Your Key To Live Like a Local in Jozi (Johannesburg)

Welcome to my city, Johannesburg - South Africa, is the second largest city in Africa, with more than 3 million people calling this bustling metropolis home. Joburg, or Jozi as some prefer to call it, offers visitors an experience as unique and diverse as the city itself. Whether you are on business, in search of a cultural encounter, an adrenaline rush or simply want to relax and unwind for a few days, the city of Johannesburg has everything you’re looking for and more.

If you are travelling to Johannesburg, geographically fairly centrally located, you’ll find yourself in the biggest urban metropolis and largest transport hub for local, cross-border and international travel in South Africa. More international carriers fly here than any other city in southern Africa, and there are direct flights to most major cities.

If you’re planning on travelling from Johannesburg to other cities within South Africa, it’s worth popping online to compare prices between discount carriers like Kulula and Mango. Buses offer a cheaper way to get to many destinations within South Africa and beyond. The country’s road infrastructure is excellent and the luxury bus liners are comfortable and relaxing, but keep in mind that it will take you longer to reach your destination. Gautrain is a rapid transit railway system in Gauteng which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, and OR Tambo International Airport. It was built to relieve the traffic congestion in the Johannesburg–Pretoria traffic corridor and offer commuters a viable alternative to road transport.

Accommodation in Johannesburg is as diverse as the city itself and caters for every taste and budget. With the multitude of places to see and fun things to do in Johannesburg, everyone is bound to find entertainment to suit their taste and their pocket. This is one of the reasons so many visitors keep coming back to the City of Gold! Visitors who are looking for a cultural experience can visit the more than 40 art galleries as well as a host of cultural institutes and studios in the city. Alternatively, they can take in a show at one of the many theatres in Johannesburg. Visitors can also learn more about the traditional cultures in Johannesburg at the cultural villages or centers in the city. Visitors who are looking for something more ‘upbeat’ to do can visit one of the many nightlife hot spots Johannesburg has to offer. From pubs to clubs and shebeens, each venue promises a night to write home about. Of course, Johannesburg is also one of the premium shopping destinations in Africa. Here you can take your pick of locally crafted items or find international brands at great prices.

Here are a few of my favorite experiences and recommendations in Johannesburg:

Nonna’s (Italian word for grandmother) is an authentic Italian food bar, with a contemporary twist. You can order pastas, pizzas, antipasti and salads directly from the chefs at the individual stations in the wide stylish counter made from rustic raw wood. The chefs prepare all of the dishes to order in front of the guests to suit their taste.

Favourite dishes can be created, and then individually refined to how your own Nonna used to make it for you. Their pizza dough, sauces and dressings, are all prepared in-house and guaranteed to be made of the finest ingredients. Raw, unprocessed, organic, healthy and fresh is what Nonna’s is are all about.

Nonna’s is easily accessible from the hotel via the connection way into the Sandton Shopping Mall.

The Bryanston Organic and Natural Market has, for the past 39 years; enjoy leisurely shopping in a peaceful and scenic outdoor environment. It carries the accolade of being Johannesburg’s original outdoor market and is a place of relaxed enjoyment for the whole family, Organic and natural food that is additive free and uncontaminated was the cornerstone upon which the market was developed, and organic and natural fresh produce, delicatessen foods and delectable bakery wares continue to be a large part of the market. There quality artisan products are locally produced from organic and natural sources, and the farmers, artists and crafters are in attendance to assist you with your shopping choices. The shopping options include exclusive jewellery, trendy costume jewellery, clothing and a wide range of accessories, décor, home ware, ceramics, pottery, finely hand crafted wood, leather, glass and metal wares, art, photography and sculpture, curios and collectibles.

The Codfather is sincerely known for the freshest seafood, Sushi and a gastronomical grill experience. A cool spot to catch up on work and reconnect with colleagues. A place to relax, sipping one of their signature cocktails at the pool, under the setting sun. A place to relax with the family and enjoy the best Seafood in Johannesburg.

Curry and All is a family run local eatery, one of my personal favorites; the aroma brings back my palate from home. The restaurant serves South African style Indian cuisine, from Briyani’s (Rice Dish with either vegetable or meat), curry’s to Indian desserts. They are famously known for their “Bunny Chow” – A hollowed out loaf of bread filled with spicy curry.

