Standing as a beacon of modernity and progress on the African continent, Johannesburg is a thriving cosmopolitan city a place where innovation, creativity, and enterprise flourish amid dazzling beauty. This rich and unique tapestry brings a sense of splendor to the city’s accommodation scene. From bucolic boutiques to glittering skyscrapers, here are my favorite cool and unique hotels in Johannesburg…
The Peech Hotel
At The Peech Hotel, I found a haven steeped in South African allure and subtle luxury. The vibrant charm of this place, nestled in lush gardens, instantly whisked me away from the city’s hustle.
Every nook exuded a burst of colour and craftsmanship, seamlessly blending into the serene expanse of the two-acre property. The annexes and sleek pavilions encircling the 1950s heritage home created an exclusive retreat.
During my stay, I revelled in the two outdoor pools and savoured delightful meals at the two restaurants. As I stepped into my room, the dark blue-grey tones welcomed me, adorned with local artwork and natural elements that beautifully captured the region’s essence.
One of my favorite aspects was the vibrant gardens, a lush oasis away from the urban hustle.
Colorfully designed vibrant oasis
Exquisite community craftwork
Lush bright spacious gardens
Sleek standalone pavilions
No on-site spa
Can get booked up
Restaurant closes early
Thaba Eco Hotel
While visiting the majestic Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve in Johannesburg, I discovered a perfect retreat immersed in lush landscapes.
At this place, comfort and relaxation intertwined, leaving me utterly refreshed. Whether indulging in the award-winning Sinzinani spa or admiring the scenic views from my well-designed guestroom, every moment was rejuvenating.
The commitment to sustainability was evident in the eloquently prepared meals, showcasing the freshest ingredients from the rustic surroundings.
The outdoor hang-out deck, ElBar, became one of my favorite spots, offering crafted cocktails and signature wines against a picturesque hinterland backdrop.
Moreover, the hotel provided a range of outdoor eco-activities, allowing me to connect with South Africa’s incredible wildlife and landscapes intimately.
My personal favorite? The outdoor ElBar deck with breathtaking hinterland views, a perfect spot for relaxation.
Parking is a little far
Air Con is a bit temperamental
Radisson RED Hotel Johannesburg
The Radisson RED in Johannesburg is a gem that caught my eye. The designs were bold, the wall embellishments were bespoke, creating a playful vibe that became a perfect launchpad for exploring this vibrant city.
The rooms blended local inspiration and cheerful decor, truly reflecting the essence of South Africa. They welcomed me with open arms, setting the tone for an extravagant experience in this bustling metropolis.
Every detail seemed meticulously crafted for my comfort, ensuring a delightful stay. The rooftop pool and terrace, in particular, were a haven in the balmy weather, inviting me to unwind and soak up the tranquillity.
The on-site restaurant had this wonderful relaxed vibe, fostering a sense of community, and the rooftop bar offered breathtaking sunset views that left me in awe. This place had my heart from the moment I arrived.
One of my favorite places was the rooftop pool and terrace—a haven to unwind and enjoy stunning sunset views.
Bespoke trendy wall artwork
Exceptionally cheerful decor
Locally inspired wall prints
Rooftop pool and terrace
Hallmark House Hotel
Hallmark House in Johannesburg’s lively Maboneng is a favourite spot of mine. The surroundings burst with street art, lively bars, and exceptional dining options.
Inside, it’s sleek and sophisticated yet oozes urban charm. Abstract art decorates the interiors, and the rooms showcase a beautiful African batik-style design.
I loved the top-notch in-room amenities, especially the minibar stocked with local goodies—a thoughtful touch.
Breakfast is a bustling affair, offering a delightful spread of homemade dishes each morning. Their African-inspired menu at the restaurant is a must-try, and the lively bar is perfect for mingling with fellow travellers.
My favorite aspect was the African-inspired dining options, offering a vibrant culinary experience.
Traditional batik-styled rooms
Graceful in-room minibars
African-inspired dining options
Highly sophisticated urban cool interiors
Busy location might not suit everyone
Vibe might not suit everyone
One of my favorite places in the city has to be Palazzo, known for its elegant charm. The luxurious Italian design, reminiscent of palatial Tuscan opulence, sweeps you into a world of grandeur.
