Boutique Beauties in the City of Gold

“What sets boutique hotels apart from the rest? In a city where larger hotel chains prevail, we recently visited some of the best boutique hotels that Johannesburg has to offer to find out more about these luxurious properties.”

“What sets boutique hotels apart from the rest? In a city where larger hotel chains prevail, we recently visited some of the best boutique hotels that Johannesburg has to offer to find out more about these luxurious properties.”

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In recent years the word “Boutique hotel” has become quite prevalent when planning stylish getaways – both locally and abroad. But what is a boutique hotel and what makes it different to any other hotel?

We recently visited some of the best boutique hotels that Johannesburg, has to offer. And in a city where larger hotel chains can prevail, what sets these boutique hotels apart from the rest? First and foremost, these sometimes hidden gems, proudly offer something unique and actually quite special. A boutique hotel is one that is generally not chain-affiliated. They are generally smaller in size but noticeably far more grand in exclusivity. Most often, boutique hotels have a strong focus around design, especially that of interior design, which has lead them to occasionally being referred to as “lifestyle” or “design” hotels in Europe and North America. They are intimate and pride themselves on personal service and acute attention to detail.

But don’t pigeon hole them too quickly – boutique hotels can be hip, trendy and super stylish and on the other end of the scale, they can be historic, unique in design or architecture and quite classic. A boutique hotel can suit any kind of travelling itinerary, be it for a honeymoon, business trip, romantic weekend away or simply a holiday.

Here are some of our favourite boutique hotels from the thriving metropolis that is Johannesburg:

Athol Place

Athol Place is a small luxury boutique hotel located in the cosmopolitan northern suburb of Atholl in Johannesburg. It has an understated elegance about it which means although you are living in the lap of luxury, at the same time you feel comfortable and relaxed. Each suite has been individually appointed in neutral tones to allow a sense of relaxation and tranquility. The library, equipped with built in fireplace, is a fantastic space to enjoy a book or a cup of coffee and on hot summers days, the large swimming pool in the gorgeous garden is ever so inviting. We love this boutique hotel and can’t wait to send guests there as well as brides to get ready on the day. The perfect environment for pampering as you get ready for the big day – not to mention the fantastic photo opportunities.


This little boutique hotel is based in the leafy and upmarket suburb of Rosebank, which is close to the bustling business centre of Johannesburg. Clico offers an intimate and tranquil space for a few nights or even for a small celebration, be it a celebratory dinner or wedding ceremony with a few close friends and family. Andrew, the in-house chef, prepares seasonal cuisine to suite any palate and the 60-year old Cape Dutch building is perfect for business folk or guests of leisure. Clico, which is a 5 star boutique hotel, was established by Jeanette Schwegman, who wanted to cater for the travel-weary and discerning guest looking for that intimate experience by paying attention to all the important details. The name “Clico” was inspired by Jeanette’s passion for champagne with her favourite being Veuve Clicquot.

The Winston

The Winston Hotel, a luxurious 5 star hotel in the heart of Melrose offers something for everyone in terms of style. Designed by renowned South African interior designer Derrick Tabbert, The Winston Hotel has thirty guest rooms that are styled either in ‘La Bijou’ a magnificent French Boudoir feel, ‘English Country’ a classic sense of an English manor house or ‘Royal Safari’ the luxurious colonial style of a bygone era. All rooms are finished in striking combinations of teak floors, paneled walls and high ceilings. Beautifully appointed en-suite bathrooms have separate showers, and combine the luxury of marble and mahogany. Each room offers a comfortable and well lit work-station. For the convenience of business and leisure travelers alike, the entire property offers free hyperspeed wireless internet communication as well as hard-wired facilities in every guest room. This naturally is complimentary to residents of The Winston Hotel. In addition to this, all hotel residents have access to the library and convenient business centre.