There has been a huge upsurge in demand for hotel accommodation in the Johannesburg central business district where there are just 850 hotel rooms available although official estimates indicate that at least 2 000 rooms are needed.
Three new three- and four-star hotels have opened in the city and include the 120-room Reef Hotel in Harrison Street. Owner Isaac Chalumbira has bought another 24 buildings in the inner city area and is converting these into new residential units.
Another 50-room hotel, close to the Anglo American headquarters in Main Street is due to open soon while the 6-room Lamunu Hotel in Braamfontein is already trading but has not yet been graded.
This hotel is close to the University of the Witwatersrand, the Constitutional Court, the Joburg Theatre as well as the headquarters of Liberty Life, Sappi and the JD Group.
A boutique hotel, the 12-room 12 Decades Hotel in City and Suburban is the city’s first art hotel with each of the rooms designed by a different artist. The hotel is on the top floor of Main Street Life, a residential development containing mainly studio apartments.
Owner Jonathan Liebmann – who lives in the penthouse – says that anyone spending a night in this hotel should learn something about the history of the city. The boutique hotel was completed just two months ago.
In February the City Waldorf will open its doors in Bree Street in a building that was occupied by squatters when property developer Dieter Rosenbleck bought it. This hotel is close to the new Fashion District in Johannesburg.
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Well perhaps the rooms might be needed right now, but guess what? This time next year, once the Gautrain is running, they will be empty. Who on earth would want to overnight in central Jhb when Sandton beckons just a short train ride away? - James