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Overnight in JNB?

Overnight in JNB?

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Old Sep 23, 09, 12:43 am
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Overnight in JNB?

Hi all,

First post, though been lurking for ages to find info for various trips. I've just managed to use some points to get Qantas codeshare flights from PER-JNB next year for some travelling around - and the world cup. I believe it's on SA metal though. Happy as anything I could get them on the dates I wanted. Amassed lots of points over the years, but this is the first time I've ever used any!

Back to my question though. Upon arrival I've got an overnight layover in Jo'burg before flying out the next morning to Uganda. Land early evening and depart very early the next morning. While I'm pretty well travelled, this will be my first trip to southern/eastern Africa, I'll be travelling solo, and I'm female - so I'm a little concerned about my personal safety. What are the facilities like at JNB? Is there an airport hotel (landside) where I can safely crash for the night? I'll have to clear immigration as I'm flying out on a different airline and on a different ticket. I don't want to have to head into town, especially on my own. Or is it safe to just hang around the airport overnight?

Appreciate any advice.
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Old Sep 23, 09, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by TachOz View Post
Hi all,

First post, though been lurking for ages to find info for various trips. I've just managed to use some points to get Qantas codeshare flights from PER-JNB next year for some travelling around - and the world cup. I believe it's on SA metal though. Happy as anything I could get them on the dates I wanted. Amassed lots of points over the years, but this is the first time I've ever used any!

Back to my question though. Upon arrival I've got an overnight layover in Jo'burg before flying out the next morning to Uganda. Land early evening and depart very early the next morning. While I'm pretty well travelled, this will be my first trip to southern/eastern Africa, I'll be travelling solo, and I'm female - so I'm a little concerned about my personal safety. What are the facilities like at JNB? Is there an airport hotel (landside) where I can safely crash for the night? I'll have to clear immigration as I'm flying out on a different airline and on a different ticket. I don't want to have to head into town, especially on my own. Or is it safe to just hang around the airport overnight?

Appreciate any advice.
Welcome to FT!

The Intercontinental hotel is connected to the airport - accessed easily from the arrivals areas by a (mostly covered footpath.) Just past the IC is a transit center where shuttle buses serve various airport-area hotels. Our fave is the Southern Sun OR Tambo, which is adjacent to the airport but which requires a shuttle due to incomprehensible intervening street-spaghetti.

The IC is predictably expensive; the SSORT typically runs around R900 per night for a single and IMO is excellent value. Very comfortable hotel, nice people. The breakfast (either included or extra to your room rate, depending) is, like most SA hotel breakfasts, awesome.

As to security, we've never felt uncomfortable in the least at JNB. You must be prepared for somewhat insistent "assistants" who will offer to help you navigate to the bus depot, help with bags, etc. Many visitors are initially put off by this (or, e.g., people coming up to offer to watch your car while you park) but have some small coins or banknotes ready (R2 - R5 coins, R10 notes) for tips, and you'll do swimmingly. This is their livelihood and part of everyday life in SA. For this reason I'd get some SA currency (cash machines near the cafes on the middle floor of the terminal) and maybe even some pocket change in order to provide for the frequent tipping required.
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Old Sep 23, 09, 9:54 am
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Welcome to FT!

The Intercontinental hotel is connected to the airport - accessed easily from the arrivals areas by a (mostly covered footpath.) Just past the IC is a transit center where shuttle buses serve various airport-area hotels. Our fave is the Southern Sun OR Tambo, which is adjacent to the airport but which requires a shuttle due to incomprehensible intervening street-spaghetti.

The IC is predictably expensive; the SSORT typically runs around R900 per night for a single and IMO is excellent value. Very comfortable hotel, nice people. The breakfast (either included or extra to your room rate, depending) is, like most SA hotel breakfasts, awesome.

As to security, we've never felt uncomfortable in the least at JNB. You must be prepared for somewhat insistent "assistants" who will offer to help you navigate to the bus depot, help with bags, etc. Many visitors are initially put off by this (or, e.g., people coming up to offer to watch your car while you park) but have some small coins or banknotes ready (R2 - R5 coins, R10 notes) for tips, and you'll do swimmingly. This is their livelihood and part of everyday life in SA. For this reason I'd get some SA currency (cash machines near the cafes on the middle floor of the terminal) and maybe even some pocket change in order to provide for the frequent tipping required.
Ah. Sounds a bit like some of the airports in South America. Annoying people I can deal with. I was more concerned about safety, but it sounds like that's not an issue - at least at the airport.

I'll go chase down the hotel recommendations you mentioned and see what looks good!

Thanks.
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Old Sep 25, 09, 1:04 am
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
The IC is predictably expensive.
Tell me about it!

I had dinner with friends in their (pretty decent) Quills restaurant Wednessday evening, and took the opportunity to enquire about a reservation for a Friday night next month.

They quoted me R 3,200.-

Johan
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Old Sep 28, 09, 5:38 am
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The good news is that a new City Lodge is being built right on top of the car park, i.e. next door to the IC. An affordable alternative within walking distance from the terminals will do competition a lot of good.

