I spent my one night in Johannesburg at the Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch. This lovely hotel offers great service and a very comfortable bed in the poshest neighborhood of J’Berg.
Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch Johannesburg Review
Although I’m a Hyatt guy, my friend was staying at the Marriott and the Hyatt Regency is currently closed due the pandemic. As a result, this was an easy choice and only a $100/night.
Melrose Arch is a high-end neighborhood walled city within a city in Johannesburg and said to be the safest part of town. The hotel was about 40 minutes from O.R. Tambo Airport and I arrived at around 7:30pm and was assigned a room on the fifth floor. Although I have gold status with Marriott Bonvoy, this did not appear to be a room upgrade.
My standard room on the fifth floor, room 510, was spacious enough, with a bed and table that also served as my desk. The bed was extremely comfortable and although I attempted to stay up all night in order to avoid acclimating to the new time zone (my trip was only one day after all), I did succumb to fatigue and literally had to drag myself out of bed. You’ll sleep well here.
A Nespresso coffee machine was available, which I also used to try to stay awake…
The closet was open style, which is trendy today but I do not care for. Power ports were available throughout the room and required my U.S. adaptor.
The bathroom was also well-configured with a large walk-in shower in place of a tub and amenities from Korres.
M Club Lounge
My friend is a Titanium Bonvoy member and therefore I was able to join him in the M Club Lounge for breakfast in the morning and canapés in the evening.
The breakfast spread was quite impressive for a lounge, with a choice of juices, coffee, tea, a large spread of baked goods, fresh fruit, cold cuts and cheese, and eggs made to order. The coffee was terrible – the Nespresso pods in the room were much better.
From what I could see, this was the only place in the hotel in which breakfast was served and non-club guests could simply pay for it. The main restaurants, which I detail below, were closed during the morning hours. A buffet breakfast costs 295ZAR (~19USD).
I returned later in the day for happy hours, which is between the hours of 5:00pm and 7:00pm each evening. Wine and beer were complimentary a long with a selection of finger food.
Restaurants + Bars
Three restaurants at the hotel include Greatroom, Archer Bar & Eatery, and Keystone Bistro. Again, I did not see these open during my stay (December 2021), but the hotel website indicates they are open now.
Fitness Center + Pool
First, the hotel has no spa (sauna or steam room), which most finer hotels in South Africa seem to have, so this is a big strike against the hotel for me.
However, there is a nice outdoor pool that proved pretty popular throughout the day:
The fitness center includes brand new Techogym equipment, though the number of resistance machines were limited.
The staff was very kind at the hotel. Although I am only entitled to 2:00pm checkout due to my status, they graciously offered me four extra hours (since my flight did not leave until almost 9:00pm). They called this a “one time exception due to the extremely load guest count” and I certainly appreciated avoiding having to pay an additional day rate (which is half the nightly rate).
In the lounge, the staff was also very kind and attentive, as was the bellman at the front door, who offered a warm greeting every time I entered and exited.
I recommend this hotel, especially if you are a Marriott Bonvoy elite, and appreciated the comfortable room, warm service, and tasty breakfast. While I hope to return to the Hyatt next time and wish the hotel had a sauna and steam room, I give it high marks overall.