Frenetic, edgy and ever-changing, Johannesburg is the heartbeat of not just South Africa, but southern Africa. It will not be winning beauty contests any time soon, and it’s a miracle that this old mining hodgepodge with no river grew so big, but it is now the place where South Africa’s many languages meet, and work alongside each other.
It is a city of stories, but it’s also a hive of creativity. This is best seen in districts like Braamfontein and the Maboneng Precinct, where formerly dicey inner city landscapes have exploded with highly individual openings. Jo’Burg’s restless character is changing the city in interesting ways.
A comfortable bed
The key decision is whether to stay relatively central or seal yourself off in the affluent northern suburbs where the malls and best hotels are.
If the latter, the Vegas-esque Michelangelo Hotel (www.legacyhotels.co.za) brings ersatz Renaissance flair to financial hub Sandton. Bedrooms seem kitted out for royalty, and there’s a fab indoor pool underneath a showy glass dome. Rooms cost from 3,887 rand (Dh1,107).
The Maslow (www.suninternational.com/maslow) balances business and pleasure, with plenty of sunbeds around the outdoor pool, and sleek contemporary rooms.