My recent travels around South Africa have brought about a renewed sense of appreciation for the city I call home, Joburg, as well as encouraging me to evaluate how I perceive and use this space. All too often in life, I find myself becoming complacent with Joburg and not pushing my home city boundaries.
So I decided to challenge myself to become a #TouristInMyOwnCity. And today I start with Maboneng, and the 12 Decades Johannesburg Art Hotel.
This Avante-Garde, self-catering hotel, set in the heart of one of Joburg’s regeneration zones, the Maboneng Precinct, offers 16 uniquely inspired rooms celebrating the history of Johannesburg from 1886 to 2006. Each room has been designed by local South African artists and designers.
I spent the evening in the 1896 – 1906 Sir Abe Bailey room, designed by the grandson of Sir Abe himself! The room was beautifully appointed with an eclectic mix of old and new, with a remarkable wall of newspapers behind my bed. These newspapers are from the time of Boer War and I was taken back in time as I read the stories reported on.
Drawing myself away from the stories of old, I went about exploring the hotel. Each turn makes for an interesting discovery. And the views of the Joburg CBD were breathtaking. The Joburg skyline is one that continues to entice me as she offers, each time, new stories from her Pandora’s Box of memories.
Having explored the hotel, I was off to experience Maboneng, meaning place of light in Sotho. Maboneng is a prime example of the regeneration taking place in downtown Joburg, being a mixed-use community where people play, live and work in contemporary South African style. Offering a varied array of fine restaurants, entertainment venues, retail stores and art galleries, not forgetting the Bioscope, South Africa’s only independent cinema, the Maboneng way celebrates the arts and promotes a culture of thinkers and makers.
I spent the late afternoon at the Market On Main complex having drinks with a friend of mine, see that’s the great thing about being a #TouristInMyOwnCity, mates are just around the corner! A great meal at Pata Pata next door to the 12 Decades Johannesburg Art Hotel and I was done for the day!
The next morning I managed to gain access to the roof-top bar for even more spectacular views of the city. But you will have to check out my video below for more!
The staff and management of the 12 Decades Johannesburg Art Hotel are super friendly and attended to my every need, nothing was too much. This hotel makes for a refreshing stay in a space that is unlike anything you have experienced before, in a city that continues to evolve into something unlike anything it has ever been before.
I really loved playing #TouristInMyOwnCity at the 12 Decades Johannesburg Art Hotel in Maboneng. As part of this series, I have challenged myself to packing only one bag, rather a challenge for me! I am happy to report that I was able to achieve this with my Sealand Gear Dune L duffel bag. Made from upcycled materials (see my previous post on this great brand here) it was the perfect travel companion on my first #TouristInMyOwnCity adventure!
Have you visited the Maboneng Precinct? It is so worthwhile taking time out to explore this space and partake in a new heritage that is evolving and one in which we can all share, equally!
For bookings at the 12 Decades Johanneburg Art Hotel contact them on +27 11 026 5601 or directly on the web. A huge thank you to Charlene and her team for hosting me at this magnificent hotel!