Roaming Office – The Houghton Hotel

29 Sep 2023
Tucked between the suburbs of historic, upmarket Houghton and down-to-earth neighbour, Norwood, is The Houghton Hotelan elegant and luxurious urban resort.

Built to take advantage of the immaculate greens of Houghton Golf Club, The Houghton Hotel's opulent penthouses, multiple swimming pools, apartments, fine-dining experiences and a super list of amenities feel like a world unto itself. The exceptional location creates the feeling of being on holiday, even while you are a hair's breadth from the busy city beyond the walls.

We recently took our Roaming Office to The Houghton Hotel (September 2023), a day where the Johannesburg In Your Pocket team works from a hotel workspace and we get the opportunity to connect with hospitality partners and explore hotel properties. 

Step into the lobby and reception area of The Houghton Hotel and you'll be greeted by friendly doormen, dressed in red coats, who are ready to help you. We headed up the swirling, white staircase off the lobby (trust us, you won't miss it) to the business and conferencing centre where we worked in one of the more intimate boardrooms for the day. 

Getting through the workday at The Houghton Hotel 

The business lounge offers four different boardrooms. They are arranged around a lounge area, so it's easy to leave a meeting for some quiet time, plus there's a high table for working solo and hot-desking. The business lounge is serviced and we were checked on throughout the day to ensure we had what we needed, and our cappuccino supply was refilled. Menus were also provided in anticipation of lunch, which we enjoyed on the hotel patio. The Houghton Hotel also boasts an on-site conference centre that can host up to 350 people in a cocktail-style set-up.

Unique dining experiences

A casual working lunch at The Houghton Hotel's Nova Bistro. Photo: Johannesburg In Your Pocket. 

The Houghton Hotel has two restaurants from which to choose. At Séjour, run by newly appointed Head Chef Brandon Ray, guests can choose from an à la carte menu or opt for set menus thoughtfully paired with exquisite wines. Nova Bistro is the casual option that offers a breakfast buffet, café bites and all-day casual dining with plenty of space indoors, from formal tables to lounge chairs and cosy corners for meetings. Nova Bistro spills out onto a terrace, where on a good weather day – and Joburg has many – you might find yourself settling in and never wanting to leave. It feels a lot like the deck of a luxury cruise ship. The hotel warps around the terrace, hugging you in and there is a lovely view of greenery. We just couldn't resist the warmer weather and had lunch under an umbrella on the terrace with a view of the pool area water feature, and whispering trees as our soundtrack. 

Lunch was ordered off the menu – a crunchy prawn tempura sushi salad (highly recommended), the classic Nova cheeseburger with chunky chips, and a saucy Napoletana prawn pasta. We had to take a break – the portions are generous here – so saved dessert for late afternoon when we returned for a generous slice of their made-daily red velvet cake, and a gigantic chocolate chip cookie.

The culinary offerings don't stop there. You can also enjoy the convenience of the Astra Lounge and Bar, serving platters, and there are private dining rooms for those looking for a more intimate experience, whether for a special occasion or a quiet business meeting. This option adds an extra layer of exclusivity to your visit. The poolside restaurant Pebbles is temporarily closed for renovations but we've been told great things are coming. 

Luxury accommodations

The Rockstar penthouse. Photo: The Houghton Hotel. 

The Houghton Hotel's rooms are extra large by comparison to most hotels we visit. In-room Nespresso machines ensure that guests start the morning well, and all rooms feature the Serenity brand of premium toiletries and diffusers that set the scent of the whole property (these are also for sale in the lobby). 

The King suites are the entry-level choice, providing a lavish stay with an en-suite bathroom and stunning west-facing views of either the pool or golf course. For those seeking an even more elevated experience, the Junior suites feature a private lounge and dining area, creating a sense of home away from home, all the while offering breathtaking views, as do elegant Presidential suites located with their sweeping views. If dedicated attention is more your jam, opt for the Penthouses, which come complete with dedicated butlers to cater to your every need. 

For the most discerning guests, the Penthouses are a top pick. Options include the renowned Rockstar, often touted as Joburg's largest penthouse, the iconic Presidential, and the Luxury two-bedroom penthouses. Each of these choices offers a unique and lavish experience.

Modern amenities

The spa at The Houghton Hotel. Photo: Moseme Holdings. 

The hotel also boasts modern amenities such as a fully-equipped gym available for both guests and the public, a large pool in the centre (accessible by the stairs), as well as a more private pool away from splashing children. The spa is a full complex designed as a retreat with private chlorine and natural outdoor pools, lounging areas, an indoor heated pool (note that it is reserved for guests above the ages of 18), and treatment and spa facilities such as a steam room and sauna. 

We loved our day at The Houghton Hotel. It felt welcoming, as if it's a place that would be easy to call home. It was hard to leave!

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