Search the best hotels in Johannesburg
‘Jo'burg’ or ‘Jozi’ to its inhabitants, Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest city, its financial hub, and one of its most diverse. Founded in 1886, following the Witwatersrand Gold Rush, its original etymology remains under dispute, though Johannesburg remains the heart of South Africa’s gold and diamond, as well as its financial industry. Long before European settlers made their way this far up north, the plains that now surround the city were inhabited by San hunter-gatherers, and the Sotho–Tswana tribes. Our choice of the best places to stay in Johannesburg showcase the best in budget-friendly to all-out luxury stays.
Today, the city’s vibrant street life is unmissable, it permeates every experience and street corner. Local markets can be found everywhere, with vendors plying their wares to passers-by; pop-up barbers cutting hair on street corners; and locals selling everything from food to footballs. Each neighbourhood entirely distinct from the next, once synonymous with crime, Johannesburg now boasts a thriving art and music scene. The previously run-down area of Maboneng, in particular, is now a haven for hipsters and culture-vultures, home to some of the city’s coolest bars, restaurants and music venues.
A trip to Johannesburg is not complete without a trip to Soweto, originally an informal settlement, this area has blossomed from forced habitation to an address of social prestige. Visit to experience South African culture at its most welcoming and delve deeper into Soweto’s rich historical significance, including the former home of Nelson Mandela and the Hector Pieterson Museum.South Africa’s largest city. Johannesburg is also one of its greenest, with over six million trees and some beautiful examples of urban parkland. Rosebank is the largest and most popular, whilst Zoo Lake in Johannesburg Zoo is also a must-visit.
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 Johannesburg. 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.The once bad-mouthed locale of Yeoville is now home to the city’s most memorable meal. Yeoville Dinner Club, a tiny, artily decorated room with a balcony overlooking Rockey Street. Sanza Sandile, your host and chef, spins a wonderful yarn about the city he grew up in whilst rustling up delicious Pan-African dishes. 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.
WHAT NOT TO MISS
- If you're interested in the history of South Africa, visit the 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.
- 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 Johannesburg.
- Explore the Melville Koppies Nature Reserve, a World Heritage Site of major historical significance, where humans have lived since the Stone Age, and the ridges are estimated to be 2.9 billion years old.
- Another painful reminder of South Africa’s blemished past can be witnessed at Constitution Hill, comprised of The Old Fort, Number Four Jail, the Women's Jail; and the Awaiting Trial Block, which housed men and women, black and white, who resisted the Apartheid regime.
- Head out of town for the day, to the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve outside the city, a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of urban life, and crisscrossed with mountain hiking trails. On your way back, go to the Lion Park.
- Why not paint the town red along 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.
- Johannesburg created much of its wealth through gold mining and throughout the city are disused mines like the Old Kromdraai which are well worth seeing.
- If travelling in September why not visit the Soweto Wine Festival, one of its most popular annual events.
Our choice of the best places to stay in Johannesburg take into account the best locales, as well as some of the chicest city stays in town.
WHERE TO STAY IN JOHANNESBURG
FOR A BUDGET FRIENDLY STAY
- Starkly decorated, accentuated with little quirks, offering very good value, Motel Mi Pi Chi, has a contemporary feel that younger travellers will love.
- Arum Place Guest House provides guests with a homely family-run stay, within easy reach of town, complete with a hearty English breakfast served each morning.
FOR SOMETHING TRULY SPECIAL
- Arguably Johannesburg’s finest address, The Saxon Hotel boasts stylish rooms and lavish dining, right in the heart of town. Be sure to earmark an afternoon by the pool and for afternoon tea – plus don’t miss dinner at Qunu.
- Johannesburg’s best new boutique hotel, The Peech champions mix-match prints and quirky décor, blending traditional African styles with modern patterns. Guests will love the laidback, open-plan feel of the communal areas.
- One for the travelling gourmands, Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa’s ‘Into The Woods’ menu has been picked right from their own vegetable garden. One of the best restaurants in Johannesburg, it is located in a very refined setting, with manicured grounds and opulent rooms.
- Boasting a seasonally inspired, locally sourced, haute cuisine restaurant, Clico Boutique Hotel, which boasts a pool, expansive grounds, and stylish rooms, will wow foodies the world over.
FOR CITY CHIC
- A sleek ten-room hotel, Atholplace Hotel is great for solo travellers and couples. Chic interiors set the scene for a very civilised stay. Ideally placed for exploring, and well equipped for a sunny afternoon by the pool.
- Right in the heart of town, the trendy 54 on Bath boasts minimalist rooms, a bubbly champagne bar, and a very popular rooftop pool. A great stay amidst central Johannesburg.
