Search the best hotels in Johannesburg
People tend to associate Johannesberg with crime; an image of gated communities sitting alongisde Third-World slums comes immediately to mind. However, this does little justice to this colourful and energetic city - the cosmopolitan beating heart of the South African economy - a city that is undergoing a rebirth after decades of decline, and is the world's leading light in urban renewal projects. A fun and friendly city with a great nightlife and some excellent, albeit, haunting museums, it is the ideal destination for students of colonial history and those who wish to soak up South African culture, and the best places to stay in Johannesberg will dispell all myths you may have about this wonderful city.
Called "Jo'burg" or "Jozi" by locals, the city has a vibrant street-life: local markets can be found everywhere, with street vendors plying their wares to passersby; pop-up barbers cutting hair on street corners; and locals selling everything from food to footballs. Another thing you will notice is how delightfully green the city is - there are over 6 million trees in Johannesberg.
Of course, scare-stories about the city exist in droves, but while you should always remain aware of your surroundings, try to look like a local and never brazenly display your wealth, you shouldn't let these stories pollute your picture of what is an animated and charming city.
- Previously dodgy and dilapidated communities have been rejuvenated by a spate of urban renewal projects: Maboneng, for example, is now an artsy and hipster neighbourhood, with some of the greatest bars and clubs in Johannesberg.
- The historic downtown area generally is exceedingly colourful and energetic, boasting some amazing markets
- and Soweto, the best-known township of the city, has some incredible museums like the Apartheid Museum and Nelson Mandela House.
- For a good time, you should head over to the Market Theatre area - arguably the city's cultural hub - which brims with music venues and bars, or 7th Street in Melville.
Far from being a place that rewards the aimless walker, while exploring the city you should book one of the many tour companies there, who are both informative and professional, allowing you to safely see the hidden nooks and crannies of Johannesberg.
What Not to miss
- Museums: if you're interested in the history of South Africa and the evil ravages of Apartheid, check out Nelson Mandela House Museum and the Apartheid Museum in Soweto. The South African National Museum of Military History is also worth seeing, boasting an impressive collection of howitzers and ME 262 jetfighters.
- Nature reserves: for a day trip, you should consider going to Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve outside the city, a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of urban life, and criss-crossed with mountain hiking trails. On your way back, go to the Lion Park.
- Nightlife: head over to Fox Street in Maboneng or 7th Street in Melville for the bars and clubs. If you want to dance-till-dawn, check out the Market Theatre area, which dominates the music scene in terms of its venues and bars.
- Gold mines: Johannesberg created much of its wealth through gold mining and throughout the city are disused mines like the Old Kromdraai which are well worth seeing.
Johannesberg is on the rise, ascending from the squalor and misery of decades-past, it is fast-becoming a trendy and extremely smart place to live, full of great bars, clubs and museums. The hotels in our collection of the best places to stay in Johannesberg will ensure your stay is safe and vigorously entertaining, in this city of joy and sunshine.
The best places to stay in Johannesberg
For a stylish stay
The AtholPlace Hotel & Villa is a property just oozing with glamour in a leafy part of town, yet within easy reach of Sandton, Johannesberg's commercial centre. There are nine individually designed suites plus a self contained four bed villa which is ideal for small groups or families. Relax in the library or by the pool then indulge yourself with a delicious dinner in the excellent restaurant.
For an apartment or villa
- If self-catering is your preferred option, our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.
- The best time to go is during the months between October and March, when the temperature varies from 12 to 25 degrees.
- Fly to O.R. Tambo International Airport, in Johannesberg.
