Where to stay – Book a hotel staycation in Joburg

07 Dec 2023
Whether you crave a vibrant city atmosphere, a serene suburban retreat, or a dynamic business district, our hand-picked staycation spots cater to diverse preferences, from tranquil poolside escapes to chic rooftop bars boasting city panoramas. For a stress-free journey, we recommend using the Gautrain, and taking advantage of a hotel transfer (enquire with the property) or using Uber or an equivalent from the station. Here are 10 tried-and-tested staycation gems in Joburg that blend comfort, style and convenience. 


A glorious getaway in the City Centre at AfricanPenthouses. Photo: AfricanPenthouses. 

Embark on an authentic City Centre experience with AfricanPenthouses, a beacon for those seeking short-stay gems. Situated at 87 Commissioner Street, directly opposite the Rand Club and close to Maboneng and Braamfontein, AfricanPenthouses epitomise urban luxury; a stay here "feels like an African Manhattan", as blogger 2Summers describes it. Owned and managed by Ade Ashaye and his partner Priscilla Tandu, these four rooftop apartments, named after politicians, redefine city living with character-rich interiors and mind-boggling panoramic views. Each of the four penthouses, all listed on Airbnb, offers a unique charm, complete with a private rooftop jacuzzi or access to a communal rooftop pool. They accommodate four to six guests and provide an ideal retreat in the heart of Joburg's City Centre. Each apartment (except the Willie Brandt Penthouse) has back-up power for the main interior lights and Wi-Fi; the building itself doesn't have a generator.


Enjoy some time away at the Courtyard Hotel Waterfall City pool. Photo: City Lodge Hotels. 

Nestled in Waterfall City in Midrand – between Johannesburg and Pretoria – Courtyard Hotel Waterfall City stands out as a sophisticated haven for business and leisure. A stone's throw from the Mall of Africa, South Africa's biggest mall, this upmarket City Lodge Hotel Group property boasts 168 rooms, catering to both corporate travellers and weekend leisure seekers. The spacious rooms, adorned with king-size beds and sleek finishes, radiate modern style. The hotel's commitment to sustainability is underscored by its eco-friendly practices, earning it a coveted Green Star 4-star Custom Design certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa. We also love the panoramic rooftop restaurant and bar – The Highline, an elegant space with a menu of shared plates and refreshing cocktails. For the ultimate refreshment, there is an on-site Skin Renewal branch for rejuvenating treatments. Explore the Mall of Africa and more of what Midrand has to offer with our Gautrain day trip guide


Travel to Bali in Morningside at what we think is Joburg's most impressive spa, Fairlawns Spa. Photo: Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa. 
Just a short drive from Sandton, Fairlawns Boutique Hotel effortlessly combines luxurious tranquillity with city sophistication. Originally a 10-acre family home with sporting stables, it has transformed into the boutique spa hotel it is today, inviting guests to feel like they're part of the uber-elite (we can dream, after all!). It's all about opulence here, with king-sized beds, fireplaces, under-floor heating and spacious bathrooms. The private Villa Moji offers 470 square meters of luxury, including a pool, dining room, lounge and two expansive double suites. Amuse-Bouche, the on-site restaurant, boasts contemporary cuisine on a patio overlooking tranquil gardens and an inviting swimming pool. Fairlawns Spa, surrounded by bamboo groves, extends into a private outdoor oasis; its heated outdoor pool provides a Balinese-style view, and the spa, with its traditional Japanese baths, private Thai pavilions and bamboo-grove treatment rooms promises an intimate staycation. Get there with the Gautrain, stopping at the Marlboro station, then Uber directly to Fairlawns and explore more with a day trip of its surroundings.  


Wake up to the sound of birds and a fantastic view to boot at Kensington's Fishbird Art Deco Villa. Photo: Fishbird Art Deco Villa. 

Crafted around a wooden sculpture of a mythical "fish bird", this petite villa combines elegance with artistic allure. Owned by a delightful French couple, each room of Fishbird Art Deco Villa in Kensington has been thoughtfully renovated, boasting Art Deco fittings, pressed ceilings and Oregon pine flooring. Located on historic Highland Road, this suburban four-bedroom haven is conveniently located just 20 minutes from O.R. Tambo International Airport and is a quick 10-minute drive from the City Centre. Behind its unassuming yellow gate lies a garden paradise, featuring a deck with spectacular views and a 15-m swimming pool. Operating on solar energy and borehole water, you can leave your load-shedding and water-shortage woes at home. The French-inspired breakfast, featuring fresh croissants and brioche from Sweet Baguette, adds a delightful touch. The villa's location also puts you within a short drive of attractions like Kensington Trading, The Troyeville Hotel, Maboneng and Victoria Yards. 


A Deluxe suite in the city at Hallmark House Hotel. Photo: Hallmark House Hotel. 
A transformed 1970s diamond polishing factory in Joburg's City Centre, Hallmark House Hotel was designed by famed Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye. Nestled in New Doornfontein, part of greater Maboneng, the hotel offers a unique city staycation experience, a basement-to-top floor fun spot with Marabi Club and its jazz offerings, and the knockout 15th-floor Rooftop at Hallmark bar and restaurant. The lobby features the retro-styled Cutters barbershop, Thorn restaurant celebrating South African design and the Curious concept store curated by the Rocking the Daisies music festival organisers. Hotel rooms on the fourth and fifth floors boast designer jungle-themed carpets, balconies with sweeping city views, and executive rooms with private balconies and deluxe bathtubs. For those seeking total luxury, the marble-clad Penthouse suite, a collaboration with South Africa's most famous DJ Black Coffee with interiors by Tristan Du Plessis, caters to celebs and international pop stars alike. Why not do as they do for a city staycation? 