As I stepped in, I was mesmerized by crystal chandeliers illuminating rich wooden furnishings amidst marble and terracotta interiors. Comfort and sophistication blended seamlessly here.
I couldn’t resist the allure of Café Rialto, a hotspot for business visionaries and creative travellers. Overlooking stunning gardens was the perfect setting for a leisurely lunch on the deck.
After a bustling day exploring the city, I found solace in one of the country’s largest pools. The serene atmosphere melted away my stresses. And to top it off, a massage from expert therapists was a heavenly indulgence beside the pool.
I highly recommend Café Rialto for its splendid Tuscan-inspired charm and a delightful dining experience.
Tuscan-themed opulent decor
Terracotta and marble furnishings
Splendid Italian designs
On-site pool and massage therapy
Gym could be better equipped
Air con can be temperamental
Some rooms can be small
Ten Bompas Hotel
At Ten Bompas, nestled amid serene gardens, I found respite from the city’s hustle. Each suite, uniquely designed by different interior artists, offered its charm.
From classic to contemporary, every unit embraced African touches. A separate lounge area added to the feeling of seclusion, which I truly relished.
Waking up in my private garden was a daily highlight. The morning symphony of chirping birds and swaying trees felt enchanting and serene.
The in-room facilities were exceptional. However, the real gems were found at the on-site Winehouse Restaurant. Its tranquil ambience and exquisite culinary offerings created cherished memories during my stay.
One of my favorite places was the serene garden surroundings, offering a peaceful escape.
Surrounded by pristine gardens
Uniquely-themed interior design
Contemporary African-styled rooms
On-site Winehouse Restaurant
Lack of storage space in rooms
No on-site gym
Food can be a little pricey
African Pride Melrose Arch, Autograph Collection
At this eclectic hotel in Johannesburg, I fell for the quirky, bespoke décor embodying the city’s spirit. The open-plan layout, adorned with exposed brick and chic wall embellishments, exuded refined comfort, making it one of my favorite places to stay.
The Library Lounge was where I found the true essence of Johannesburg, savoring aged whiskey among locals and fellow travellers—it felt like an authentic experience.
After a day of sightseeing, coming back was a delight. The exclusive hotel pool and the lively bar area added a unique touch to my stay, infusing a soulful atmosphere I loved.
My personal favorite? The Library Lounge, an authentic spot to savor aged whiskey amid chic décor.
Spectacular interior aesthetics
Elegant brick-leathered headboards
Lively bar and pool
Lovely chic wall embellishments
Parking can be expensive
Elevator can be slow
Lack of storage space in bathrooms
Voco Johannesburg Rosebank an IHG Hotel
I loved the beautifully designed rooms at this newly opened hotel. They surround you in flamingo and navy blue shades, creating a truly cozy atmosphere.
Located in the trendy Rosebank district, the charm of this place hits you right at the entrance. The staff here are incredibly friendly, setting the tone for my entire visit.
The front desk went above and beyond, helping me plan incredible day excursions with fellow solo travellers. Their expert advice on unique walking tours around the city was invaluable.
I adored the Proud Mary Modern Eatery and Wine Bar. It’s a lively spot where I indulged in innovative dishes paired with a bespoke wine list. Stepping outside, I discovered a maze of restaurants, shops, and cafés waiting to be explored.
My favorite aspect was the beautifully designed rooms cocooned in flamingo and navy blue shades.
Flamingo-shaded cocooning rooms
On-site Proud Mary Modern Eatery
Extensive shopping centers nearby
Parking can be expensive
Shower pressure can be a little weak
Breakfast menu can be limited
The Houghton Hotel, Spa, Wellness & Golf
At The Houghton, tradition dances with modernity, creating an elegant haven. It’s not just a luxury hotel in Johannesburg; it’s a prime golfing spot. Hosting eight SA Open events, it’s steeped in championship history.
The spa, brand new and state-of-the-art, blew me away. Picture a wooden deck, an outdoor shower, and 8 versatile treatment suites—a truly soul-reviving haven.
