The Mighty Fine makes some mighty big claims, promising a new design-led boutique hotel for the “dream-chasers, risk-takers, and culture-makers” of Johannesburg. Ahead of its opening this month, Wanted fired a few Qs at Jamie Levin (owner, Narrative property developers) and Jana Hamman (head creative and half of Jana+Koos design studio), who are part of the team pulling together this Strathavon spot.
What was the genesis of The Mighty Fine? [Levin]: Narrative is a residential-property developer, but we noticed a trend globally that living spaces and short-stay hotels were merging. People want flexible leasing, but they want hotel-type amenities. They want the flexibility to stay for a month, work remotely, and then move on. So it’s an amalgamation of co-living and design-centric hotels. You can stay a night, stay a month, or stay a year.
Who are you aimed at? [Levin] Our target market is designers, creatives, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. They need their hotel to provide solid infrastructure when they travel. We wanted to create an environment that is friendly to those people, as we see them being a strong cohort of the travel industry over the next decade. We have boardroom space, meeting space. We even have a podcast studio for guests who need it.
[Hamman]: In Johannesburg we work to live, and if I’m working 24/7 what I’m looking for isn’t just an office space. I’m looking for an inspiring environment where I can run into other inspiring people. It’s not just building the right things and making it look beautiful. The people, events, and culture are what make the difference.
Who was responsible for the design? [Levin]: It was a real team effort, but we worked with Tristan Plessis from Studio A, who I’d say is the best interior designer in the country. He really helped bring the best of our vision to life. We also worked with incredible local designers, like Dokter and Misses and The Urbanative. All the chairs are by David Krynauw.
[Hamman]: Every touchpoint in the hotel is highly considered, highly bespoke. All of the art is curated by the South African team from Latitudes, a platform that heroes African art, from highbrow to quite approachable South African artworks.
[Levin]: We wanted to use our hotel as free real estate for local artists and designers. In every room there’ll be a different artwork, and it will all be available for guests to order for delivery to the hotel or wherever they’re going. We want to be a platform for artists and creatives.
I’m hungry. What’s to eat? [Levin]: We’ve teamed up with the guys from Morning Glory restaurant in Parkwood to run the restaurant, Hank Marvin [Ed: that’s cockney rhyming slang for “starving”]. They had a similar vision to ours in terms of aesthetics, service, and attention to detail. It’ll be an all-day eatery with a small, well-executed menu. Café-style eating, not fine dining. We’ve also built a treehouse bar that can accommodate about 30 people. It’s designed to be a cool space, a little different from the usual.
Need to know: 61 rooms
Where: Strathavon, Johannesburg
Know more: themightyfine.co.za
• From the March edition of Wanted, 2021.