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There are so, so many reasons to fall in love with Joburg and its surroundings at the start of the new year. Sensational scenery, summertime sunshine and a city so vibrant and jam-packed with oomph, it’s intoxicating. We beg you not to sit on the couch and laze about, rather opt for one of these affordable staycations; they’ll transform your year.
Camp at Mountain Sanctuary Park
Do it because: This privately-owned nature reserve is calling your name. Firstly, it is ridiculously affordable; secondly, you can opt to go for a day visit at just R50 per vehicle. We recommend pitching a tent, lighting a campfire, roasting marshmallows and indulging in a guided hike over a two-night stay at R200 per adult on weekends and R130 midweek. We love the three-hour guided hike option and you can swim in the natural pools and enjoy a bountiful braai. If you’re more into glamping, toilets and electricity you can book one of their charming log cabins at R600 per person per night.
READ MORE ON TRAVEL HERE.
Book somewhere you’ve never been, The Gardenia Boutique Hotel
Where: Craighall Park
Do it because: You deserve a secret staycation. This is where you will find some quality r&r and chances are you won’t see anyone you know. So, makeup-free Monday is a high probability. This little boutique style hotel has just gone under new ownership, it has 14 beautiful rooms, all with an array of artworks by world-renowned artist, Vladimir Tretchikoff and a patio bar with a pool so blue, you’ll have to be dragged to breakfast. The best news? It’s only R590 per person sharing for a double room.
Live in a museum like Mahatma Gandhi at Satyagraha House
Do it because: It’s a once in a lifetime experience. Yip Joburgers did you ever think you could live out a day from our history books? It’s just such a cool concept and registered part of the country’s historical heritage. This innovative accommodation concept, linking a guesthouse to museum concept, presents to be the first of its kind for South Africa. Inside the house is a museum retracing Gandhi’s experiences in South Africa and adds to the meditative and calming ambience. You can also opt to stay in one of the seven rooms spread out between the original house, called the Kraal in reference to its architecture resembling a traditional African farm. The Comfort room rate is between R3080 – R4190 and includes breakfast.
READ MORE ON ACCOMMODATION HERE.
Stay in a 1930s style farmhouse at Rustig
Do it because: It’s just a 45-minute drive from the city. If you love history and tradition, you’ll love the fact that the farmhouse is still in its original 20th-century building style. You can book the entire house for R3000 per night and it sleeps ten people, it’s a steal! They have the most gorgeous swimming pool to lap up whilst sipping on a few cocktails. There are also excellent hiking trails with majestic views of the Magaliesburg Mountains. If you’re really feeling adventurous and want to work off the holiday bulge, there is even an overnight 13km hiking trail experience at just R300 per person.
Experience a Balinese pamper weekend at Fairlawns
Do it because: You want to be spoilt rotten all weekend long. We all know this hotel for its impressive five-star experience, but they have just extended the outdoor space of their award-winning Balinese spa by an impressive 920m2 making it the largest and most exclusive spa and wellness space in all of Johannesburg. When you enter into the space, you will journey through beautiful gardens with a bamboo forest, a space reminiscent of Bali. The Balinese splendour includes an undercover heated hydro pool, rim flow Jacuzzi, sentō bath, relaxation lounges and a private dining Sala for 8 guests and bar – all set in the beautiful gardens. Book the Royal Bali Ritual for four hours for R2400 per person and have a splash in the hydrotherapy Balinese jet bath. Post weekend we pledge that you’ll be embracing January with a tight squeeze.
READ MORE ON ACCOMMODATION HERE.
Sleep in an original ox wagon at Oxwagon Lodge
Do it because: You have a sense of humour and it’s cheap and cheerful. Did we mention it’s affordable? Well for just R650 per person, including a champagne breakfast, you can ditch the city blues and tick sleeping in an adorable ox wagon off your bucket list (and it’s only January!) There are six original restored Ox wagons, that have been restored and converted to charming accommodation, and never fear, there is electricity and a private bathroom, and we hope you’re sitting down for this; even working Wi-Fi. There is also an Oxwagon restaurant, which serves Sunday lunch including oxtail potjiekos, real farm bread and other yummy traditional dishes. Or, why not book a romantic sunset picnic basket?
Bunk with ghosts at Foxwood House
Do it because: You’ve always wanted to sleep in a haunted house. So, word on the street is it’s haunted. Apart from the usual sounds of footsteps, a mysterious lady, a child and Paul Kruger have been seen on the balcony of this historic boutique hotel in Houghton. The house was built in 1924 and not many changes have been made over the years. However, this is an elegant boutique hotel on two and a half acres of lush gardens, there are 10 suites, one cottage and one room in the Coach House. The John Oates suite, which is named after the only son of Pearl and Bert Oates, a fighter pilot in WWII, goes for just R1120 per person sharing per night. Expect complete solitude (bar the spooky spirits) and a flawless city escape!
Bianca Spinner is the Lifestyle Editor at Hello Joburg Magazine. Bianca is taking strides as in independent woman in the workforce and combined with her deep seated passion and love for her community, she is sure to increase her insatiable appetite for success.