Joburg hotels open for business travel under Lockdown Level 3

21 Jul 2020
As South Africa gradually eases lockdown restrictions this month, under the Level 3 lockdown (from June 1) hotels are allowed to reopen for business travellers who now may travel across the country for work purposes (leisure travel is still prohibited). Travellers will need to be in possession of a form from their employer outlining their reasons for travelling.

Generally speaking recommended protocols for operating hotels follow the same guidelines as other workplaces. Face masks must be worn in public areas (so you can expect most staff to be masked), social distancing of at least 1.5metres needs to be maintained and a ban on conferences and other large events remains in place.

Hotels will be operating a 48hour turnaround on cleaning rooms (meaning a room must remain unoccupied for 48 hours after deep cleaning before a new guest may use it) and encouraging guests to social distance within the hotel's public areas. As at offices staff will undergo daily screenings before starting work and 'high-contact'' points will be regularly disinfected.

Additionally, hotels will allocate isolation rooms for any guests who becomes unwell and needs to be tested where they can stay until the results of their tests have been received. 

If you need to come to Johannesburg for business travel, here's a look at some hotels which are now open.

The Peech Hotel

We are big fans of this boutique hotel in leafy Birdhaven near Melrose Arch. Luxury eco-conscious suites are set into a beautifully verdant and tangled garden-scape. Contemporary, uber-chic and set amid the greenery, they offer the perfect amount of privacy. Each suite conveys a sense of lightness and space sliding doors that open onto a ground floor veranda or balcony that lets you enjoy the charms of Joburg’s mild weather and the pretty surroundings. 

COVID-19 STANDARDS:  To prepare to operate in this new environment the hotel has streamlined check in and check out procedures so they can be done without human contact. Meanwhile the hotel's 8,000 square metres of garden space allows for plenty of social distancing. Rooms are free-standing with their own entrances meaning no shared corridors or lifts. In-house dining has been reconfigured with at least 2 metres between tables, staggered dining times, no buffets, disposable paper menus and napkins and all beverages served in sealed bottles.

The Peech

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa

A regular host of the city's champagne and polo set, this 5-Star luxurious boutique hotel in Morningside has also played home to dignitaries the likes of Kofi Annan and Desmond Tutu over the years. The palatial rooms are each individually decorated and include those all-important extras like under-floor heating, fireplaces, the latest mod cons and private outdoor areas. 

COVID-19 STANDARDS: With such huge free-standing suites that come with their own private entrances and terraces, breakfast has always been typically enjoyed 'in-room' at Fairlawns and under Level 3 all meals will now be made available to dine in-room. The hotel has huge expansive grounds meaning guests can easily take morning exercise without even seeing anybody else. As Fairlawns describe it, the hotel offers "boutique business travel done right".

A luxurious suite at the Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa

The Bannister Hotel

A hip budget hotel perfectly located in buzzy Braamfontein, the location of this hotel right in the heart of the action and a stone's throw from the university has always made it a popular choice with business travellers and visiting academics. The rooms are bright with crisp white linen, free wifi and artistic touches and former photographer and hotel owner Andrew Bannister's iconic album cover image of Zimbabwean singer Oliver Mtukudzi graces the entrance. 

COVID-19 STANDARDS: The hotel's usually busy bar and restaurant now operates on a takeaway service meaning there's no need to go anywhere for meals. Meanwhile when it comes to cleanliness The Bannister Hotel has taken things to the next level. During lockdown the hotel have becoming experts in the science of deep cleaning and now own a fleet of specially designed 'foggers' which they ordered from overseas to ensure they can efficiently disinfect all areas of the hotel without leaving any damage to fabrics and paper surfaces.

Hotel suite at the Bannister Hotel

The Capital Hotel Apartments

This apartment hotel group has long been favoured by business travellers, particularly long stay guests, and swiftly after the nationwide lockdown was announced the group had been looking closely at how their apartments could be optimised to host guests who need to isolate. The Capital Empire, in partnership with health insurance group Discovery whose Sandton office sits opposite, is now operating as a 'self-isolation hotel' for those who have tested positive to the virus and wish to isolate away from home. Now under Level 3 more Capital properties will open for essential workers and business travellers too including the Capital Melrose, the Capital on Bath in Rosebank and Capital on the Park in Sandton, Capital Menlyn Maine Trilogy in Pretoria and Capital Mirage in Cape Town.

COVID-19 STANDARDS: Throughout June the hotel is upgrading all business travellers booked into standard rooms to apartments for free. Apartments come with fully equipped kitchens and dining areas for self-catering, there is a room service offering and a butler service where the hotel will do your grocery shopping for you (you can send your shopping list to the butler on whatsapp). Recognising that many business travellers may be arriving by car, parking is completely free.

Fully equipped kitchens at The Capital Apartments

Lebo's Soweto Backpackers

Also known as Lebo's, this justifiably celebrated establishment which started off as a backpackers hostel and now includes more luxury options plus family accommodation has it all – comfy dorms, single or double rooms or space to pitch your tent in the back garden. There's a kitchen for self-catering or enjoy cooked breakfasts, home-style meals and braais. We are fans of the delicious potjie stews cooked up for lunch in the park across from the backpackers. Lebo Malepa has a green thumb and has transformed this part of the famous suburb of Orlando West in Soweto, into a lush oasis, complete with a beach bar and hammocks under the trees. 

COVID-19 STANDARDS: Choose from double, single or twin rooms with an option to self-cater or take the easier route and opt for full board from the Lebo's Soweto Backpackers kitchen. For anybody needing to be in Soweto for work this is an extremely convenient location, close to the Golden Highway and a short drive from Baragwanath Hospital.

A colourful twin room at Lebo's Soweto Backpackers

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