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For our first visit to Johannesburg, we wanted to stay in a hotel with certain features. Our top priority was safety since we had heard so many warnings about safety issues in the South African capital city.
Beyond safety, we wanted to stay in a hotel that was well-located, comfortable and stylish. And, since we travel for food, we also wanted the hotel to have a good restaurant.
Once we added affordable to our Joburg hotel wish list, we felt like we were searching for a unicorn … until we found Clico Boutique Hotel.
Clico Boutique Hotel Review
Clico Boutique Hotel is located in the heart of Rosebank, one of Johannesburg’s best and safest neighborhoods filled with shopping, restaurants and art. With just nine rooms, the hotel has an intimate feeling and an emphasis on service.
The hotel staff warmly welcomed us and ushered us straight to a wonderful breakfast of fruit, eggs and croissants. This high level of customer service, where we didn’t have to lift a finger, continued throughout our stay.
Cozy and comfortable, our standard room had all of the key features that we enjoy in upscale hotels. Beyond necessities like a firm bed and ensuite bathroom with a strong shower, the room sported extras like Charlotte Rhys bath products, a minibar, a flat-screen television with satellite service and a view of the hotel pool.
Though we loved the view, our hands-down favorite room feature was the unlimited wi-fi internet. A typical activity in much of the world, being able to surf while lounging in a hotel bed is not a given in South Africa, even in luxury hotels.
Having excellent wi-fi in South Africa is one of those little things in life that make all the difference!
Beyond its nine comfortable rooms that cater to both business and leisure travelers, Clico Hotel has a private pool available to all guests as well as a secure parking lot and event space. Perhaps due to the hotel’s urban environment, the green oasis of a pool is rarely crowded.
However, in our opinion, Clico Restaurant is the hotel’s greatest asset…
Popular with both hotel guests and local food lovers, Clico Restaurant is a gem of a restaurant conveniently adjacent to the Clico Boutique Hotel’s lobby. The restaurant serves three meals daily in its comfortable dining room. During our stay, we enjoyed three breakfasts and one dinner at the restaurant.
Head Chef Marnus Scholly is doing exciting things in the kitchen at Clico Restaurant. Though Scholly and his team offer an a la carte dining option, the best way to experience Scholly’s inventive cuisine is with a six-course gastronomic dinner paired with local South African wines.
Scholly’s creativity shined brightest during our epic meal’s second course, a flavorful mound of impala rump tartare decorated with yellow egg yolk and green salsa verde. Each course, from the butternut agnolotti to the braised lamb shoulder, impressed us with its taste and presentation, not to mention the glasses of fruity, powerful South African wine that paired so well and tasted so good.
Did we mention that we love the wine in Stellenbosch? Apparently, Scholly shares this love with us.
Chef Scholly’s food philosophy continues during breakfast when the restaurant’s large windows add natural light and fresh air to the dining experience. As hotel guests, we started our morning meal with big cups of crafted coffee, fresh fruit and local cheese (pictured above).
But we didn’t stop with the starters. Instead, we also ordered dishes like the Classic Breakfast, the restaurant’s take on English Breakfast with eggs, roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, beef sausage and bacon.
Our favorite? It had to be the colorful Clico Healthy Breakfast with poached eggs, grilled halloumi cheese, confit tomatoes, basil pesto and olives.
If we had more time, perhaps we would have tried other breakfast dishes like French Toast served with peanut butter and bacon or pancakes served with fruit and crème fraiche. Then again, we probably would have ordered the healthy breakfast again and again for the grilled halloumi cheese alone.
Due to its prime Rosebank location, Clico Boutique Hotel is steps away from some of the city’s best dining, art and shopping destinations. Here are the spots that we enjoyed during our visit:
Transportation and Logistics
Clico Boutique Hotel is ideal for both business travelers and tourists. Here’s what you need to know when you plan your Johannesburg hotel stay:
Getting to Clico Boutique Hotel
The drive from the airport is approximately 40 minutes. The hotel has a free, secure parking lot for guests.
Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable driving in South Africa where cars travel on the left side of the street. The hotel is less than a kilometer from the Rosebank Gautrain station – just a 13 minute walk away. Getting to the airport by train will take you under an hour, and you can also take the train to the Central Business District (CBD) or other Johannesburg neighborhoods.
Room costs started at ZAR 1,995 (approximately $155 USD) at the time of our visit and vary depending on room type and whether breakfast is included. Disclosure – rates are subject to change at any time.
When to Visit
Johannesburg has a mild year-round climate. In other words, it’s always a good time to visit Johannesburg.
Book Your Johannesburg Hotel
Click here to research rates for your Johannesburg accommodation at Clico Boutique Hotel.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.