Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa - a luxurious hideaway

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa Review

A journey to forty-one different destinations. I thought that it was a rather apt way to describe the Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa, with its forty-one exquisitely designed units. The five-star hotel was recently crowned the ‘Best Luxury Boutique Hotel’ in South Africa by the World Luxury Hotel Awards, a well-deserved accolade indeed.Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

Previously a luxury private residence belonging to the Oppenheimers, this verdant retreat is situated in the tranquil suburb of Morningside Manor in Sandton, and is a mere five km from Sandton City. The estate is spread out over almost six sprawling acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and recently went through a massive revamp. The rooms are situated in Palladian blocks with stately names, like the Grand Chateaux, the Courtyard Villas and the Courtyard Suites.

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

Grand Chateaux

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

Maison De Ville

I recently spent a weekend here with my family. As we parked our car, our luggage was whisked away by the efficient porter. We were directed to the elegant reception area where we were warmly welcomed with refreshing towels and chilled apple juice, then led to the Maison De Ville, our not-so-humble abode for the weekend.

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

Maison De Ville

The Maison is a private pool villa consisting of two huge en-suite bedrooms with dressing rooms, an open-plan dining room and lounge area, a private study, and a fully-equipped kitchen.

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

Main bedroom

There were huge flatscreen TV’s in each bedroom and in the lounge. Carefully selected objets d'art were strategically placed around the house and reading material consisting mainly of coffee table books were artfully placed wherever one may happen to need something to read.

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

Lounge and Dining area

In the kitchen, a coffee machine, soft drinks and a humungous jar of rusk awaited us while a platter of fresh fruit rested on the dining room table. The spacious main bathroom had a spa bath, double vanity-stations, heated towel rails and a walk-in shower. Wall-to-wall closets lined the dressing rooms - every woman’s dream.

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

Main Bathroom

The lounge sliding doors opened on to a patio with an outdoor lounge and curtained cabanas, and an extra length private-swimming pool, set in a beautiful garden with towering trees. There was even a small pavilion for al-fresco pool-side meals and a background music feature for the house and the pool.

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel Maison De Ville

Our private patio

Butler and chef service is available on request but we were already spoilt enough without it. The house was so huge that everyone had their own happy space. My daughter cosied up with a book on the sunbed and my son got comfortable in the study. It was the ideal home-away-from-home for a family - just better - with the perfect balance between comfort and luxury.

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel Courtyard Suites

Courtyard Suites

The forty-one unique units are individually designed by Managing Director, Michael Kewley and inspired by different destinations around the world. I was given a tour of some of the unoccupied rooms by the affable deputy General Manager, Ryan, and was amazed by each room’s individuality. Some of the rooms I saw included those inspired by Saigon, France, and Morocco. Each room looked totally different from the other and I eagerly looked forward to seeing more.

The attention to detail was astounding and it seemed as though great lengths were achieved to obtain the perfect pieces for each room. The hotel has many repeat guests and I was told that some of them have their favourite rooms and specifically request those rooms when booking – sometimes even adjusting their dates depending on the rooms availability.

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel rooms

Some of the other rooms

We enjoyed delicious breakfasts at the Amuse-Bouche restaurant. There is a cold buffet selection as well as hot a-la-carte dishes. On our first morning, we opted for our old favourites, Salmon Eggs Benedict, while the kids indulged in pancakes drizzled with syrup and strawberries. On our second morning, we decided to get more adventurous and try out different options on the menu, which we enjoyed as well.

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel breakfast


Of course, I had to experience the renowned Balinese-inspired spa sanctuary, set in beautiful bamboo forest gardens. It includes a well-equipped fitness centre, a hydrotherapy bath, a heated plunge pool, outdoor treatment areas, cane swings and destressing water features. I had a divine hot stone back massage. My expert therapist had me floating away to a happy place and I was blissfully unaware of the impending thunderstorm outside.

Fairlawns Spa

Balinese Spa Gardens

The Fairlawns Spa and the restaurant are very popular with day visitors too so I would advise you to book early. High teas are served in the beautifully eclectic public areas, which are reminiscent of English country houses.

