Very Good 437 Reviews
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What We Love

  • Jo’burg is South Africa’s best-kept secret: an Afro-cosmopolitan city that’s buzzing with energy
  • Fairlawns is five minutes from Sandton’s business hub and a 15-minute hop via high-speed rail to the airport
  • Set on 10 acres of lush garden
  • The hotel has compiled its own bespoke one-day trips to little-known shopping districts and cultural precincts
  • Fairlawns is discreet and completely private, making it a favorite with celebs
  • Free WiFi and parking

What To Know

  • Not a city center location
  • The secluded setting is more suited to business travelers and romancing couples than families or singles
  • Fairlawns is the last word in Old World opulence — if you’re after an African experience, save it for the safari lodge
  • No sights within walking distance, but the hotel offers a free shuttle service
  • For weekend stays, book day tours or a round on one of several nearby golf courses
  • The spa and restaurant are open to the public


  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Gym
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
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The Review

On 10 acres of lush gardens filled with mature indigenous trees, endless lawns and diverse flora and fauna, Johannesburg’s discreet Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa more than lives up to its name. The 40 elegant suites are spread across the estate — each one individually decorated by the owner’s wife, whose exacting style is legendary in local design circles.

{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/1847/prop-14439-1320336004-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”The gardens, terraces and outdoor pool offer every excuse to enjoy sunny Highveld weather.”}The property is done in a savannah-blonde palette, with comfy sofas, local artwork and scattered antiques, plus modern extras like WiFi and flat-screen TVs, and it’s obvious no expense has been spared. The 20 new Deluxe Suites were completed days before the country hosted the soccer World Cup in 2010, and its first guests were the Elders, an important group of world leaders. Not bad for a hotel so cleverly tucked away that most of its neighbors don’t even know it’s there.

Take advantage of the fantastic Highveld weather (Jo’burg receives 3,082 hours of sunshine each year) and spend your time outdoors, either on the private balconies overlooking the manicured gardens, at the residents-only patios and pool, or at the alfresco restaurant. Chef Keith Frisley serves an impressively cosmopolitan menu, plus classic South African dishes like Karoo lamb, oxtail and bobotie — a true Afrikaans meal of spiced minced beef topped with egg.

But before you tuck into dinner à deux under the stars, pay a visit to the Balinese-inspired spa, which offers full-body massages and sunset packages in which blissed-out couples share treatments. The pool is equally idyllic, with private daybeds surrounded by billowing curtains. All you’ll need is a chilled glass of fine local wine (incidentally, the wine list here is one of the best in the country) to know this is the last word in colonial chic.

How to Get There

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa
Alma Road
Sandton, 2052 South Africa


4.5 Very Good 437 Reviews
Overnight stay in Johannesburg
Reviewed 1 day ago

Beautiful grand hotel. Arrived evening for overnight stay before flight home the next day. Large rooms. Lovely historical place. Quite area but only about 20 minutes from airport. Had dinner and breakfast both were very well done.

Hidden Gem of Joburg
Reviewed 3 days ago

I was lucky enough to spend 2 nights at this incredible hotel this month and was completely blown away by it. The thought, eye for design and attention to detail in the decor is beyond anything I have seen before.

I actually made an effort to try find fault with something and other than the fact that my legs were too short to gracefully climb onto my princess-like four poster bed, I came up with a blank! I stayed in the scottish highland themed courtyard suite which was immense in size! It had its own grand fireplace, lounge area, mini bar, sumptuous bed (with equally huge framed TV screen which was netflix enabled! How perfect is that??) and massive mirrored bathroom. I appreciated the personal note from the MD Michael Kewley, fruit and bottle of wine chilling!

The food served on the terrace from the Bistro Menu was to die for as was dinner at Amuse Bouche. We enjoyed beautiful gin cocktails at the new bar which opened while we were visiting. MUSE is a beautiful space to relax in over some bubbles -although Amanda was more excited about the butterfly swing than anything else!

We had a spa treatment which was incredible but got to have a sneaky peak at the new extension being built and oh. my. word. When that opens the spa will take this hotel to whole new levels!

Another plus of this hotel is that the MD Michael Kewley knows all the best hot spots! If you want to have a private shopping trip with a local designer, meet a local artist or photographer - or dine at one of the hottest local restaurants Michael is the man to know! He booked us a table at the very trendy Marble in Rosebank - and before we even finished discussing how we would manage to secure a table at one of Sandton's busiest restaurants without pre-booking!

This beautiful hotel, surrounded by lush gardens is a real oasis and is without doubt one of my favourite hotels ever! I love Jo'burg anyhow as I grew up there - but this is one of its "best bits" for sure!

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel is an Oasis
Reviewed 4 days ago

I stayed at the Fairlawns for two nights before flying to the bush for 9 days. It was a perfect oasis for me to get over my jet lag, relax and begin a wonderful vacation. The service and food were excellent. The staff and the setting all make you feel like royalty. The Courtyard Suite I stayed in was opulent and spacious.

An oasis in busy Johannesburg
Reviewed 4 days ago

Fairlawns is an amazing find in the middle of busy Johannesburg. The service is exceptional, the rooms are amazing and the food outstanding - all set in peaceful and quiet gardens. Without a doubt one of the finest city hotels in South Africa

Perfect little city getaway
Reviewed 4 days ago

Decided to change things up a little by travelling into Sandton rather than away for a little getaway.

The moment you walk in you get the feeling of being totally at ease which has a lot to do with the unique design/decor as well as great staff.

My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed our Spa treatment and we left feeling totally refreshed and relaxed. Loved the outside treatment areas which takes away any feeling of being in the centre of a busy city.

Stayed in one of the Villa suites which are favourites with a beautiful view of the gardens. Amuse have a lovely menu selection though you will pay a exclusive rate for these delicious meals. Breakfast at Amuse is a must and I would suggest the French Toast!

Looking forward to a little city gateway at Fairlawns again.