But what caught my eye were the graceful artworks in my room. They added a bright, sophisticated vibe to my stay that I loved.
One of my favorite aspects was the state-of-the-art spa—a soul-reviving haven within the hotel.
State-of-the-art spa facility and amenities
Graceful in-room artwork
First-class elegantly designed infrastructure
Luxury on-site Golfing accommodations
Not for the budget-friendly crowd
Late check-ins at times
Seven Villa Hotel & Spa
Nestled in a lush secret garden, Seven Villa became my haven, a slice of nature tucked away in a bustling Sandton. Surrounded by greenery, it felt like a serene escape while being minutes away from the city center.
The suites and villas offered bespoke services, wrapping me in comfort without losing the sense of secluded bliss.
Nature enveloped every corner, from the native gardens to the serene pool area; waterfalls’ melodies and birds’ songs danced amid the ancient trees.
The cuisine, a celebration of local flavors, became a highlight. The Camelot Spa, adorned with stone textures and hues of gold and navy, captivated me with its serenity, creating a haven for indulgence and harmony.
I loved the lush secret garden—a serene escape amidst bustling Sandton, perfect for tranquility.
On-site lush secret garden
Cosmopolitan center of Sandton nearby
Locally-inspired African cuisine
Surrounded by eye-catching waterfalls
Some bathrooms can be small
Food can be expensive
Parkwood Boutique Hotel
Nestled in the serene suburb of Parkwood, I discovered a hidden gem—a boutique property that seamlessly marries cosiness with spaciousness.
Among its 16 rooms, I relished the perfect blend of seclusion and tranquillity. It felt like an urban sanctuary, surrounded by lush greenery and top golf courses within walking distance.
The familial vibes instantly put me at ease, especially with the charming traditional stone walls adorning the interior living spaces.
The full-length windows invited the outdoors, whether the inviting patio or the serene outdoor area. This balance between intimacy and open-air ambience was truly delightful. Nestled in a beautifully manicured lawn, the quaint pool offered a serene spot to unwind under the warm sun.
Nestled in Parkwood’s serene suburb, the peaceful pool area became my favorite retreat spot.
Traditionally designed stone walls
Graceful serene surroundings
Outstanding outdoor hang-out setting
Quaint and peaceful pool area
No 24/7 reception staff
No in-room microwaves
Premier Hotel Quatermain
At Premier Hotel, lush gardens, trickling streams, and flowing fountains create a serene backdrop, offering an escape from city life’s hustle.
I love how the tranquility seeps into every corner, even the restaurant and bars. It’s a haven, whether by the pool with a glass of champagne or by the fireplace in absolute peace.
The moment I arrived, the blend of nature’s embrace in the vibrant gardens and the cozy, familial vibe immediately relaxed me.
This hotel’s location is ideal, placing you close to Sandston’s business district and within reach of Mandela Square’s vibrant dining and nightlife scene.
The tranquil restaurant and bars amidst cascading fountains made my stay truly serene.
On-site cascading fountains and streams
Close to Mandela Square
Continental and English cuisine
Serene and calm surroundings
Air con can be temperamental
Some bathrooms can be small
Vivari Hotel and Spa by Mantis
Vivari Hotel in Johannesburg amazed me from the moment I arrived. Dr. Anushka Reddy’s vision transformed this place into a haven blending human comfort with nature’s grace.
Surrounded by nature’s tranquillity, the hotel resonates with holistic wellness, offering a rejuvenating experience. As part of the renowned Mantis collection, it embraces eco-friendly values and exudes sophistication.
Dining under the pecan tree canopy at Brambles Restaurant felt like a luxurious retreat. The seasonal menus were delightful, and the rooftop bar’s ambience added to the allure of this stylish escape. Beauty, taste, and radiance defined every single moment of my stay.
I highly recommend Brambles Restaurant for its luxurious retreat under a pecan tree canopy.
Stylish and sleek interiors
Canopy covered pecan-tree dining
Exceptional on-site Brambles restaurant
Luxurious rooftop bar
Some noise from outside
Sauna occasionally unavailable
The Winston Hotel
At The Winston, I was embraced by natural beauty and timeless grace within the lively Rosebank suburb.
