Spending a full day in JNB O.R. Tambo

Old Feb 15, 16, 2:36 pm
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Spending a full day in JNB O.R. Tambo

Hi all,

Due to some work scheduling conflicts I'll be arriving on the BA55 (LHR-JNB) at 7:10 and flying back the same day on BA56 (JNB-LHR) at 20:20. As my travel companions will immediately be leaving after arriving for a long drive to the Kruger park I'm not really keen on going to the city centre by myself for just the one day.

According to the OW website there is the Bidvest Premier Lounge, the British Airways Galleries First and Galleries Club Lounge, Shongololo Lounge (Menzies Aviation) and the South African Airways Baobab Lounge (only for Qantas?).
None of them seem to offer sleeping areas and the BA lounge only opens in the late afternoon.

Does anyone has any hands on experience with these lounges?
Do any OWE accessible lounges offer anything that reflects a sleeping area?
Any good day room hotels near the airport? My quick google search didn't return any good solutions.
I'd mostly like to get some sleep and get some work done that day so all tips are welcome!
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Old Feb 15, 16, 2:47 pm
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I recently had to spend the day at OR Tambo having arrived on the 55.

I booked a day room at the City Lodge hotel which is walking distance from the terminal for about 35. The room was clean, had a good shower and was perfect for a good sleep after the overnight flight.

When I woke up I headed off to Quills restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel which is next door to the City Lodge for lunch.

The BA lounge opens at around 3.30pm / 4pm so you can then head back there.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by JumboJim View Post
I booked a day room at the City Lodge hotel which is walking distance from the terminal for about 35. The room was clean, had a good shower and was perfect for a good sleep after the overnight flight.
BA put us up there in December after our delayed BA55 flight meant we missed our last connection down to CPT.

Wasn't as nice as the Intercontinental but as you say was clean and easy to get to from the terminal.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 6:10 pm
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I've stayed at the CityLodge twice now. Fairly reasonable.

There's also a decent food court and some shops inbetween the international and domestic terminals that can pass a little time.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 6:25 pm
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Here's advice I was given about a brief overnight, certainly a different scenario and yet about the same number of elapsed hours.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/afric...citylodge.html

CityLodge mentioned above was recommend to me in that thread. There is also a transit Protea hotel not discussed in that thread. And several encouraged me to go into Jo-burg which is quite easy to do with the Gautrain. You might find you want to go get a meal as a means of stretching your legs and breathing outside air.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 6:54 pm
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Currently on MR #2 of 3 at JNB! While I am staying at a game lodge 2.5hrs north for 2 nights on this one, my next JNB MR is a literal same-day turn with BA 56/56 next month.

I haven't decided what to do.

There is an arrivals lounge Seksile (spelling?) that I use upon arrival. I think it closes at 12:30pm, though. I was thinking about then just checking in and hitting up the BA lounge as they have good food options there.

I have stayed at the Holiday Inn airport. They have a shuttle or an Uber costs $4. Room is nice and costs about $60/night.

I was debating just staying at the airport for those 13hrs, too. But I may leans towards another day at the Holiday Inn as I am an IHG Elite and could always use another cheap night in my stay history.

Also, the airside spa offers very cheap massages/facials/treatments. You could easily pass 4hrs in there.

The IC is also located at the hotel but I can't justify its expensive cost compared to every other hotel in JNB.

If you want an experience of a lifetime go to Lion Park. They will even come get you at the airport. should take up half of your day but leave you with a lifetime of one-on-one interactions with baby lion cubs and cheetahs. I was just there for my third time last week on my last MR to JNB.

Last edited by 355F1; Feb 15, 16 at 7:06 pm
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Old Feb 15, 16, 9:23 pm
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I had a day to kill a couple of years ago at JNB. If you have not visited Johannesburg before taking the train in to the city is very easy. There is a good open top bus service that runs all day every 45 minutes, this takes you to some of the major sights and you can get on and off the bus as often as you like. I really enjoyed this very brief introduction to the city.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 1:49 am
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Originally Posted by BigVince76 View Post
I had a day to kill a couple of years ago at JNB. If you have not visited Johannesburg before taking the train in to the city is very easy. There is a good open top bus service that runs all day every 45 minutes, this takes you to some of the major sights and you can get on and off the bus as often as you like. I really enjoyed this very brief introduction to the city.
I have to agree with BigVince76.

