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The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa – almost but not quite…

We had some celebrating to do recently when just as I was about to leave the house for our dinner date, I got call to say I should pack an overnight bag 🙂

We weaved through Rivonia, Sandton, Morningside and as we got closer, I realised where we were spending the night: The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa. As with most of the hotels in Jozi, I’d been there plenty of times for events, launches, bridal/baby showers etc. but it was to be my 1st time staying over.

There are 40 rooms but it honestly feels like 15 or maximum 20 – very cosy and intimate but without making you feel like your space is infringed on. It’s hard to imagine that ALL of that was once someone’s home (it was previously an Oppenheimer property)…


The Courtyard Suites







Our suite – probably twice the size of my 1st apartment


  • The space. We stayed in a Courtyard Suite (1 of 12 – their entry level accommodation). I’m going to guess it was around 100 square meters which is insane considering the average South African hotel room is probably around 35 -40 square meters (and let’s not even talk about Europe!)! Space is a massive luxury to me – so I liked this a lot.
  • Another part of this property that I adore is the landscaped gardens. It’s beautifully manicured and I still dream of tanning & reading a book out at the pool (no time on this trip unfortunately)…


  • Another thing I really love about this hotel is its location. It’s completely tucked away into a plush residential neighbourhood so it almost feels like you’ve uncovered a well kept secret.
  • Service was pretty good at every turn – from check-in to waiters to the housekeeping staff. They’re a definite step above average when it comes to service.


  • While our room was an entry-level one and the space was ah-mazing, there were things that just didn’t feel premium not to mention 5 star at all (warning – I’m about to sound terribly spoilt!)

– the food was average. We had a 3 course dinner and breakfast. Nothing was bad, but not a single dish stood out. I definitely expect more of a 5 star establishment. To be fair, the menu is very well priced to match…

– there are touches that seems rushed. Shoddy paint work in the room/bathroom – skew lines, drips of paint etc.

– I’m pretty sure that our slippers were recycled. They didn’t arrive sealed and as I dropped one to the ground to slip my foot in, it fell upside down and looked worn *sigh*


The Terrace Restaurant – where we had dinner & breakfast


If I ran the place

  • The food needs an overhaul and the place just needs some attention to detail in places.

Need to know

  • I tried the spa, which I actually really liked (& spent the bulk of the next day there) but I’ll tell you more about it in my next post 🙂

Honestly, I just don’t think The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa is all the way 5 star. Probably a great option if you’re on business but not so much for a luxury/romantic getaway. That said, most likely 8/9 of 10 people will check-out thoroughly impressed. What can I say, I’m fussy and I notice the littlest of things.

I think my husband said it well when he described their offering as having “a rather thin veneer of luxury”.


The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa

Alma Rd, Sandton, Johannesburg,

+ 27 (0) 11 808 7300



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