What you stand to win with #JacarandaInYourPocket 2023

08 Nov 2023
We're fully into the jacaranda swing; entries are open for our #JacarandaInYourPocket photo competition until Mon, Nov 6 and we can't wait to see your best shots. 

As per Johannesburg In Your Pocket tradition, we celebrate Gauteng's jacaranda spring with a photo contest where you share your best captures of the jacarandas in bloom with us on Instagram. We comb through hundreds of entries to select 10 finalists, with the top three winners put to popular vote. If you're not so great behind the camera, fret not: everyone who shows their appreciation in our vote for the season's best snap will be entered into the prize draw, too. This year will once again include a category just for the pros, enlisting professional photographers as judges. 

Whether you're chiefly inspired by the sheer beauty of the jacarandas or the challenge of getting an unrepeatable shot, this year's prizes make for excellent motivation to get out there and capture Gauteng's purple-lined streets. Here's a rundown of what's up for grabs. 

What can I win with #JacarandaInYourPocket?

We love sharing amazing prizes and this year we have some incredible local hotel experiences for our first-, second- and third-place photography winners. We chose these hotels because each one offers a spectacular view of Joburg's tree line. Everyone who votes for their favourite finalists is also entered into our prize draw where we have a host of cool prizes up for grabs. 

Winner's prize: A stay at the world-class voco Hotel The Bank

One night's accommodation in a Premium Room for two people sharing, including breakfast at voco Hotel The BankValid Thu – Sun, until 31 Dec, 2023. The value of this prize is R4,000. 

Not your average hotel, voco Hotel The Bank's glamorous, Art Deco-inspired building is a study in contemporary elegance. From Proud Mary's expansive bar and bistro (try the Turkish eggs or the green shakshuka) to Proud Coffee in the lobby, voco's floor-to-ceiling hotel room windows give views beyond Rosebank’s cityscape towards the tree-covered suburbs in just about every direction. The entire space is buzzing and filled with atmosphere. If we landed at this kind of hotel anywhere in the world, we'd be delighted. 
A Premium King corner room at voco The Bank
A Premium King corner room at voco Hotel The Bank, yes please! Photo: voco Hotel The Bank.

First runner-up prize: A night of luxury at @Sandton Hotel

One night's accommodation plus breakfast for two people at @Sandton Hotel. The value of the prize is R2,500. 

An enormous building in Benmore is home to @Sandton Hotel; just one part of an impressive apartment complex built around an enclosed precinct that offers a whole new way of life in Joburg. Hotel guests have access to the full spectrum of the complex's amenities including a private gym, a clubhouse with a heated pool, a whisky and cigar lounge, the well-stocked wonderland that is @Deli and the hotel's own restaurant. From the luxurious hotel rooms, the west-facing views of Joburg are just extraordinary.

The Clubhouse at @Sandton Hotel.
The trendy Clubhouse at @Sandton Hotel. Photo: @Sandton Hotel.

Second runner-up prize: Check into Hallmark House Hotel

One night stay valued at R2,215 for two people at Hallmark House Hotel. Includes a date night voucher for a special set menu valued at R595 for two people (excl. drinks) as well as breakfast. Only valid for a Thu night.

Hallmark House Hotel is an original – an island amid the gritty energy of Joburg's City Centre in all its untamed glory. It's also the kind of place with lots of reasons not to step outside the front door.  Among them, are the retro-styled Cutters barbershop in the lobby, Thorn restaurant with its kickass interior celebrating South African design and artistic talent, and Curious concept store, a merch store put together by the hotel owners. With Hallmark House Hotel's 15th floor Rooftop Bar, the jewel in its crown, and basement Marabi Club you are spoilt for choice when it comes to how to spend a night in Joburg.
Lively South African design in one of Hallmark House Hotel's rooms. Photo: Hallmark House Hotel.

Third runner-up prize: An Art Deco escape at Fishbird Villa

One night (including a delicious French breakfast) for two people in the Master Room of Fishbird Villa, an Art Deco gem in Kensington, valued at R1,980. 

Located in the historical suburb of Kensington, on the eastern side of the city, Fishbird Villa is a century-old property that pays homage to the Art Deco era. It's a gracious nod to old Johannesburg and a time when the world was experiencing a boom and filled with optimism. Each of the four bedrooms, along with the rest of the villa, has been tastefully renovated by its French owners with elegant wooden furniture, Art Deco fittings, pressed ceilings and Oregon pine flooring. This is a prime spot for Joburg's jacaranda season, surrounded by the trees that bloom in late October signalling spring and forming a purple canopy over the streets of Joburg's older suburbs.
Art Deco delights at Fishbird Villa.
The Chestnut Room at Fishbird Villa is an Art Deco-lover's dream. Photo: Fishbird Villa.