From the moment I stepped through the gates, I was transported to a romantic past, enveloped in nostalgia.
Inside, the ambiance was inviting, adorned with exquisite art reflecting South African culture, exuding an air of sophisticated chicness.
My room was a sanctuary of beauty adorned with elegant décor. Waking up to the serene garden views set the tone for a tranquil day. The property also offered a peaceful restaurant, a charming outdoor pool, a luxurious bar, and a snug library.
My personal favorite? The exceptional unique artwork and great breakfast that embraced timeless grace.
Exceptionally unique artwork
Trendy restaurant and bar and great breakfast
Spectacular views of manicured gardens
Cozy on-site library
Some rooms can be dark
Drinks can be expensive
54 on Bath
Staying at 54 on Bath was a dream. Its prime location made it a top spot and lived up to the hype.
As I arrived, the building’s exterior exuded a grandeur that reminded me of high-rises in Manhattan. But stepping inside was a whole different experience—a cozy, boutique atmosphere with such homely vibes.
Luxury, style, and top-notch service defined my stay here. The Level Four Restaurant blew me away with its gourmet delights.
I hit the state-of-the-art fitness club and the sparkling outdoor pool—a perfect refresher. And the Perrier-Jouet Garden Bar? Charming; it captured the essence of the property so well.
On-site Level Four Restaurant
Charming urban-inspired design with great views
State-of-the-art wellness club
Sparkling outdoor pool
No 24/7 housekeeping
Lack of storage space in bathrooms
Breakfast menu can be limited
All Hotels in Johannesburg Compared
The following table compares the Top 15 Cool and Unique Hotels in Johannesburg. You can sort the table based on the location, price per night, fitness facilities and other key important factors:
Hotel Name Location Price Range (per night) Fitness Facilities Distance to Attractions (km) Nearby Restaurants
The Peech Hotel North Street, 2196 Johannesburg $434-$645 Yes 5.0 3
Thaba Eco Hotel Impala Road,Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve $400-$642 Yes 10.0 3
Radisson RED Hotel Johannesburg Parks Boulevard, Oxford P4 $449-$604 Yes 3.9 3
Hallmark House Hotel 54 Siemert Road $119-$2641 Yes 1.7 1
Palazzo Hotel Montecasino Blvd $234-$938 Yes 3.1 2
Ten Bompas Hotel 10 Bompas Road $362-$366 No 4.2 2
African Pride Melrose Arch, Autograph Collection 1 Melrose Square $430-$536 No 6.0 3
voco Johannesburg Rosebank an IHG Hotel 24 Cradock Avenue $507-$560 Yes 4.2 2
The Houghton Hotel, Spa, Wellness & Golf Lloys Ellis Avenue, Houghton $459-$5346 Yes 3.7 2
Seven Villa Hotel & Spa 160 Helen Road $245-$509 Yes 7.0 3
Parkwood Boutique Hotel 72 Worcester Road $301-$336 Yes 4.1 3
Premier Hotel Quatermain 60 West Road South $153-$238 Yes 6.0 1
Vivari Hotel and Spa by Mantis 1 Riviera Lane Featherbrooke Extention 8 $401-$2641 Yes 1.1 3
The Winston Hotel 6 Tottenham Road $177-$248 No 2.3 3
54 on Bath 54 Bath Avenue $201-$436 Yes 4.0 2
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Michael Cowley – writer and photographer
Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always had an affinity for adventure. Growing up he was lucky enough to live in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s continued seeking out new places and cultures. In his spare time he explores everywhere from the sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, trying all kinds of street food, playing carrom with random strangers, and fine wine – he knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Goa, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations. Find Michael on Instagram or Twitter.
Hotel Reviewing Experience –Asked by many tourist boards and many high-profile travel brands to formally review hotels including Discover Greece, Barcelo Hotels, and Rickshaw Travel. Also travelled around the world scouting out and reviewing all the most unique hotels in the world, check out our Instagram page for photos. Also mentioned as a top UK travel journalist.