Trumps is located on Nelson Mandela Square in the heart of Sandton, what was once a humble family owned and operated restaurant, has now become an icon of quality, style and customer satisfaction. Trumps Grillhouse and Butchery boasts modern and custom designed décor including an extensive wine cellar, age-old whiskey, and finest quality meat and function rooms for a more personal touch if needed. Now with the new Trumps butchery on site, you can take Trumps quality home with you as well, perfect for a good old, traditional South African braai or that special home-cooked meal.

Sakhumzi Restaurant is located in Soweto – the largest black township in South Africa. Vilakazi Street, the tourist Mecca of Soweto, is where Sakhumzi opens its doors to anyone and everyone – from locals, to tourists and even corporate groups. Sakhumzi is a restaurant with true ‘kasi’ flavour. Kasi, meaning township – a vibrant community welcoming everyone in for lively local tunes and authentic home cooked Soweto food.

One of the grand things of being a concierge is the relationships that we build with these restaurants and our service providers. We form more than just a relationship; it’s a long lasting Friendship. The restaurant owners along with their staff have an appreciative way to bestow the most opulent service; this is why I have selected the above for you to enjoy and to create lasting memories

It will be my absolute pleasure for you to join me at the Sandton Sun Hotel so that you may enjoy the diverse culinary scene as well as all the fine kept secrets we have in Johannesburg

Meet the Author
Vinny Maharajh

After graduating from the hospitality school and very passionate about being in the hotel industry, I began my career as a Banquet Server at the prominent Elangeni hotel in Kwa/Zulu Natal in early 2000 and then as a Front Desk Agent. Shortly after, I transferred to the Southern Sun Maharani Hotel in their Guest Relations Department. Thereafter, I was appointed as the Guest Relations Officer for the Intercontinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers and it was there that I learned about the role of a Concierge and eventually became the Head Concierge for the hotel. My responsibilities grew and one of my first projects was the IHG “In the know”program where I was responsible for gathering information on local attractions, training staff and rolling out the project. In 2011, I became a Member of Les Clefs d’Or Society under Great Britain and The Commonwealth chapter. My journeys lead me to my next hotel, The Palace of the Lost City in Sun City. The hotel was a member of the prestigious “Leading Hotels of World”. During my term, the hotel was audited twice and I had lead my team to achieve the highest score in 2013 on our first audit.In 2014, I joined the team at Sandton Sun Hotel. We had just commenced on a multi-million dollar room refurbishment, and I, along with several other colleagues, were fully involved in this project. It was an exhilarating experience as we watched, day by day, the hotels rooms being broken down to brick and mortar and then gradually transforming into a luxurious and contemporary building! Our Concierge network has grown tremendously with the hard work of our Les Clefs d’Or team in South Africa. We are proud members and continue to shine and deliver outstanding service.

The Sandton Sun Hotel

Welcome to the Sandton Sun hotel, An Iconic hotel of opulent luxury, embedded in the heart of Sandton’s Richest Square Mile and Sandton’s exclusive business district, the Sandton Sun hotel has become synonymous with style and timeless hospitality, regarded by local and international guests as one of the finest luxury hotels in Johannesburg and nicknamed “Red Carpet Hotel”.

Our award-winning hotel offers visitors to Johannesburg a choice of 326 spacious and superbly appointed en-suite rooms and suites. In addition to a number of in-room amenities, guests also enjoy access to the Sandton Sun Spa, located within the hotel, which offers a host of rejuvenating and refreshing treatments

From grand cafe-style eatery at the San Restaurant, the best sunset drinks on the San Deck, to the well-equipped fitness centre and the complimentary Gautrain shuttle service, the 5 star Sandton Sun hotel caters to every taste and requirement in a manner that is attentive and professional.

The hotel connects to the Sandton Shopping mall and to the new addition of the mall, The Diamond Walk, a one of its kind in South Africa, having stores of Jimmy Choo, Prada, Ermenegildo Zegna, Louis Vuitton and many more. The Sandton Convention Centre is connected to the hotel via a skywalk and nearby Nelson Mandela Square is easily reached from the hotel. Comfortable, distinguished, stylish and conveniently located, the Sandton Sun is the Johannesburg destination of choice for travellers worldwide. For more information on availability and rates on the Sandton Sun please click on the link below.

+27 11 780 5000

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