

  • 06 of 10

    Just because you need to connect with an early flight from Johannesburg's Oliver Tambo Airport doesn't mean you have to stay in a cattle-yard airport hotel. The Afrique Boutique Hotel, just 10 minutes from the airport, is a really fun and artful place, revealing the ebullient spirit of the young creators and owners. With all the ambiance and facilities of the best country hotels, it is wheelchair friendly and has a fine restaurant. The only sore point is the rip-off prices over soccer World Cup time. 

    Rates: Start at R880 single and R900 double, B&B.
    Tel:+27 (0)11-918-8001
    Booking: Book direct.

  • 07 of 10

    The Hertford is one of Gauteng's best loved small country hotels and getaways and very popular as a wedding venue (there are two honeymoon suites), given its setting in 23 hectares on tended estate. All very English country, it offers warm hospitality and a dash of charm, friendly service and hearty meals. Stone façade, rose gardens and roaring fireplaces in winter add to The Hertford away from the Hertford feel. Guests are welcome to take meals in the restaurant, or outdoors on the airy terrace. Close to Lanseria Airport and the Cradle of Mankind World Heritage Site.
    Rates: Start at R585 a person sharing.
    Tel: +27 (0)84-761-2017
    Booking: Book direct.

  • 08 of 10

    This four-star home-turned-guesthouse, situated in the gracious treed suburb of Saxonwold, is designed to provide a serene and secure stop-over for both leisure and business travelers. There are two self-catering suites and four spacious B&B rooms with en-suite bathrooms, A full English or Continental breakfast is available, and you can take it outdoors to enjoy the lush garden.
    Rates: Start at R700 a room B&B.
    Tel: +27 (0)11-442-7553, mobile +27 (0)82-829-3336
    Booking: Book direct.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    If you want to get a little taste of Africa before setting off for the real wilds beyond, Heia is a pretty good place to start. It's something a hybrid between a petting zoo and a game reserve (the animals do have bite) and even though within sight of the Johannesburg city skyline, it does have a sense of being in the bush. Accommodation is in cozy thatched bungalows, game reserve style. It's a very spacious estate offering various outdoor activities (game and cultural) so there is certainly lots to see and to do at Heia. A restaurant is open for all meals.
    Rates: Start at R560 a person B&B.
    Tel: +27 (0)11-919-5000.
    Booking: Book direct.

  • 10 of 10

    Closest to the city center is this old Melville House, also in walking distance to trendy 7th Street restaurant and nick-nack shopping precinct. All the rooms have wooden floors and show off reams of lovely, crisp linen and other fabrics. A hearty breakfast can be enjoyed on the stoep (typical Highveld covered veranda), or there is a garden cottage for self-catering. This is South African hospitality at its best. As for the name Ginnagaap, you'll just have to ask.
    Rates: Start at R350 a person sharing.
    Tel: +27 (0)11-482-3507/5235 or mobile +27 (0)83-447-4477
    Booking: Book direct.