How to have a blissful staycation in Jozi

Radisson Hotel OR Tambo

By Renate Engelbrecht

Wed, Mar 24

It’s not often that you get to wake up to the sound of roosters while cocooned in crisp, white bedding – especially ten minutes away from Jozi’s OR Tambo International Airport. At the Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre, OR Tambo you’ll quickly learn how to have a blissful staycation in the heart of Johannesburg.

Located in Bredell, the Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre, OR Tambo stands tall between local residences and a neighbouring primary school. Its location might have come as a surprise but considering the hotel group’s urge to submerge itself in its communities, it makes total sense. And, waking up to the sound of roosters and Crowned Plovers certainly added a special touch to our short and sweet Joburg-based staycation.

Being a bleisure destination, the hotel offers the perfect balance for business and leisure travellers. We kicked off our stay with the unavoidable last-minute to-dos work-wise. Of course, we coupled it with an elegant glass of beer and a G&T gallantly garnished with pomegranates – all beside the hotel’s glistening lap pool. Had the weather allowed, we would have definitely opted for a swim later on, but mother nature had other plans with loaded clouds that unpredictably came rolling in.

The stay

The Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre, OR Tambo is the product of Scandinavian-inspired decor and flow, with a lot of lovely wooden details, artwork done by local artists and a tendency toward minimalism and simplistic layouts. The rooms especially are very simplistic, offering guests a functional, clean and comfortable stay without too much decor and fluff. Everything about the stay was user-friendly – from the COVID-friendly check-in and the lift with a view, to the room’s desk, small lounge area, luggage rack with hanging space, huge and comfy bed and even an in-room ironing board and iron! Not to mention the state-of-the-art ‘Do not Disturb’ plaques. One thing is certain: Much has gone into the details of this hotel and it certainly left a good impression.

Level Seven Restaurant & Sky Bar

We decided to exchange laps in the pool for some pre-dinner drinks at Desmond Mabuza’s Level Seven Restaurant & Sky Bar – a popular luxury rooftop restaurant for the discerning Joburg diner. Offering lovely poolside daybeds (for the perfect Instagrammable late afternoon sundowners), it is a great entertainment venue with a view. Inside it boasts a romantic fine dining setting with tables draped in white tablecloths bordering large, glass windows overlooking Bredell. As we watched the theatrical thunder show from one of these romantic table settings, Wikus enjoyed a refreshing Mojito while I indulged in a glass of Diemersdal Pinotage 2018.

The Avenue Restaurant

Later, we moved down to The Avenue Restaurant on the hotel’s ground floor. It is a more laid-back eatery that doubles up as a breakfast room and it flows out onto the poolside patio with on-trend decor, calming colours and lovely art pieces. Here, hotel visitors can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also move over to the Peacock Lounge and enjoy the same menu (or some afternoon tea) while leisurely lounging on its elegant velvet chairs and couches. This lounge is also a lovely venue for informal meetings, located right next to one of the hotel’s quaint and well-equipped boardrooms.

For dinner, I opted for the ribeye steak and Wikus had the fillet. Chef Darshan Chetty’s menu is rather clever and uncomplicated and the plating is done in a humble, homely style, which I loved. The portions were also quite generous, which I believe many South Africans would be happy to hear.

It is clear that at the Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre, OR Tambo, guests are spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options. Here they can truly go wherever their taste buds lead them.

According to Marketing Manager, Frances Litten, all of the restaurants’ suppliers are located within a 20km radius from the hotel. “We also try to partner with local farms and suppliers to ensure that all of our produce is fresh and vitamin rich while also supporting locally to minimise transport costs and pesticide usage,” she says. The hotel also has its own vegetable- and herb garden on the premises and they often use it for flavouring and garnishing purposes.

The Avenue Restaurant will be hosting an Easter Sunday Buffet for guests to enjoy. It costs R550 per person and children under 12 only pay half price. It includes homemade hot cross buns and an Easter Egg hunt for the kids. For bookings, contact info.ortambo@radisson.com.

When it comes to COVID-19 regulations and protocols, The Avenue certainly impressed with sanitisers at the entrance and on the tables, sitting ducks on tables to comply with social distancing, staff wearing masks at all times and cutlery that has been separately packaged in branded envelopes. In fact, all over the hotel I felt comfortable when it comes to COVID.

What to look forward to

The Radisson Spa & Wellness Centre will be opening in May 2021, boasting a champagne bar and salt room. It is said that it will be the largest freestanding spa of its kind in Joburg. Its massage rooms will be run by Amani Spas and the nail bar and facilities will be coordinated by Tammy Taylor Nails.

In addition to the Radisson Spa & Wellness Centre, there is also another part of the hotel that is being built. This section of the hotel will boast apartments for longer stays – ideal for corporates and groups travelling and conferencing together.

So, whether it’s a blissful staycation or a COVID-friendly conference venue you’re after, the Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre, OR Tambo proves to be the perfect bleisure destination, especially for business and leisure travellers (and locals) who appreciate the finer things in life.

XOXOXO

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