Manor House Bistro Fairlawns

Manor House Bistro where high tea is served

Private dinners can be hosted in the gorgeous “Into the Woods” dining room – which brings the outside in through its magical forest wallpaper and windows overlooking the gardens.

Into The Woods Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

Into The Woods

Conferences and weddings are also hosted at Fairlawns Boutique Hotel . On the day we left, the monthly lawn picnic was being held and the undulating fair lawns were beautifully adorned.

The hotel also offers complimentary value-added service like transfers in the Sandton area, car-washes, shoe-shining and pressing.

Fairlawns Picnic

Lawn Picnic

I do appreciate a well-designed property and Fairlawns really wowed me with its aesthetically pleasing interiors and exteriors. For a while, I forgot that I was in urban Johannesburg as I felt miles away. If you are from out of Johannesburg, then this is the perfect abode for ultraluxe privacy – even for extended periods. If you are from Johannesburg, then this is the ideal venue for a romantic weekend or a family staycation. If staying over is not within your budget, then treat yourself and/or your loved ones to a spa treatment, a meal or a picnic.

Fairlawns Relaxation nook

Relaxation nook

Fairlawn Boutique Hotel's vision is to benchmark itself as the most admired small luxury boutique hotel in Johannesburg. In my opinion, this well-kept secret is already there with its bespoke experiences and exceptional service.

For more information, visit Fairlawns Boutique Hotel or book here.

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

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20 comments on “Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa - a luxurious hideaway”

  1. This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Kudos!

  2. I loved your post ! I read your blog fairly often and you always
    come up with gret stuff ! I shared this on my Facebook and my followers
    loved it ! Keep up the good work !

  3. What a wonderful hotel. I really loved the patios and balinese gardens. Also the upholstery and colors chosen are so immaculate that it ought to win the best boutique hotel award. Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece on this beautiful hotel

  4. I would feel like a Duchess staying here...lovely! Also, I guess my husband will have to try really hard to make be come out of the bathroom...seems like I could lounge in the tub for hours! The food looks great too...thanks for sharing details of a super place to stay in Joburg!

    1. Haha, that's a good way of expressing it. I certainly felt like royalty... and the bath was great too.

  5. I hardly ever stay in this calibre hotels usually choosing low key places where I can feel my kids don't have many chances to destroy things around them lol. But it looks like a lovely place to celebrate a special occasion and just enjoying the stay there rather than focusing on ticking places off ones itinerary!

    1. Hey Grace , I used to worry about my kids breaking things at hotels when they were smaller too. Now that they're bigger I don't have to worry too much about it anymore. On the odd occasion that they do break something, the hotels are usually nice enough to let it go.

  6. This place is super luxurious! My eyes popped because it looks like a pricey home in Beverly Hills. I think I would be most keen to have high tea in the Balinese style gardens. I can see why it gets booked so quickly.

  7. Being a physicist, I dig the Oppeheimer history. The Fairlawns looks like a fabulous property. I would be tempted to go back forty more times and try everything out. You did a fantastic job bringing me into the scene with your detailed descriptions and complementary photographs. This was a really good read.

    1. Thank you Jen and Ed Coleman. Believe me, I'm quite tempted to go back another 40 times to try all the other rooms out. I may just do that 🙂 . And the Oppenheimers really do have a fascinating history, I agree.

  8. Wow this hotel looks amazing! I really love the design and decor of all the rooms, but espcially the outdoor areas like the pool. Also, that spa sounds like heaven and just the thing you need while on vacation. Would love to stay here if I ever visit!

    1. Thanks Kassie. It is quite easy to see why this is one of the best hotels in Johannesburg South Africa 🙂

  9. Wow we'd love to stay in this hotel. It is so posh and luxurious and beautiful. And the food looks so delicious. We'd love to check out this place when were in Joburg for sure. Thanks for this intro.

    1. Thank you Travel Ninjas. I had heard so much about Fairlawns before I finally got there - even though I live in Joburg - and I was really impressed.

  10. Wow! This place looks soooo luxurious. What a wonderful spot to stay when in South Africa. I know some people visiting there soon and will pass this on to them!

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