The City Lodge is expected to open Q2 2010.

Johan
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Old Sep 29, 09, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
I had dinner with friends in their (pretty decent) Quills restaurant Wednessday evening, ...
It is surprisingly good, isn't it? I've used it for entertaining friends a few times.

Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
The good news is that a new City Lodge is being built right on top of the car park, i.e. next door to the IC. An affordable alternative within walking distance from the terminals will do competition a lot of good.

The City Lodge is expected to open Q2 2010.

Johan
Great news! I really like City Lodge. Cookie cutter predictability at a budget price. (At least I hope this one will also be at a budget price after they pay ACSA the presumably outrageous airport rental.)

Anyway, the competition might bring down the prices at IC which didn't always used to be so high.
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Old Sep 29, 09, 1:18 pm
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In South Africa tip your hotel maid every day! Tips are a huge part of her wages.

I love the IC at the airport, but that is a price I don't like. The lady asked if she could hang around IN the airport overnight. I won't.
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Old Sep 29, 09, 1:32 pm
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After deciding it would take too long to get to Sandton or some nice part of the Johannesburg metro area, my partner and I decided on Afton Guest House which is a short drive from the airport. They'll pick you and up drive you back. They'll also drive you to their nearby mall for dinner, food, liquor or whatever, and pick you up again. Said to be too dangerous to walk. The compound is fenced in. The lounge area is a bit depressing as the Afrikaaner family that runs that also caters to foreigh big game hunters and there's a lot of trophies in and around the place. As my wife said, who would want to shoot a zebra?

Rates for a single, including breakfast and transfers is ZAR 750.
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Old Sep 30, 09, 12:38 am
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Originally Posted by oldpenny16 View Post
In South Africa tip your hotel maid every day! Tips are a huge part of her wages.
Tipping hotel maids is not a South Africans custom. I have travelled copiously for business within SA and know of no one who does. Not saying you shouldn't do it, just mentioning the fact.

As for tips being a substantial part of her wages: well there are minimum wages in SA and working in a major hotel she will almost certainly belong to a union that will negotiate well above that. Of course if everyone tips her $5 a day and she services 15 rooms a day she could earn over R10,000 per month in tips. That would be a hefty raise on her salary. But in reality she does not depend on tips the way people do in some other countries where they will take the job for next to nothing just to get access to tips.
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Old Oct 2, 09, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA View Post
It is surprisingly good, isn't it?
It is, but service can be excruciatingly slow, even when the restaurant is less than 20% full. If you choose a table outside on the stoep, they may even forget about you entirely.

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Old Oct 3, 09, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
It is, but service can be excruciatingly slow, even when the restaurant is less than 20% full. If you choose a table outside on the stoep, they may even forget about you entirely.

Johan
Now that you mention it we did have problems last time. It was a lovely evening and most customers were sitting on the stoep. The waiters were very friendly and charming but obviously barely coping. Luckily we were not in a hurry and it didn't affect the food quality.

I always expect the worst from airport hotels - so maybe that colours my good opinion of Quills.
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Old Oct 6, 09, 9:57 pm
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Any other hotels around JNB airport

Could someone suggest any other hotels around JNB (with a shuttle service)? The IC at the airport is way beyond my budget, the Southern Sun OR Tambo is full on the date I need, now where else could I look without trekking into town?
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Old Oct 6, 09, 11:00 pm
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Originally Posted by FedUp2 View Post
Could someone suggest any other hotels around JNB (with a shuttle service)? The IC at the airport is way beyond my budget, the Southern Sun OR Tambo is full on the date I need, now where else could I look without trekking into town?
The Emperor's Palace casino and convention centre is adjacent to the airport and has four hotels attached to the complex, the D'Oreale Grande (five star), Mondior (four star), Metcourt Laurel (three star) and Metcourt Suites (three star). There is a shuttle bus to the complex from both the International and Domestic terminals.
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Old Oct 8, 09, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by FedUp2 View Post
Could someone suggest any other hotels around JNB (with a shuttle service)? The IC at the airport is way beyond my budget, the Southern Sun OR Tambo is full on the date I need, now where else could I look without trekking into town?
Try the City Lodge Group. They have 2 hotels nearby: a City Lodge and a Town Lodge. Budget hotels with very good prices and decent value for money if you don't mind the small rooms.

Both offer shuttle buses. FWIW I prefer the cheaper Town Lodge because it only has a shower - but it's a really spacious one.
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Old Oct 8, 09, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by Craigo View Post
The Emperor's Palace casino and convention centre is adjacent to the airport and has four hotels attached to the complex, the D'Oreale Grande (five star), Mondior (four star), Metcourt Laurel (three star) and Metcourt Suites (three star). There is a shuttle bus to the complex from both the International and Domestic terminals.
A room at one of the Metcourts should cost about 1/3 of what the Intercontinental charges. Outisde shuttle hours, or if you would rather not wait for the next shuttle, they will provide a chauffeur service for a very reasonable R 150.--.

The shuttle, by the way, departs from the bus terminus behind the IC.

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