Airport Grounds, Jones Road, O.R. Tambo International Airport, Kempton Park 1627, Johannesburg, South Africa
Air Conditioning, Airport Transportation, Babysitting, Banquet Hall, Bar/Lounge, Business Center, Casino, Concierge, Conference Center, Conference Room, Dry Cleaning, Family Rooms, Fitness Center, Free High-Speed Internet, Hotel Doctor, In-room safe, Internet, Laundry Service, Meeting Rooms, Minibar, Non-Smoking, Parking, Reduced mobility rooms, Restaurant, Room Service, Safety Deposit Boxes, Salon, Satellite TV, Service Animals Allowed, Shops, Shuttle Bus Service, Smoking Rooms Available, Spa, Suites, Swimming Pool, Wheelchair Access, Wifi
Sometimes you don't need a hotel that leaves an impression on you. You don't want an experience. You want a comfortable...
Sometimes you don’t need a hotel that leaves an impression on you. You don’t want an experience. You want a comfortable bed, pillows that are just right, Wi-Fi that works and a good signal on your cell phone.
For my last night in Johannesburg, I chose to stay near the airport at Southern O.R. Tambo, one of 12 airport-area hotels.
I couldn’t get a good cell phone signal in my room and the room seemed a little dated, but it was comfortable. Renovations are planned to expand and spruce up the hotel, which sees its fair share of comings and goings in South Africa’s corporate travel scene.
My bed looked appealing and I had a good night’s sleep.
I got a tour of the property with Yashvir “Yash” Jithoo, the hotel’s food and beverage manager.
The hotel’s conference center was abuzz with activity, as hotel staff prepared for several simultaneous events in different rooms. This conference facility can accommodate 1,000 delegates and is one of the largest in East Johannesburg hotels. One of the smaller conference rooms was even designed specifically for Bafana Bafana, the South African Football Association.
The hotel business center has work stations and extra terminals in case a guest is having technical issues.
Forty percent of the hotel guests are there for conferences, and 30 percent, including me, are in transit in or out of Johannesburg.
The airport location is ideal for the remaining 30 percent who fly in to Johannesburg on corporate business related to mines and banking. Jithoo said they prefer to stay here because they fly in and don’t have to travel.
Monday thru Friday, the hotel is usually fully booked well in advance by business and conference guests. The hotel also accommodates people whose flights have been delayed.
There’s a large hotel gym that is busiest at around 8:30 p.m., after the business day is over for guests.
Hotel decor is aeronautically themed, with black and white, and sepia photographs of big sky landscapes adorning the hallways and common areas.
Windows are all double-glazed so you can’t hear the airplanes taking off and landing.
The hotel has executive rooms for visiting dignitaries.
Children under age 18 stay and eat free at Southern Sun hotels, Jithoo said.
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