But the latest reason to book a séjour at The Houghton Hotel is, well, Séjour. It’s the latest addition to Johannesburg’s growing fine dining scene, with chef Freddie Dias — formerly of The Pot Luck Club in Cape Town — behind the pass. In a glamorous space with glorious views, Dias departs on a globetrotting menu that offers an adventurous exploration of ingredients, flavours and textures.
For the views: The Leonardo Hotel, Johannesburg
Whatever your feelings about The Leonardo’s contribution to the Sandton skyline, the views are hard to fault, with this skyscaper skewering 234m of fresh air. Across its 55 floors are north of 200 rooms, from comfortable one-bedroom suites to high-level penthouses.
With the restaurants and shopping malls of Sandton on the doorstep there are plenty of diversions, but it’s simple enough to check in and never leave. On level seven you’ll find The Leonardo Spa, as well as a state-of-the-art gym and heated outdoor lap pool. It’s also home to the poolside Octo Bar and Aurum, where a new summer menu dishes up contemporary European cuisine. Wine-lovers will be happy here too, with a dedicated Wine Library offering an impressive selection of older vintages.
For the trend-setters: Hilton Garden Inn, Umhlanga
Hungry Durbanites are loving the foodie options at Legacy Yard at Umhlanga Arch, but why just stop in for African-inspired burgers at Super Smokerhouse or Indian street food at Bachao!, when you could spend the whole weekend here?
The brand-new Arch development is also home to SA’s first Hilton Garden Inn, with 203 rooms catering for everything from solo weekend escapes to family breaks. The sea-view rooms are the pick of the bunch, with opening special rates offering excellent value. There’s a fitness centre and outdoor pool on-site, and the beach at Umhlanga is just two-minutes’ drive away.