There is plenty to do/experience within a short trip on the Gautrain (a modern, clean, safe rail offering).
The Red Bus Tour around the CBD is a good option, otherwise you can go through to Sandton for a bit of shopping and a nice steak.

You can also find a list of attractions, listed by their proximity to various stations, here.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 2:13 am
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Agree with the above.

If you are the type that enjoys lurking around airports and lounges then OR Tambo is quite OK. The City Lodge is excellent and attached to the airport (the Protea is a transit drive away). Inexpensive for a day room and easy to work there (though I believe you need to pay for the wifi).

Personally I would recommend taking the Gautrain into town. Sandton and Rosebank are both pleasant for a wander and something to eat, or even across to Pretoria where in a day you could easily do Union Buildings and Voortrekker Monument.

Alternatively take a taxi from the airport and visit the Apartheid Museum. Less than 10 each way and will take up 3 hours comfortably.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 2:13 am
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Originally Posted by 355F1 View Post
I was debating just staying at the airport for those 13hrs, too. But I may leans towards another day at the Holiday Inn as I am an IHG Elite and could always use another cheap night in my stay history.
There is a Holiday Inn within walking distance of the Rosebank Gautrain station which could be an option. The Rosebank Mall is on the same "block" with food and shopping available. The Gautrain takes about 20 minutes to get to Rosebank with a easy change at Marlboro. Rosebank

Even taking the train over to Sandton City/Sandton Square for lunch would be a better way to kill some time than hanging around airside.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 2:33 am
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Fully agree with the above. JNB airport is not the sort of place I'd want to spend a day! The Rand is so weak right now that it would be a shame not to take advantage. You could easily rent a car and, as someone mentioned above, visit the lion park. There's also the lion and rhino park just a little further on, which is an even better experience. In each of these places an encounter with lion cubs is about 1.50. It's so ridiculously cheap at the moment! If that's not your thing, take the Gautrain into Sandton and check out the Canary Wharf of Johannesburg. There are some lovely hotel spas, such as the Maslow or the Sandton Sun, offering very well priced treatments. A 90 minute massage, for example, will set you back about 30. You could then relax on the Sandeck and have some lunch in the sun. The South African Breweries World of Beer tour is Johannesburg's top tourist attraction and well worth a visit if you're interested in the brewing process or in finding out how a small local brewery, founded in 1895, became the world's second largest beer company. There is, of course, also the huge bonus of getting to taste lots of different beers You can get there in an Uber from Sandron for just a few s. There's just so much to do and see that it would be almost criminal to waste the day in OR Tambo. Oh, and if you want to bring me a few bottles of Chocolate Block from the airport, that would be fine too
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Old Feb 16, 16, 3:02 am
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My recommendation is to go to the Intercontinental, within walking distance of the terminal. I had a very pleasant massage there.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 4:49 am
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I would take the train to Sandton and go to one of the restaurants in the mall (Bukhara and Pigalle are both excellent). It's safe to walk around during the day, so wouldn't worry about that (or about taking the train). You can also take an Uber to the apartheid museum which is definitely worth a visit and a good idea to spend a few hours.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 6:15 am
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another vote for 'get out of the airport'

If you don't have to clear immigration, you're talking about a twelve hour stay at the airport, with no fresh air and very little natural light.

Grab a shower at the Sesfikile arrivals lounge (ZAR 250) and you'll be freshened up by 9am - then either Gautrain to Sandton/Rosebank/Pretoria or get a hire car or Uber to anywhere. It's all cheap!
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Old Dec 27, 16, 5:22 pm
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Do airlines let you check in and use printed boarding passes to access airside? or do you have to wait until three hours before departure for the ticket counter to open to get back airside?

I imagine the transit desks will be confused when I show up from LHR at 7am and ask for a new boarding pass for the evening service back. Or will there be someone there that can still print it at the transit counter?
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