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Johannesburg hotel advice needed - airport hotel v. going into city?

Johannesburg hotel advice needed - airport hotel v. going into city?

Oct 4th, 2006, 07:02 AM
  #1  
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Johannesburg hotel advice needed - airport hotel v. going into city?

Although I heartily suspect you all are quite sick of me asking honeymoon-planning questions, I think this should wrap it up as we only have one reservation left to make. (And I promise to post a detailed trip report once we actually go to say thanks for how kind everyone has been!)

Anyway, we are going to have to do one night in Johannesburg between the W Cape leg and the Kruger leg of our trip. The alternative is to get into camp quite late one night, and considering how expensive it is, we don't think it makes much sense.

However, we have heard ENDLESSLY how dangerous Jo-burg is. (Bear in mind that we have both lived in downtown Washington, DC, for over a decade, so we're not exactly strangers to a big city.)

What would be our best bet - to just stay at a hotel near the airport (I expect we'd get in around 7p and are taking the 9:30 am Fed Air charter into Singita) or to make the 1/2 hour each way trek to the InterContinental Palazzo Johannesburg Montecasino, where we could presumably have a nice dinner and poke around the casino afterwards?

As always, many thanks!
abcdc is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 07:10 AM
  #2  
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Sorry, not to bump myself, but meant to add that the other contender for a non-airport hotel is the Grace in Rosebank. Thanks!
abcdc is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 07:14 AM
  #3  
 
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If you're going to Singita, you can afford the Sun Inter-Continental Hotel just across the street from the airport. Could not be easier. And if you're catching 9:30am flight, it's good to be that close.
regards- tom
ps - I agree, why get into Singita after missing the last game drive and spend $2,500 just for a nights sleep?
cary999 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 07:24 AM
  #4  
santharamhari
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Yep, agreed with Tom....the above post is your best choice...

Hari
 
Oct 4th, 2006, 07:35 AM
  #5  
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Thanks! Money for the airport v. city hotel is not so much the issue as I was afraid we'd make ourselves into sitting ducks trailing around the airport after dark with giant duffels? Or will they still fetch you?

Would you also happen to know if the airport InterContinental has a decent restaurant for dinner?
abcdc is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 07:39 AM
  #6  
santharamhari
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Yes, it was good enough for a decent dinner....there really is no point rushing off to Sandton or anywhere else and rush back in the morning to take your Fed Air transfer to Singita.

I think the restaurant there is called quills or something. I ate there recently....on Sept 1st. Pretty good. I also met a fellow fodorite for a cup of coffee middle August prior to my Botswana safari.

Hari
 
Oct 4th, 2006, 07:40 AM
  #7  
santharamhari
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Yes, you can dial the inter-continental from the help desk and get them to fetch you (2 minute walk). Simple and easy and no hassle. Very safe....i've stayed there many times.

Hari
 
Oct 4th, 2006, 07:47 AM
  #8  
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Thanks, Hari, that's super-helpful!
abcdc is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 07:52 AM
  #9  
santharamhari
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your welcome....enjoy the honeymoon. Congratulations!!!

Hari
 
Oct 4th, 2006, 08:03 AM
  #10  
 
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I have stayed at the Intercontinental and would stay there again. Your time is too short to drive further. Just relax and have drinks and dinner. The restaurant is fine.

As for getting there - I would walk. You can use the luggage carts from the airport to transport your luggage and it will probably be quicker than getting picked up. The hotel will also have the luggage carts there for your walk back the next morning.
sundowner is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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I agree. In fact, the hotel is so close (literally across the street, maybe 50 feet from the airport), that I'm not sure you could be picked up. And if you did drive, it would likely take longer than walking since I'm sure they would need to do a loop to get back to the hotel.

By staying there, you will also not have to get up so early, which can be nice before several days of rising before 6:00 am.
thit_cho is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 08:55 AM
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BTW, there is a hotel five minutes from the hotel that offers a casino if that is your desire. I have forgotten its name but suspect that it might be a Ceasars or similar.

Last point, the airport in JNB is well frequented by travllers and I can virtually assure you at 19h00 you are not going to be conspicuous with your duffels!
mkhonzo is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 09:22 AM
  #13  
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Ok, the overwhelming consensus convinced me I booked the InterContinental at the airport for that night (it wasn't too bad at all, about $300/total, although I've probably just been looking at safari prices too long ...)

Thanks everyone!
abcdc is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 10:41 AM
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I think the person who said "pick you up" meant they would send a bell captain to walk over to the airport with a cart. It is right outside the airport, you cannot drive to it from the airport. There are often people by the door so if you walk it yourselves, don't accept any help, just go straight to the hotel. It may be overkill but your tour operator/TA can arrange for a greeter for you. Some people like that when they arrive for the first time on a new continent and they're jet-lagged. The greeter can also go over any questions or problems that may have come up.

When I ate there a few years ago, the hotel had a wonderful woman chef and I was delighted by the inventiveness of the food. We'll also be doing an overnight there at that hotel next year. That way we are sure to be ready for our early flight.
Clematis1 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 10:51 AM
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I stayed there last year and the food in Quill's was outstanding~best steak i've ever had. Nice comfortable rooms, good mattresses, large bathroom with tub and seperate shower.
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Oct 4th, 2006, 11:58 AM
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mkhonzo,

There are, I believe, three different hotels at the Emperors (formerly Caesars) Casino. I will be staying at the 5* hotel upon my arrival next month for one night. It appears to be very beautiful and is named the D'Oreale Grande. For the money, it seems like a hard product to beat as it is less expensive than the Grace and the Michelangelo (I will be staying at the newly opened Michelangelo Towers later in the trip).

http://www.doreale.com/emperorspalace/default.asp

Because I will not arrive in JNB until about 3PM - 5PM (depending on whether or not I decide to fly LAX - JFK - JNB or I go LAX - SYD - JNB), I don't want to stray too far from the airport so the D'Oreale Grande works out perfectly. Plus, unlike the Grace, for example, there will be plenty of things to keep me entertained. On my first trip to Africa in 2002 I stayed a night at a hotel neighboring the Grace, The Rosebank Hotel, and while it was a nice 4* hotel, there was absolutely nothing to do at night in the area.
Roccco is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 12:17 PM
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Hello,

It looks like you already made your choice, and you should be fine with the IC -- I just wanted to mention that I always stay 'in town' (at The Grace, The Saxon, etc) and find the ride to/from the airport not to be a problem. I took the 930am charter (also to Singita) on my last trip and had no problems making the flight after overnighting at Ten Bompas...so if you have an overnight in Joburg you needn't feel that you have to stay at the airport.

Cheers,
Julian
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Oct 4th, 2006, 01:18 PM
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Thanks Rocco,
Thought my comment might have been a little dated, but good to know that there is still such a venue out there. I concur with you on your planning, makes good sence.

I like you Julian prefer staying 'down town", but for one night it seems like an outargeous cost for the two transfers and that has always kept me close to the airport.
mkhonzo is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 02:23 PM
  #19  
sandi
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As you leave the Intl terminal you see the IC right on the other side of a bride walkway. Five minutes.
 
Oct 5th, 2006, 05:02 AM
  #20  
 
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We stayed at the Casino hotel In August. The reason I chose it was because after the extremely long south african air flight from washington I wanted a hotel where we could walk around and stretch . It turned out to be an excellent choice for dining, shopping and the casino which entertained us a bit.
Miriam
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