4.5
Very Good 498 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

Amenities

  •  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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Overview

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

Reviews

4.5 Very Good 498 Reviews
Just lovely
Reviewed 1 week ago

Only stayed here for one night during our South African adventure, our only disappointment was our flight delay of 3 hours meant we lost the time we could have had at this lovely hotel. We only had a light meal on the evening and breakfast before we left both delicious. Our room was absolutely gorgeous and very spacious with everything you could need. It was just such a shame we didn’t have the time to use the spa or the lovely outdoor pool.

Spa treatment disappointing
Reviewed 1 week ago

From the booking to checking out was unprofessional and unwelcoming. Waited unattended several times. Snacks and glasses not replenish. Steam room out in the garden with a clear glass door (?!). Actual treatments: C for mediocre. I might have had a trainee - not sure but it felt like it. Had the body exfoliation and massage for R1500. Value was far less. The massage was very poor.
Decor starting to look a tad tired. Block drain in shower. Steam room is Ladies cloak room not working.
I visited almost two years ago and cannot believe that a place can go backwards so fast!
Definitely not a destination Spa and not luxurious at all. This was my last visit.

To be honest just went for brunch
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Fairlawns has a good reputation for afternoon teas and is in a good area of Johannesburg. I booked for the Manor House Bistro for lunch believing it had the outdoor seating component and would be more casual than their formal restaurant.

Initial impressions were good. Lots of interior design references to an English country manor and a bright airy space.

Although directed quickly to the restaurant, it took the staff a little while to find us a seat as, it seems, they were far more geared to hotel guests although I had made a booking.

The waiter was discreetly attentive and tried really hard but hadn't been properly briefed. (He had no idea they had run out of the type of sausage I requested although it was on the menu until he took the order back to the kitchen.)

All the other guests were residents at the hotel and also availed themselves of the continental breakfast which we did not.

Given the price point of this place is considerably higher than most breakfast venues (which I was fine with as it was a special occasion) I did expect a really good breakfast which was let down by the following:
- for the price paid it is really stingy to only give someone one egg and half a muffin on the eggs benedict - which did not have a true hollandaise to top it off
- the english breakfast does not state it comes with toast, so the menu was not inaccurate but it could have been dropped off as a courtesy freebie which another venue we went to later in the week did - with jam and butter to boot. I'm not sure I would have eaten much of the toast but the breakfast was a bit unbalanced given the main source of carbs was the driest little potato croquette I have had the misfortune to be acquainted with
- if you are going to offer poached eggs at such a snazzy looking place, teach your staff to poach them properly - not in bits of cling film so I can see the lines of the film!

The result of all of this was that we had an enjoyable breakfast but it wasn't really memorable for the right reasons. (I think if the price hadn't been so steep I might have found this a bit more excusable)

This resulted in our taking a much closer look at the furnishings going out and realising a lot of it is good looking on the surface but perhaps not as 'solid' as it could have been - a bit like the breakfast!

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

the Stay was Great. It was an amazing mix of homely feel, yet opulent. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone doing a business trip for extended periods, rather than staying in the "stiff" Hotels in Sandton.

What an unforgettable experience!
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I wish to extend a sincere word of congratulations to the Management and Personnel of Fairlawns Boutique Hotel for making our stay a comfortable, luxurious and memorable stay. We are certainly looking forward to our next visit. Well done and Thank You!