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Review: voco Johannesburg Rosebank, Gauteng, South Africa


Rising high in the heart of Rosebank, arguably Johannesburg’s most popular suburbs, the 16-storey The Bank is home to one of South Africa’s smartest new hotels. Barely two years old, voco Johannesburg Rosebank has firmly made a name for itself in the city and on a recent work trip I’d finally have the chance to experience the acclaimed voco magic for myself.

The welcome

If you’re driving to the hotel, the charming men in the concierge team wait to welcome you, and after unloading your luggage, safely park your car. You’re automatically added to a WhatsApp group, so if you need your car at any point, you simply notify the team and in minutes it’s waiting for you at the front door. If you’re arriving via the Gautrain that links Rosebank with the airport, the hotel sends a golf buggy to collect you at the station – a very nifty addition. 

The room

After being thoroughly impressed with the hotel interiors, it was with a bit of anticipation as I was escorted to my room; would it live up the rest of the hotel experience? Within minutes I was at ease – with the subtle design elements that hark back to 1920’s Art Deco styling, the bedrooms are beautiful urban sanctuaries spread across six storeys of the building. Soft touches, fine white linen, and Antipodes plant-based bath products complete the experience. Of course, I couldn’t help but smile to find the latest edition of YOURLUXURY Africa magazine alongside the bed, which featured one of my international travel pieces. 

While Johannesburg is affectionately known as the City of Gold after its genesis as a gold mining settlement, it’s also the almost-daily sunsets that leave the sky painted in a myriad variations of red, yellow and gold. From voco’s elevated position, these sunsets are beautifully enjoyed. In the late afternoon, the sun streams through into the rooms until eventually, the sun descends for the night beyond the horizon. 

The facilities

Occupying three storeys of the building is Workshop17’s shared workspace solutions. With 8 coworking locations across South Africa and 4 in Mauritius, Workshop17 offers the perfect addition to the mixed use amenities of voco. Workshop17 The Bank offers flexible and seamless coworking, meeting, and eventing solutions and everything from; 62 offices, 8 meeting rooms, 7 boardrooms, event spaces, hot desks, concentration booths, video conferencing rooms and a coffee shop. Hotel guests have access to the cafe and hot desks on offer, and can easily hire a meeting room if needed.

Impressively, voco is home to more than 700 striking original South African artworks. They don the walls and public spaces of every storey, offering a gallery-esque experience during the stay. Furthermore, the public spaces feature two Eduardo Villa sculptures, and then world-renowned artist Cameron Platter was commissioned to design a huge mural in the courtyard of The Bank. Platter’s work is interdisciplinary, and playful use of drawing, sculpture, painting and video. Additionally, the Art Butler offers guided tours to showcase the hidden art gems within the hotel, enhancing the guest experience.

The location

It’s undisputed that Rosebank is one of Johannesburg’s most enticing locations. Extensive development over the last decade has left a vibrant multipurpose district. Within steps of the hotel is the Rosebank Art and Craft market, The Zone @ Rosebank, Mall of Rosebank & The Firs all offering endless shopping options. 

Dining at voco

voco has every right to be proud of its in-house eatery – Proud Mary is an exemplary restaurant that sprawls across ground level of the hotel – and then out onto the pedestrian walkway. Every space is stylishly curated and with a plethora of dining enclaves, you’ve plenty of dining choices. The mixology is world-class (the onsite mixologist is able to offer more than 100 exclusive cocktails), along with sommelier Katlego’s stellar wine selection. Do try the Pork Belly – honestly, the best I’ve ever had. 

The cost

Rates are dependent on the room type and season, starting at R3,5550 or R3,750 inclusive of breakfast for two. Don’t forget that voco is part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, so points can be redeemed and earned on stays at the hotel.

The best bit

Over the three days of the stay, I got to know many of the staff personally, and I’ve seldom met such a vibrant and engaging team. I remember leaving and thinking if this is the reception and perception that foreign visitors will have of my country, then I know they’ll leave already planning their next visit. After all at the end of the day, all luxury hotels have comfortable beds and lovely-smelling amenities, but most times, it is the staff that makes all the difference. 

The final verdict

voco offers a very enticing Johannesburg stay by virtue of its world-class design, convenient location and the sumptuous dining options on the doorstep. Having profiled several of the city’s hotels, I now have a firm favourite for future visits to Johannesburg.

Disclosure: Our stay was sponsored by voco Johannesburg Rosebank.

Jared Ruttenberg

Jared Ruttenberg is a freelance travel journalist who enjoys connecting people and experiences through word, image and social media. Read more at www.jaredincpt.com

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