A colourful stay in Melville awaits at Pablo House. Photo: Annalize Nel. 
Perched on a ridge overlooking the Melville Koppies Nature Reserve, Pablo House exudes rock 'n roll chic. Its unassuming entrance leads to a sleek hideout with glamorous interiors, luxurious accents and a staircase descending to a private pool, all framed by panoramic Joburg views stretching towards the Magaliesberg mountains. Defined by relaxed luxury, Pablo House has seven uniquely decorated suites and a loft. From in-house spa treatments to crisp white linen, bamboo mattresses and Netflix, every detail is considered. Pablo House is a city staycation with a twist, where sophisticated design, thoughtful amenities and personalised local encounters converge. Explore the neighbourhood and read our guide to Melville's 7th Street and surrounds.  


Hang out at the Clubhouse at @Sandton Hotel. Photo: @Sandton Hotel. 

Despite the corporate veneer of "multi-use," @Sandton Hotel pleasantly surprises, providing a distinctive urban living (or staying) encounter. This towering complex integrates around 480 leased apartments with a 561-room hotel, spanning from studios to a Presidential suite and a covetable penthouse creating a comprehensive urban retreat. Its distinguishing feature lies in the sweeping views towards the west of Joburg, particularly captivating from the upper floors. Upon check-in, guests unlock access to the complex's offerings: a private gym, a heated pool within a clubhouse, a children’s play area, a whisky and cigar lounge and the hotel’s restaurant. At ground level, an expansive foyer beckons for relaxation or meetings, complemented by approachable that prioritise first-class concierge services. @Sandton Hotel's compact spa gives you quick and basic services while the @Deli stocks everything from cool gifting ideas to Illy coffee on the run. It also has an extensive wine and liquor section. Being so close to Sandton, you'll have access to the Gautrain for easy travel in and around the economic, shopping and leisure hub; read our Sandton day trip guide with Gautrain for more.


Get away and take a break at The Cliffside. Photo: The Cliffside Boutique Getaway. 
Atop the historic Northcliff Ridge, The Cliffside Boutique Getaway provides a captivating view of the city and beyond, blending modern comfort with nature. The Cliffside, a converted suburban residence boasting five bedrooms, emanates warmth and contemporary charm, boasting a delightful pool, sauna and meandering stone paths through a kilometre-long garden. Sundowners reveal a panorama of city lights and the distant Magaliesberg mountains. An ideal choice for group getaways, families or even a solo retreat, The Cliffside offers all kinds of accommodation options. Some suites are equipped with self-catering facilities, although we think the culinary offerings are exceptional. For the adventurous, activities like rock climbing, abseiling lessons or a walk up the Northcliff Ridge await, making The Cliffside a staycation that really feels like a vacation.


Lavishly designed Presidential suite at The Houghton Hotel. Photo: The Houghton Hotel. 
Indulge in a weekend retreat at The Houghton Hotel, a luxurious oasis in the heart of Joburg. Overlooking the prestigious Houghton Golf Club, this resort-style complex promises an unforgettable experience akin to being on an urban cruise ship. Boasting fine-dining restaurant Séjour, a spa and an inviting lounge with a Champagne bar, leaving may prove to be a challenge. In a city where hotels often prioritise business over leisure, The Houghton Hotel stands out as a rare gem nestled within the lush greenery of an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, forming part of an upscale residential complex. Beyond the glamour, The Houghton Hotel impresses with vast outdoor spaces, including expansive parklands and an abundance of swimming pools. 


A Classic room stay in upmarket Melrose at The Peech Hotel. Photo: The Peech Hotel via Facebook. 

The Peech Hotel is an exceptional staycation destination located in leafy Melrose North. A brief stroll from Melrose Arch, this boutique gem has thrived since its establishment in 2004. Noteworthy for its commitment to eco-conscious values, the hotel, spanning two acres of lush gardens, has transformed from a heritage house into a suburban Eden, offering a peaceful retreat filled with birdsong. Situated near James and Ethel Gray Park and founded by James and Vicky Peech, The Peech Hotel's every detail is considered in its 32 thoughtfully designed rooms. Chef James Diack at Basalt, the hotel's restaurant, offers a refined tasting menu that mirrors the hotel's commitment to exceptional guest care, creating a genuine 'home away from home' experience. Despite its proximity to Melrose Arch and the M1 highway, the hotel's serene environment offers guests a blissful staycation escape from the urban grind. 


Glitter and glamour await at voco Hotel The Bank in Rosebank. Photo: voco Hotel The Bank.

voco Hotel The Bank features expansive floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views of Rosebank's cityscape and the surrounding tree-covered suburbs. voco Hotel The Bank redefines hotel experiences with sexy sophistication and glamorous Art Deco inspiration with four different types of rooms. The hotel also boasts an incredibly beautiful bar that buzzes with atmosphere. Strategically located, voco Hotel The Bank Rosebank is a transport hub, with the Gautrain at its doorstep and easy access to the Rosebank Art & Craft Market, City Sightseeing bus, Rosebank Sunday Market and more. From Proud Mary restaurant and Proud Coffee in the lobby to Workshop17's art-filled co-working spaces, voco Hotel The Bank is a feast for the senses. Treat yourself; it's worth it. Find out how to make the most of your time in Rosebank with our Gautrain day trip guide.


Some of these hotels are near Joburg's Rosebank, Sandton or Midrand Gautrain stations. See our guide to the Gautrain here and download the Gautrain app for real-time updates on when the next Gautrain and Gautrain midi-bus are due. Visit for more information on the timetable and fares. #YourGautrainJourneyStartsHere


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