After arriving at our hotel in Johannesburg (actually the wealthy suburb of Sandton), we were immediately greeted in the lobby of the main building by the Manager and Assistant Manager, handing us each a welcome glass of bubbly, and a very informal, but classy checkin process. The Fairlawns Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel and quite a gem it is!
The lobby and restaurant are located in a building closer to the entranceway on the property, a short walk down the path from the main 2 story ‘Mansion’ building. The pool area and cabanas are behind the office building adjacent to the restaurant,
and some fancy cars always seemed to be parked out front, such as this Rolls Royce convertible.
I say that Fairlawns looks like a glamorous mansion rather than a hotel, and indeed it felt like staying in someone’s luxurious home rather than a hotel once inside. The African-themed decor was exquisite, and the spiral staircase with the red carpet was like something out of a Hollywood glamour film. I even video-taped Steve running up the stairs; a video for a future You Tube flick, but for now you’ll have to settle for a photo the staircase!
Our group from AMA Waterways was a bit smaller now after leaving Victoria Falls, due to the different tour option some people took with the Roves Rail Train, so we each got our keys fairly quickly, and then took a tour of each other’s suites, as each one was decorated individually and differently. I must say the owner’s wife and her decorator has exceptional taste (and obviously lots of time) to furnish the rooms and property with a warm and inviting atmosphere, all themed to match the varied African continent.
The first night we were there, we had an evening cocktail hour in one of the private rooms, and a short lecture on David Livingstone, performed by a lovely local resident of the town. I say performed, as the lady giving the lecture was very theatrical and enthusiastic in her talk, and as we had just come from Victoria Falls and knew they were discovered and named by Livingstone, it was quite interesting to learn more about his adventurous and missionary life.
After the lecture, we had a wonderful group dinner in the hotel’s elegant restaurant. The service was outstanding, and the food and wines were excellent. Like the guest suites and public areas, the dining room was a work of art itself. We had an enjoyable night dining with our friends we had met on the AMA Waterways trip.
We finished up with a nightcap by the pool, as the bar area itself was under renovation. Then it was a short walk back to our room for a good night’s sleep after a long travel day. Walking back to the hotel at night, our ‘mansion’ was all lit up giving us a understated and tranquil welcome back.
The next day we had breakfast in the restaurant, which consisted of a nice buffet, and menu service as well should you want something else. I was fine with the buffet, and had plenty to eat along with my morning coffee, although DOS also ordered off the menu.
There was a half day tour scheduled to a local village AMA Waterways helps sponsor, and we headed out shortly after breakfast. Our day tour of Johannesburg continues in the next post . . .