- If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Johannesburg
Motel Mi Pi Chi 11 rooms from £48Johannesburg (Melville,)
A quirky owner managed guest house, located in the inviting neighbourhood of Melville. Filled with turn of the century furnishings, each room boasts period features and bags of character. Snacks are available in the kitchen, and breakfast is included in the rate. Great value.Value chic - A very retro chic stay in a cosy suburb of JoburgGreat walks - Through Melville Koppies Nature Reserve, just 1 km awayRestrictions on children - Children above the age of 12 are welcomeSights nearby - Johannesburg Zoo is within easy reach
Arum Place Guest House 9 rooms from £52Johannesburg
Charming owner managed guesthouse, located in the quiet suburb of Melville, yet within easy reach of the main sights of the city. Each room is a good size, with tea and coffee making facilities, en-suites, and sunny terraces. There's a pool and a hearty English breakfast served each morning.Value chic - An excellent value stay within easy reach of the city's sightsGreat walks - Through Melville Koppies Nature Reserve, less than 2 km awayKayaking - On Emmarentia DamSwimming Pool - Outdoor pool
Pablo House 8 rooms from £59Johannesburg
A one of a kind modern, minimalist hotel within the popular neighbourhood of Melville. Each room is light and bright, with colourful interiors and the best have their own private balcony. A superb breakfast is served, plus there's a popular on-site coffee shop, and restaurant. Excellent value.City Style - A very chic stay in a smart neighbourhood of JoburgGreat walks - To Melville Koppies Nature ReserveKayaking - Emmarentia DamSwimming Pool - Outdoor pool
Hallmark House 47 rooms from £73Johannesburg
Located in a trendy corner of Johannesburg, this hip hotel, designed by acclaimed local architect David Adjaye provides guests with an excellent value, stylish stay. Each of its rooms is decorated in rich colours with vibrant prints and private balconies. A buffet breakfast is served.Value chic - An excellent value stay in the heart of town - live like a local!Local markets - Shop at Maboneng MarketDesigner - Uniquely designed interiors.Spa
Monarch Hotel 12 rooms from £112Johannesburg
Dating back to the 1930s this former post office turned boutique hotel provides guests with a heritage stay amidst this characterful suburb of Johannesburg. Opulent suites include silk linens and capacious beds. Choose from indoor and outdoor dining and indulgent menus. A great stay.Local exploring - A perfect spot to base yourself for exploring the citySights nearby - The Nelson Mandela Foundation is an interesting visitRestrictions on children - Children above the age of 12 are welcomeSpa
Riboville 16 rooms from £115Johannesburg (9 Waterfall Drive, Waterfall City,)
Boasting such picturesque views, you'd never believe you're just a 30-minute drive from beating heart of Johannesburg. Opulent suites, with enormous beds, are the height of luxury. This, combined with gourmet dining and equestrian facilities, is the perfect urban meets rural stay. Adults-only.Total relaxation - A very sophisticated stay, on the outskirts of the city, designed to relax and unwindSights nearby - The Cradle of Humankind is a fascinating visitSwimming Pool - Outdoor poolRestrictions on children - Adults only
54 on Bath 75 rooms from £118Johannesburg
A slick city hotel in a convenient location in central Johannesburg. Each of its rooms has a minimalist New York loft feel, with moody palettes and plush textiles. Continental dishes are served at Level Four Restaurant or enjoy drinks at the champagne bar. Outdoors there's a very inviting pool.City Style - Very luxurious hotel in a smart corner of JoburgLocal markets - The colourful African Craft Market is just 200m awaySights nearby - Goodman Gallery is within walking distanceSwimming Pool - Outdoor pool
The Parkwood 16 rooms from £119Johannesburg (Parkwood,)
Delightful owner-managed guesthouse with fabulous indoor-outdoor living. Each of the rooms is large, decorated in colourful palettes, and all the mod cons. Some with private terraces. There is an inviting pool, al fresco lounge areas, and well-maintained gardens. A superb breakfast is served.Total relaxation - A tranquil stay within easy reach of the sights of the cityRestrictions on children - Children above the age of 12 are welcomeSights nearby - Goodman Gallery is moments awayGreat walks - Take a stroll to Zoo Lake
Clico Boutique Hotel 9 rooms from £124Johannesburg
Sleek and modern boutique hotel boasting a popular gourmet restaurant. Focusing on its unique seasonally inspired menus it is a destination in itself - not to be missed. Rooms are light and airy, the best opening out onto a leafy garden with an outdoor pool. A great value stay.Foodies - Boasting a gourmet restaurant, a destination in itself, foodies will loveSights nearby - Goodman Gallery is within walking distanceKayaking - Out on Zoo LakeSwimming Pool - Outdoor pool
The Peech 16 rooms from £131Johannesburg
