The new Radisson Red Rosebank feels as if someone just kicked open the locked and decaying doors of the local hotel scene. Radisson RED hotels globally are part of a cool and creative hotel brand designed to appeal to young and outgoing travellers, and Radisson RED Rosebank is definitely a proud exponent of this flagship brand.
This is the kind of place where your lunch counter on the terrace doubles as a ping pong table, where you will find a pinball machine in the conference room and a DJ set on the rooftop. Adding to Rosebank's art gallery DNA, Radisson RED Rosebank is a consciously art-focused hotel.
It's also super fresh and welcoming. You will be greeted as you enter the lobby by a young and willing front desk team, who were recruited via an auditions process, for their enthusiasm and outgoing nature. It's another breath of fresh air in a space that is often all too corporate in its approach.
In front of the hotel, marking its space in the Oxford Parks precinct, a huge red angel wing sculpture made from old domestic irons by local artist Usha Seejarim has already become a major selfie spot, and the hotel plans to host regular art-focused activations.
Another fun aspect of the experience is the hotel digi-wall opposite the bar which provides a guide to the surrounds, and also has a self-timing camera for those momements when you and your crew desperately need a selfie.
We spent a Saturday night there recently – we loved our suite with its view of Rosebank's manageable cityscape, but as soon as the luggage was installed in our room we made a beeline for the rooftop bar (the hotel is seven floors, with 222 rooms, so request a room high up). The rooftop bar is the kind of spot that you will find hard to leave. Saturday afternoon it's all good tunes and cocktails as you nestle into comfy seating at the poolside and watch the sun sink over the suburbs. You can see the great tree expanse of Joburg, your view uninterrupted and stretching all the way to Northcliff ridge. It's quite exceptional. Make sure to pre-book, as we know Radisson RED Rooftop Bar & Terrace is going to be one of Joburg's hottest spots this summer.
Food is from the Oui Bar + KTCHN, devised by chef Genghis San. The flavours are fresh, and the focus is on casual dishes, from bao slider buns to tacos and small plates (try the stuffed olives), burgers and poke bowls. We feasted on these dishes with drinks and as the sun descended and the temperature shifted we ordered dinner to our room. We highly recommend the lamb chops.
The rooms are contemporary in style, with fresh bursts of imagery on the wallpaper, lifting the mood instantly. You'll find the bathroom has some interesting features including very cool lighting ((in fact, the bathrooms in general in this hotel have become a media talking point for their vibrant appearance). And the double glazed windows mean you'll be sleeping late in your comfy king size bed with its crisp linen, despite being near to one of Joburg's busiest thoroughfares, Oxford Road. Don't oversleep as breakfast is worth moseying downstairs for.