Professional winner prize: Brunch at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff

Brunch for two people valued at R850 p.p. (excl. drinks) at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, served on Sun only from 11:30 – 15:00. The prize can't be redeemed on public holidays or special occasions like Mother's Day or Christmas Day. A booking will have to be made in advance; no walk-ins.

More of a hilltop village with its lush gardens, terraces and villas that climb up the ridge, Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff is truly an escape, where the buzz of busy city life below seems far, far away. From the hotel's signature restaurant Flames, seating is outside mostly under the shade of umbrellas, offering panoramic views of Joburg's exceptional tree-scape that are unparalleled.
A sublime escape from the city's buzz at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff. Photo: Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff.

Professional special mention prize: A Champagne experience at 54 on Bath

A R1,000 voucher for a Perrier-Jouët Champagne bar experience for two at 54 on Bath.

This contemporary boutique hotel is an elegant retreat in Rosebank. 54 on Bath has a lovely feel with its cool and uber-chic grey, black and white interior palette along with a photography collection that references and celebrates contemporary Johannesburg. 54 on Bath is also known for its Level Four restaurant, Champagne bar and excellent afternoon tea offering
Relax into the beautiful interiors at 54 on Bath. Photo: 54 on Bath.

Professional special mention prize: Lunch at La Parada

A meal and drinks at La Parada at The Firs, valued at R1,000. 

This vibrant Spanish tapas eatery and bar is hard to miss – La Parada is at the entrance of the open-air piazza opposite Doppio Zero at The Firs, Rosebank. This welcoming restaurant is designed for bringing a crowd; share plates to try an assortment of dishes. The menu is a bit of a continental mash-up as it also includes a sushi menu and pizza. While we tried a number of dishes we rate the pizza highest. And if you have room for dessert, try the churros with a chocolate ganache dip.

Tapas galore at La Parada
Tapas galore at La Parada. Photo: La Parada. 

Voter prizes

Everybody who votes for their favourite finalists also has an opportunity to win. Here's what's up for grabs:

Kensington Trading

A R750 gift voucher to spend on treasures at Kensington Trading. 

Established in 1985, Kensington Trading is an institution, offering a unique selection of antique and vintage furniture, clothing, vinyl and one-of-a-kind decorative pieces for sale.

The entrance to Kensington Trading's many treasures. Photo: Kensington Trading.

Hallmark House Hotel 

A Marabi Club date night voucher valued at R595 per couple (excl. drinks); only valid for a Thu night

Marabi Club at Hallmark House Hotel is named after Joburg's swinging 1920s Marabi jazz movement. The club's interiors conjure the aesthetics of the time, all under a warm and intimate glow. Enjoy cocktails, cigars, excellent food and, most importantly, live jazz music.
Enjoy superb food, old Joburg-inspired interiors and smooth jazz at Marabi Club. Photo: Hallmark House Hotel.

Play Braamfontein

A 'Bottomless Brunch and Braam Rooftop Tour' at Loco for two valued at R500. 

A fun, quirky and colourful spot in Braamfontein's Juta Street precinct, Loco serves up tasty tacos and tequila cocktails, among other easy eating and drinking Mexican-inspired delights.
Tuck into something tasty at Loco. Photo: Play Braamfontein.

Arbour Café

A R500 voucher for a meal at Arbour Café.

This cute, blissfully quiet café's French inspiration is found in its perfectly executed omelettes and galettes. Classic sweet crêpes are also on the menu at this Birdhaven delight, and there's a daily changing selection of cakes and pastries, and fresh salads and sandwiches for lunch. 
Enjoy a fabulous French meal in Arbour Café's whimsical courtyard. Photo: Arbour Café.


A bottle of gin and a six-pack of coolers from Ginologist valued at R400.

Ginologist's award-winning gins are handcrafted in small batches with exotic botanical extracts. 
A wonderfully floral gin from Ginologist pairs perfectly with Gauteng's jacaranda spring. Photo: Ginologist.

Key dates for #JacarandaInYourPocket 2023 photo competition

Until Mon, Nov 6 – The photo competition is open for entries.
Thu, Nov 9 – Finalists announced and voting opens. 
Tue, Nov 14 – Voting closes.  
Thu, Nov 16 – Winners, runners-up and voters' prizes are announced in our newsletter first and then on Instagram. Sign up here for our newsletter if you haven't already

This year we have also partnered with Gautrain, the best way to travel between two jacaranda cities. #YourGautrainJourneyStartsHere

All prizes are subject to availability. 

Find out more about #JacarandaInYourPocket 2023 photo contest here



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