I recently got to play the role of a true bleisure traveller – you know, those people travelling for both business and leisure – and I must admit, I liked it. A lot. Especially as I got to stay in the all new voco Hotel in Rosebank – the first of its kind in Africa.
For a day, I got to act like a real businesswoman at a real business hotel. Well, in essence I guess I am a businesswoman, but I don’t get to hang out at fancy hotels like the voco Hotel very often, so for me, and my husband who joined me for the evening, it was a refreshing treat and a wonderful change of scenery.
Located right next to Rosebank Mall, The Bank, which is home to the voco hotel, stands tall and proud. It is also home to the restaurant, Proud Mary and Workshop 17, which offers immaculate, flexible workspaces 24/7.
Here is why the voco Hotel is probably one of the best bleisure hotels in Joburg:
Location, location, location
While any business hotel is usually located in a city’s business hub, the voco Hotel’s location cannot be better. Rosebank Mall is just across the road from the hotel’s entrance, and you can literally walk to the hotel from the Rosebank Gautrain station. Everything you might need is right at your fingertips – from transport, banks and shopping options to brilliant restaurants like its resident Proud Mary and many others.
The voco Hotel’s special touches
Even the build-up to entering our room was a unique experience, with the hotel’s teal-coloured lifts and glamorous trimmings instantly transporting you to another era. And, while a hotel room is often just another hotel room with crisp white linen, puffed up pillows and duplicated wall art, the voco Hotel’s rooms are different.
Apart from its refreshing, yet nostalgic art deco feel, our room was spacious and instantly lured us to the windows from which we had views for days. The room was filled with distinct art pieces (as were the corridors leading to the room) and the room’s details and fixtures were clearly carefully chosen with its specific purpose and aesthetic appeal in mind.
Prior to our arrival, I was asked which fruits were my favourite and as we walked into the room, a generous plate of fresh fruit and delicious cheese awaited, coupled with canned Spier wine as a welcoming gift.
The voco Hotel also does a simple, yet thoughtful turndown at night, with a delicious chocolate treat from Proud Mary.
Joburg views from the voco Hotel
A Joburg sunset is a unique sunset and seeing it from the tenth floor at the voco Hotel was quite something. As the sun was setting, the sides of the numerous neutral-hued buildings outside slowly turned to gold, reminding me of one of the many reasons why Joburg is also called the City of Gold. Glistening in twilight, the buildings showed off their stature – some old, some new – highlighting Jozi’s unique and intriguing charisma.
It was also wonderful to watch the streets around the hotel awake the next morning, and that from our room’s windows! At one stage we spotted a couple of joggers stretching in front of Starbucks just across the street – clearly still feeling the early morning, autumn chill. Later, some cyclists came past. With Rosebank Mall and the Rosebank Gautrain station just there, people were coming and going all the time, unknowingly setting the tone and creating the lovely vibe these two Pretorian visitors soon came to appreciate and enjoy.
With Workshop 17 being situated in the same building, getting some work done after checking in without worrying about where to find steady internet is a no-brainer. In fact, at this beautifully designed, flexible workspace you can even book a meeting room from which you can host in-person or virtual meetings. Whilst our room was fitted with a small desk and some chairs, the elegant décor and light, open atmosphere of Workshop 17 is a lovely change of scenery for someone staying at the hotel for more than one day.
The bonus is that the café space at Workshop 17, for which there is no need to make a booking, can be used by hotel guests at no additional charge.
Valet parking at the voco Hotel
At an additional R100, voco Hotel’s friendly porters assist you with your car and park it safely for you. You can contact them on Whatsapp at any given time when you want them to bring your car around. Apart from making you feel rather special upon arrival, it’s a great add-on that certainly doesn’t go unnoticed.
Proud Mary at the voco Hotel
Another thing the voco Hotel can truly be proud of, is their continuous collaboration with The Bank’s resident restaurant, Proud Mary. This restaurant is not only beautifully decorated with copper and teal, but it also boasts wonderful, out of the ordinary and very tasteful menu items.
If you’re looking for a restaurant that subtly prevents you from ordering what you always order, encouraging you to try something different when it comes to gastronomy, this is it. Proud Mary’s menu is filled with meals that will make your taste buds dance. Even the simplest lamb chops had me in awe with its accompanying tzatziki and I have yet to see Wikus enjoy a pork belly as much as he did here.
Our dinner was coupled with Beaumont Family Wines’ 2019 Jackals River Pinotage, which the sommelier kindly assisted us with. What a wise man and what a wonderful wine.
Of course, we had to end off dinner with something sweet and although we pondered long and hard, I opted for the Milktart Crème Brûlée, while Wikus chose the Poached Pear Anglaise. Divine.
Even breakfast was out of this world with delicious oats with stone fruit, eggs benedict and coffee in none other than Le Creuset mugs.
P.S. When you’re there, be sure to pop into their restrooms too, even if it’s just to take a peek.
Something for the road
As our car got pulled up for us to leave after check-out, I popped in at Proud Mary’s little café window and got myself a coffee for the road. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful bleisure experience – one that I would recommend to anyone travelling to Joburg for work, or even someone looking for a unique staycation experience.
P.S. The voco Hotel is also officially launching their exclusive hotel gym on the 7th of May with, wait for it, a sunset yoga event. And, you can buy a ticket to the event. There are only 100 tickets, so you’d better hurry up and get one soon.
*Our stay at the voco Hotel, including dinner and breakfast at Proud Mary was sponsored.