Luxury In Johannesburg
Johannesburg, South Africa is not the first destination most of us think about when we consider luxury travel. The city has had a turbulent history, and as a result it seems to lose out to the more vibrant and exotic Cape Town on travel lists. But spectacular luxury resorts and attractions have been popping up with more frequency in Africa of late, and nowadays Johannesburg makes for a pretty incredible getaway. Here are some of the venues and attractions to consider in the city and surrounding area.
Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa
This particular establishment is the highest rated of several five-star hotels in the Johannesburg area, and that alone should put it high on the list of any luxury traveler. Elegance is the name of the game at the Saxon. It’s beautifully designed and maintained with a lush garden setting surrounding the main buildings. But unlike a lot of other resorts not just in Africa but around the world, it isn’t overflowing with opulence. It’s a classy, comfortable establishment where the service is impeccable and relaxation is the top priority.
JohannesburgFour Seasons Hotel Westcliff
The Four Seasons is always a fairly reliable establishment, and this one in Johannesburg is no exception. It’s built right into the forest such that it almost resembles the exotic mansion of a wealthy explorer. From the various pool decks and balconies of the resort, one can almost feel as if the venue is overlooking Napa or some similarly stunning wine region. At the end of the day, you’re still at a top-notch luxury resort in the heart of South Africa, close to the busy activity of Johannesburg but directly connected to nature. This is also a more accommodating resort than some others for those with children, though it’s still on the fancy side to be sure.
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve
If you’re looking for accommodations near Johannesburg that will help you feel close to the stunning wildlife and nature of Africa, Tswalu is the place to be. It was originally a hunting reserve, but hunting was halted when a new family took ownership of the reserve in 1998. It now exists as a massive conservation reserve complete with safari experiences and luxury hospitality options that let you get as close to nature as you like. It’s one of the most stunning areas in Africa in which you can truly feel as if you’re visiting wild animals on their own turf.
The Apartheid Museum
It’s not exactly the center of luxury in town, but The Apartheid Museum is a must-see attraction if you happen to visit Johannesburg. As stated previously, the city has had a difficult history, and the state of Apartheid that existed for much of the 20th century is a big part of that history. This museum effectively documents that chapter of Johannesburg’s past, right up to the emergence of democracy in the area. It’s chilling and frankly sad to behold, but it gives you a rich understanding of the area you’re visiting.
This is more in the vein of luxury travel. The Tusk Rio is Africa’s finest casino. Located in Klerksdorp just a short distance outside of Johannesburg. Some feel that casino attractions like this one are actually dying out. Online poker and slots have intrigued millions of players around the world, and just recently it was announced that virtual reality technology is being integrated as a means of helping online casinos better simulate the “real thing.” But can you really imitate a vast casino area in the heart of South Africa? It’s got all the gaming offerings you’d expect of a major casino, and it makes for a thrilling stop in a journey otherwise focused on relaxation and nature.
Gold Reef City
The last attraction we’ll point out is Gold Reef City, which is unlike anything else you’ll find in Africa. It’s a museum combined with a theme park and dedicated to the gold rush era in Johannesburg. You can do everything from going on rides, to exploring abandoned mine shafts, to reading about history or watching movies. It’s very unique to Johannesburg, and it’s a lot of fun in the middle of your trip.