Two nights at the Four Seasons Westcliff Hotel in Johannesburg

Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon

Four Seasons beds are the most comfortable in the world – something I’ve known since I first slept on one of their clouds over a decade ago. So while I knew our two night layover in Johannesburg would mean a really good sleep (after a less comfortable overnight flight from the UK) and a chance to acclimate to our new surroundings before an adventure of safari, I hadn’t realized what a part of the vacation of a lifetime our two nights in Joburg Four Seasons Westcliff Hotel would be.

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A touch of Four Seasons luxury is always welcome, but in Johannesburg, I think it’s even more especially true. After a long flight and with a bit of trepidation arriving in a city with a reputation for safety (or lack thereof) that precedes it, being met by a driver on arrival and helped through the airport to ‘to your transfer, is a delicate attention.

I love South Africa and I am a hopeful cheerleader for johannesburg – a city with a difficult history and current struggles that are evident even when driving from the airport, the trip unhindered by traffic lights as load shedding meant no electricity in the town for a few hours when we arrived.

Modern African interiors are fun and luxurious

But the Four Seasons, perched on a hill overlooking the city, is a great base from which to explore – with generators and security leaving you unfazed by anything, and able to relax and enjoy food, drink and sunsets. of sunshine that make this part of the world so special.

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The hotel is quite breathtaking – a collection of white villas perched on the rocky cliffs of the Witwatersrand – it really does feel like a holiday village in its own right, with golf carts available to ferry you down the winding Mediterranean-style paths that thread their way through courtyards, fountains and gardens.

The view of Flames restaurant at sunset

We wanted to explore the city before going on safari – and a some fantastic tours gave us a glimpse of the city and country which we felt would be a great addition to the bush and beach thrills to come.

But I’ll be honest, it was hard to tear us away from the hotel. Its pools, spa, steam rooms and saunas are the epitome of luxury, and even in winter when we visited, the pools were too enticing to miss (the cold waters took a bit of courage, but it was worth it! ).

There is a lot of history to discover in Johannesburg

The setting is spectacular whether at sunrise, during the day, at sunset or at night – a view that stretches for miles across the city and onto the hills beyond. We even spotted a few elephants roaming the Johannesburg Zoo from our balcony!

The positioning of the main restaurant, Flames, is designed to maximize these views, with the option of entering the clifftop restaurant via a magnificent glass elevator. The seasonally inspired menu is top notch – the wagyu steak and springbok carpaccio were to die for. And the breakfast served in the morning, while you watch the sunrise, is equally exciting. The strawberry-filled pink croissants are a real highlight of our teen trip!

Westcliff breakfasts have become legendary at home

But above all, our expectations for perfect beds and a well-deserved restful sleep have been fulfilled! The beds, always the miraculous combination of support and plush cloudiness, left us rested and eager to depart for our safari. The perfect first stop for an unforgettable vacation or a last treat before home.

Rooms, suites and family rooms at the Four Seasons Westcliff can be reserved through

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