Very Good 475 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

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 475 Reviews
Friend weekend outing not a place to stay over again
Reviewed 1 week ago

Beautiful settings, lack of service and attention to detail. The rooms have been revamped and very tastefully done.
The maintenance and checking before guests have access to their rooms is s9mthing that does not happen.
Our basin tap had a problem where the water just splashed when you opened it.
The service is something that lacks. The waiters certainly try their best but it is evident that they use minimal staff so time to order etc is not something I appreciated. The quality of food is certainly outstanding.
The public toilets are not cleaned throughout the day so their is not a good fresh smell.
The gardens are so lovely which attracts you to be spending time outside. As a boutique hotel, I certainly felt that I’d lacked something.

Lovely hotel
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We stayed for two nights and loved our stay! The room was beautiful and every detail was perfect. Food and breakfast were not impressing though. We had a terrific Day SPA experience so we would consider to come back. Gardens are beautiful. Staff was very friendly.

Incredibly warm and attentive staff
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I recommend this hotel not just for the setting but for the wonderful staff which made my stay incredible. The spa experience was also very mice. Incredibly polite staff. very friendly. Beautiful historical setting.

An oasis in the city
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

My husband and I decided to go on a staycation and chose Fairlawns as our destination. The service, amenities and finishes throughout the hotel was top form. We were treated like royalty, with so many personal touches to make our stay memorable. The manager and staff were attentive and nothing was too much trouble. Great food, the most comfortable beds and the Courtyard Suites are stylish with everything one could need. Thank you for a great break!

Great hotel, just needs a little TLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a fantastic hotel, it just needs a little work. Steam room not working at the spa, jacuzzi in the room not working, aircon very loud. Magnificent spa and super treatments but would be good to include an assessment. The restaurant is excellent and the food was very impressive. Great to have a friendly knowledgeable sommelier with a great wine selection. The suites are huge and well decorated. We would love to revisit and experience again.