- A heritage stay in a former post office, Monarch Hotel is filled with period features and provides guests with a stay amidst history. Centrally located, it’s great for exploring on foot.
- Designed by acclaimed architect, David Adjaye, Hallmark House is a fashionable stay amidst this up and coming corner of town. Smart, jewelled coloured rooms and sparse yet inviting.
- Excellently priced and beautifully decorated, at Pablo House wood, glass, and natural materials are combined to create stylish yet tranquil living spaces, surrounded by greenery.
- A glamorous city hotel, The Michelangelo is right in the heart of the city and provides opulent dining with all the amenities of a five-star hotel.
FOR A BOUTIQUE STAY
- The perfect combination of modern meets heritage, The Residence’s contemporary structure is filled with antique pieces. Quirky outdoor spaces juxtaposed with classic interiors create a winning stay.
- A delightful owner-managed stay, guests at The Parkwood are well taken care of. Comfy rooms, an inviting pool, plus a superb breakfast included in the rate. It’s a great value yet charming stay.
- A private house lovingly turned into a 15-bedroom boutique hotel, 10 2nd Avenue Houghton Estate, is a homely yet luxurious stay. Well taken care of by your hosts, there’s a superb menu, spa treatments, and an outdoor pool to enjoy.
GREAT FOR COUPLES
- A thirty-minute drive from Johannesburg, Riboville is something truly special. Total relaxation, guests can enjoy horse-riding, a swim in the pool, a strong amidst its grounds, or an indulgent spa treatment. Adults-only, it’s a great couples’ retreat.
- Adults only, The Munro Hotel provides guests with an urban hideaway in the heart of Johannesburg. In-room curtained four-posters and plant-filled bathrooms create a Regency-feel, whilst outdoors trickling ponds and leafy gardens offer total seclusion. Bliss.
- Pure relaxation, Valley Lodge & Spa is the perfect couple’s escape with an eighteen-hole golf course, fine dining, and a long list of relaxing spa treatments. Just a short drive from Johannesburg it’s the perfect urban escape.
- Wherever you’re travelling to, the best time to visit Johannesburg is in the winter months of between November and February, when the temperatures generally remain in the 20°Cs, dropping to close to freezing in the evening. Summer months can get hot and sticky during the day, with a burst of refreshing rainfall in the afternoon.
- With worldwide international flights to Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport and daily flights from and to all of South Africa’s major domestic airports, it’s very accessible. Though by European standards, public transport is limited, taxis are widely available, especially now that Uber has been introduced, making getting about easier and more reliable.
- If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
- Why not widen your search to nearby Pretoria or Gauteng province?
- Or contact one of our gurus for advice.
Best Hotels in Johannesburg
Motel Mi Pi Chi Johannesburg (Melville,) 11 rooms from £48Value 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
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. See More
Arum Place Guest House Johannesburg 9 rooms from £52Value 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
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. See More
Pablo House Johannesburg 8 rooms from £59City Style - A very chic stay in a smart neighbourhood of JoburgGreat walks - To Melville Koppies Nature ReserveKayaking - Emmarentia DamSwimming Pool - Outdoor pool
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. See More
Hallmark House Johannesburg 47 rooms from £73Value chic - An excellent value stay in the heart of town - live like a local!Local markets - Shop at Maboneng MarketDesigner - Uniquely designed interiors.Spa
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. See More
Monarch Hotel Johannesburg 12 rooms from £112Local 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
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. See More
Riboville Johannesburg (9 Waterfall Drive, Waterfall City,) 16 rooms from £115Total 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
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. See More
54 on Bath Johannesburg 75 rooms from £118City 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
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. See More
The Parkwood Johannesburg (Parkwood,) 16 rooms from £119Total 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
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. See More
Clico Boutique Hotel Johannesburg 9 rooms from £124Foodies - 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
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. See More
The Peech Johannesburg 16 rooms from £131City 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
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. See More
10 2nd Avenue Houghton Estate Johannesburg (Houghton Estate,) 15 rooms from £148City 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
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. See More
The Residence Johannesburg 18 rooms from £155Total 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 Johannesburg 5 rooms from £165Romantic 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'
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. See More
The Michelangelo Johannesburg 240 rooms from £193City Style - Opulent address within easy access of Johannesburg's attractionsSights nearby - Do not miss a visit to Mandela HouseSwimming Pool - Indoor poolSpa
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. See More
Southern Sun Montecasino Johannesburg (Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways,) 119 rooms from £194City 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 Johannesburg 41 rooms from £268Foodies - 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
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. See More
Atholplace Hotel Johannesburg (Atholl) 10 rooms from £349Hideaway - 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
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. See More
The Saxon Hotel Johannesburg 18 rooms from £475Foodies - 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
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. See More