More than 50 years ago this area was the ‘mink and manure’ heartland and the hunt would set off from Inanda Club, today an exclusive members-only polo club. It’s often quoted that the then head town planner for the area described Sandton as a "community of 30,000 whites and 15,000 horses”. From rolling farmland and a pastoral idyll, Sandton later became a rest stop between Pretoria and Johannesburg city centre. The first hotel - Balalaika Hotel, today Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton - opened its doors in 1949 as a tea garden with a few rondavels (thatch-roofed African-style huts) for overnight travellers. Today the lush gardens of this 330-room hotel are still a refuge, but now from the busy business district beyond the door.
Beyond the central business district Sandton spreads north with a variety of suburbs and diverse attractions. Among them is historically significant Rivonia which is home to Liliesleaf - the secret headquarters of the banned African National Congress's Armed wing led by Nelson Mandela in the 1960s - and now an impressive museum. Rivonia is also well-know for it's many Asian food restaurants. In Fourways the vast Montecasino complex is a major drawcard with its offer of 24/7 bright lights and a multitude of attractions, including a range of hotels, a theatre, comedy club, tons of restaurants and a bird garden. Closer to Sandton Central is Kramerville, a hub for interior design that has developed into an after-hours hangout with quirky bars and great views of Sandton's skyline (see above).
Click on the categories below to find your way around Sandton.
Fairlawns Boutique Hotel, 1 Alma Rd, Morningside, Sandton
We think this is Joburg's most impressive-looking spa, inspired by the best of Balinese and other South East Asian spa traditions. Set in a bamboo grove replete with the calming sounds of bird calls and running water, the five-star Fairlawns
Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel (street level), cnr Rivonia Rd and West St, Sandton Central
The newest member of the SLOW family is The Course, an elegant restaurant and bar diagonally opposite the Sandton Gautrain Station. The SLOW brand has already distinguished itself as the must-access airport lounge for those with refined tastes in both
The Hussar Grill
Morningside Shopping Centre, cnr Rivonia and Outspan Rds, Morningside
This is a good old-fashioned steakhouse that draws from the best traditions. One of South Africa's oldest grill rooms, the first Hussar Grill opened in leafy Rondebosch in Cape Town in 1964 and the brand now has spread across South Africa, including four
This is the original outdoor market, in existence for more than 40 years and still offering a superb range of organic goods and products in a relaxed environment. From arts and crafts and health and wellness products to preservative-free and colourant
High Tea at Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa
Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa, Alma Rd, Morningside Manor
Escape Sandton’s skyscrapers and malls for a traditional high tea at Fairlawns, a luxurious boutique hotel and spa hidden away in a quiet corner of Morningside. The rush of the concrete jungle will seem a million miles away at this country manor-style ho
Sandton’s oldest hotel is a popular conference venue and has retained the feel of a country-style hotel, complete with the Lords Bar which stays open past midnight. Away from its bustling lobby it feels more like a resort, with its low buildings enclosin
Slow in the City
Sandton Eye Centre, Corner of West Street and Rivonia Road, Sandton
Across the road from the Gautrain station and nestled below the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel SLOW in the City is a perfectly chic office away from the office with a bar and restaurant, meeting rooms, workspaces and a lounge. Open to FNB Platinum cardholde
Workshop17 is a chic South African co-working brand with three Joburg locations, plus four offices in Cape Town. Workshop17 works on a membership model and once you become a Workshop17 member you can access any of their South African co-working spaces. M