Stylish boutique hotel boasting commendable eco principles, designer interiors, and superb dining. The Peech family have turned their family home into a sleek address in the inviting neighbourhood of Melrose. Modern rooms are spacious with leafy garden views, and an inviting pool. A great stay.City Style - One of Johannesburg's chicest addressesGreat walks - Through James and Ethel Gray parkSwimming Pool - Outdoor poolRestrictions on children - Adults onlyRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape
10 2nd Avenue Houghton Estate 15 rooms from £148Johannesburg (Houghton Estate,)
Grand private house turned hotel, located in one of Johannesburg's smartest locale's Houghton Estate. This 15-bedroom hotel provides guests with lavish suites, large bathrooms, an outdoor pool and spa treatments. Gourmet dining is on the menu, though guests should be aware no alcohol is served.City Style - A stylish stay within easy reach of the city centreSights nearby - Pay a visit to the Nelson Mandela FoundationGreat walks - The Wilds Nature ReserveSwimming Pool - Outdoor pool
The Residence 18 rooms from £155Johannesburg
Nestled in the charming suburb of Houghton this refined hotel provides fabulous suites with Persian rugs and sparkling chandeliers. Some include private balconies with jacuzzis. There is a superb spa, excellent dining, as well as an inviting pool and sunny gardens.Total relaxation - Indulgent spa treatments, lavish rooms, in a leafy settingSights nearby - Munro Drive Viewpoint is only a walk awaySwimming Pool - Outdoor poolFull of character
The Munro Hotel 5 rooms from £165Johannesburg
Located in a leafy suburb of bustling Johannesburg this charming B&B is a refined stay within an urban jungle. Trickling ponds and birdsong provide the soundtrack to your stay. Elegant rooms are filled with antique pieces, fine silks, and luxurious bathrooms. Lunch and dinner on request.Romantic Break - An adults only, refined hotel, ideal for a break for twoGreat walks - Through 'The Wilds' and the scenic Munro Drive ViewpointSights nearby - Joburg Zoo is just a short distance awaySailing - Boating on 'Zoo Lake'
The Michelangelo 240 rooms from £193Johannesburg
Slick hotel in the heart of Johannesburg's CBD yet within easy access to many of its most popular sights. Towering tall this smart hotel provides guests with all the amenities: a spa, pool, and large leisure complex. Rooms are decorated in a classic style, with lavish bathrooms.City Style - Opulent address within easy access of Johannesburg's attractionsSights nearby - Do not miss a visit to Mandela HouseSwimming Pool - Indoor poolSpa
Southern Sun Montecasino 119 rooms from £194Johannesburg (Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways,)
A luxurious hotel located within the Montecasino complex, you're within walking distance of plenty of designer shops, restaurants, and bars. Bedrooms are made for lingering with smart bathrooms and modern amenities. An extensive breakfast is served.City Style - A very grand stay within JohannesburgGreat walks - Johannesburg Botanical Garden is a perfect place to spend an afternoonSwimming Pool - Outdoor poolSpa
Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa 41 rooms from £268Johannesburg
A very sophisticated country house within an inviting suburb of Johannesburg. Dine on haute cuisine to your heart's content at "Into the Woods" the hotel's award-winning restaurant, or indulge in a spa treatment if that's more your style. Beautifully appointed rooms make it an idyllic stay.Foodies - Boasting a fine dining menu, gourmands will love this stayCity Style - A very stylish stay in a smart suburb of JohannesburgRestrictions on children - Children above the age of 12 are welcomeSwimming Pool - Outdoor pool
Atholplace Hotel 10 rooms from £343Johannesburg (Atholl)
A stylish hotel in Johannesburg, an ideal stop-off point for pre-safari trips, with a relaxed ambiance, a choice of two pools, pleasant gardens and a truly excellent restaurant with a changing seasonal menu. Explore the city or simply relax and recharge your batteries before the next adventure.Hideaway - Days can be whiled away languorously in the gorgeous grounds, making the most of South Africa’s temperate climateSights nearby - Visit Nelson Mandela Square and discover the origins of mankind at the Sterkfontein Caves, an Unesco World Heritage SiteSwimming Pool - There’s a main pool with a deck and sunloungers, plus a family-friendly pool with a shallow endLocal markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
The Saxon Hotel 18 rooms from £475Johannesburg
One of Johannesburg's finest hotels The Saxon provides luxurious lodgings in the heart of town. Sample Asian flavours at Qunu, a generous breakfast each morning, or high tea in the afternoon. Lavish interiors create a refined ambience whilst spa treatments are the height of indulgence.Foodies - Fine dining, high tea, with many ingredients sourced from an organic vegetable gardenSpa breaks - Superb wellness programme: spa junkies will loveGreat walks - Through Hyde Park, just 1.5km awaySwimming Pool - Outdoor pool