12 Decades Johannesburg Art Hotel

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286 Fox Street, Maboneng, Johannesburg 2094, South Africa


Airport Transportation, Bar/Lounge, Business Center, Concierge, Conference Center, Conference Room, Dry Cleaning, Fitness Center, Free Parking, Internet, Kitchenette, Laundry Service, Meeting Rooms, Non-Smoking, Restaurant, Safety Deposit Boxes, Salon, Satellite TV, Shops, Shuttle Bus Service, Tours, Wheelchair Access, Wifi


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  1. Expert Review

    3.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Sep 2013 · Sarah Duff

    Most tourists to Johannesburg stay in the suburbs, but the newly-regenerated inner city now has several great hotel options for...

    Most tourists to Johannesburg stay in the suburbs, but the newly-regenerated inner city now has several great hotel options for people who want to get a taste of hip, urban “Jozi.” The Maboneng Precinct, a trendy development project of apartments, artist studios, bars and restaurants in the CBD, is host to the 12 Decades Hotel, a funky creative concept hotel. The hotel’s 12 rooms, which occupy a single floor of a refurbished industrial building, each represent a single decade in Johannesburg’s history from 1886 to 2006 and are each designed by a different artist.

    All the rooms have something of a New York loft feeling about them, with concrete floors, exposed brickwork and views over industria. My favorite room, called “Ponte Obscura,” represents the decade from 1976 to 1986. Designed by award-winning local photographer Mikhael Subotzky and British artist Patrick Waterhouse, the room focuses on Jo’burg’s infamous Ponte building, a circular high rise apartment block that became a symbol of the inner city’s urban decay when most of its residents moved out to the suburbs in the 80s. The room features a camera obscura projecting images of Joburg’s Ponte-punctuated skyline and the building itself onto the walls, making a statement about perceived ideas about the building, and about suburbia’s relationship with the decline of the city.

    Each room offers a small self-catering kitchen, with a sink, kettle, fridge, stove and toaster. But you’d be missing out on Maboneng’s restaurants just downstairs if you choose to cook for yourself: go for cheap Ethiopian food at Little Addis, grab some sushi at Blackanese, down some pizza and craft beer at Chalkboard, or sit down to African food at House of Baobab.

    I love the funky concept of 12 Decades and the urban vibe, but the hotel lacks polish. It was hard not to let a combination of unhelpful staff and a room that was sorely in need of maintenance (mine had a broken door, broken blind and missing lightbulbs) not dampen my stay.

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