Timeless elegance, wistful charm and understated luxury…these are the characteristics that define The Winston Hotel. The five-star boutique hotel is built in the style of Johannesburg's grand historic colonial architecture and is reminiscent of Sir Herbert Baker’s work which can be found in the surrounding neighbourhoods, once home to the city’s mining Randlords. We spent a relaxing weekend there that made us feel like nobility too.
Situated in Rosebank, one of Johannesburg’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan areas, the hotel is a short 5-minute walk from The Gautrain Rosebank station and the Rosebank shopping centres with their myriad upmarket restaurants and stores. However, even though it is centrally located, it remains private and exclusive.
Shaded by towering trees including a magnificent jacaranda, The Winston Hotel is set around manicured gardens and a sparkling swimming pool flanked by sun loungers. The airy, shaded outdoor lounge is a great space for informal meetings, while the terrace, with its tables laid out on the chequered floor, is perfect for leisurely al fresco meals. We enjoyed lingering there with our drinks after meals.
The public areas as well as the rooms are furnished with an eclectic mix of handpicked treasures carefully curated by the owners during the course of their travels around the world. Thought-provoking artworks and old photographs adorn the walls. A wooden staircase leads to a cosy library area equipped with a selection of African literature and reference books. Meeting and conference facilities are available too and are quite popular with businesses in the vicinity.
The carpeted entrance lobby leads to the in-house fine dining restaurant. The kitchen is headed by Chef Asif Mughal, previously of Park Hyatt Dubai Creek, and the food is halaal. My family loved it. We dined on starters of beef carpaccio and haddock fishcakes, mains of tender fillet steak, rich and creamy butter chicken, lamb korma, and delicious desserts inter alia.
For breakfast, we had shakshuka, eggs royale and full English breakfasts.
There are 30 en-suite guest rooms styled in Royal Safari, English Country or French Boudoir themes, with teak floors, high ceilings and panelled walls. We stayed in a Royal Safari themed room while our kids stayed in the adjacent French Boudoir themed room. Spacious and airy, the bedrooms feature huge beds, working areas, televisions, coffee machines and mini-bars.
The bathrooms are designed in marble and mahogany, and have bathtubs, walk-in showers and heaters, something one doesn’t normally see in bathrooms.
Instead of the usual towelling gowns, beautiful Shweshwe gowns lend a delightful local touch. Sliding doors lead onto balconies overlooking the courtyard where we basked in the warm winter sunshine with our books and coffee.
Service at The Winston is warm and friendly, and staff will go the extra mile to ensure that guests are happy. David, the hotel manager, has been with the hotel for 15 years, and he regaled us with some interesting anecdotes. By the end of our stay, the staff felt more like friends.
The hotel was recently acquired by Millat Investments, joining its growing hotel portfolio which includes the Hyatt Houses in Sandton and Rosebank and the Hyatt Regency in Cape Town. In the next few months, it will undergo a major rejuvenation, spearheaded by international award-winning global design house, Yabu Pushelberg, and be rebranded as a Park Hyatt hotel, offering travellers a high-end luxury and boutique accommodation option. It is expected to close in December 2022 for the upgrade and reopen in early 2023. As much as I adored the current style of the hotel, I look forward to seeing the new look.
The Winston Hotel is a great urban retreat for a romantic getaway, a family stay or a corporate event, and its convenient location makes it an ideal base for exploring Johannesburg and surrounding areas. And if you prefer not to drive or use public transport, then you'll be ahppy to know that the hotel provides chauffeur services too.
For more information visit The Winston Hotel.