Commuting to the office for a 9 to 5 is so very 2019. In the Covid-era we’re rethinking how we ‘do’ the office and in February 2021 we launched our Roaming Office. Every Monday our team moves to work remotely, together, at a different hotel space for the day.
An opportunity to reconnect in person and share creative ideas face-to-face, the roaming office also allows us to get an in-depth look at what’s new at Joburg’s hotels after lockdown.
To get you inspired to plan your next ‘Office Day’, or alternatively plan something more social, here’s a look at where we’ve been working in March.
Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa, Morningside
March 8, 2021: Hidden away in a quiet corner of Morningside, visiting this luxurious boutique spa hotel feels like escaping to a country manor. Palatial rooms are spread through a collection of grand neo-classical buildings spread over landscaped gardens. Plus, there’s the incredibly popular Balinese-styled day spa (there’s a long waiting list), which sadly of course couldn’t find its way into our busy workday.
The meeting space: We were treated to the use of the formal Into The Woods room, and its adjoining private dining room, for the day. From your grand meeting table tall French windows look out onto the grounds, while on arrival individual breakfast plates and fresh juices await.
What’s for lunch: We enjoyed lunch from the signature Amuse Bouche restaurant at the most gargantuan marble table in our own private dining room adjoining our meeting room. The food is extravagantly plated with plenty of whimsical flourishes such as sprinkles of edible flowers.
What we liked about working at Fairlawns: The peace and quiet. The landscaped grounds are a most serene escape from the city and looking onto them all day was a very gentle way to get to work on a Monday. We also loved how all dishes – including our breakfast pastries – were individually plated and wrapped as a Covid precaution, and appearance was never sacrificed.
The Maslow Hotel, Sandton Central
March 15, 2021: This 281-room business hotel in Sandton Central stands out from many other similar hotels in the area for its gardens and a large pool deck at the centre of the property. Once one of Sandton’s busiest business hotels, The Maslow also has a leisure component, with its USP being an Africology spa with a private spa garden.
The meeting space: The Maslow has its own business and conferencing centre with an abundance of meeting rooms. We found the long corridors and ubiquitous black and grey tones almost relentlessly corporate for our purposes. Probably better suited to a fierce mediation process where a smile might equal capitulation. The breakfast pastries were also on the sad side, appearing to have been released from a freezer shortly before arrival, and wrapped as hospital food in plastic containers.
What’s for lunch: We ate lunch outside on the terrace of the Lacuna bistro. There’s also an option to sit at the less formal Lacuna bar. Both have large sunny terraces that look onto the pool.
What we liked about working at The Maslow: Our visit coincided with a major bout of load shedding in Joburg, and despite Sandton Central being loadshed twice during the working day, The Maslow’s generators meant we didn’t notice. We also enjoyed hearing more from the friendly Guest Relations team about how the hotel has managed since re-opening.
Riboville Boutique Hotel, Waterfall
March 22, 2021: Named after a famous racehorse, Riboville Boutique Hotel is built on a lake inside an Equestrian Estate in Waterfall, Midrand. The 16-room country club-styled hotel is surrounded on all sides by water and greenery. Appealing to a local luxury market and positioning itself as a dedicated ‘art hotel’, there’s an impressive, ever-changing, collection of contemporary art on sale and the hotel even has its own David Tlale designer fashion boutique.
The meeting space: The hotel has four huge fully equipped meeting rooms seating up to 50, each with doors opening onto a small balcony. If you are looking for a space to host a smaller tete-a-tete with someone important, this is the place. In addition to the formal meeting rooms, there are plenty of discreet corners and private lounge areas that are reportedly very popular with politicians and corporate bigwigs.
What’s for lunch: The hotel’s restaurant faces onto expansive polo fields and offers everything from more casual dishes like sushi (a speciality here) and poke bowls, to hefty oxtails and steaks. For dessert grab a delicious scoop or two of homemade ice-cream from the ice-cream bar.
What we liked about working at Riboville: Seeing a new side to a part of the city that we don’t often visit. Riboville’s location inside the very upscale Equestrian Estate feels much more like being in the countryside, rather than lost amid the concrete of the ever-expanding Midrand suburban sprawl.
Pablo House, Melville
March 30, 2021: Built clinging directly onto a steep ridge overlooking the rugged Melville Koppies Nature Reserve, Pablo House is a hip boutique hotel hideout in Melville, with some of the best views in the city. At the top of the property, right up in the treetops, is the in-house Pablo Dos Manos restaurant, from where a staircase weaves across the ridge down to a secluded garden and pool area.
The meeting space: We took seats at the large central table at Pablo Dos Manos for the day (bookings for the restaurant are essential). The restaurant is housed in a greenhouse space with windows that open all the way out onto an incredible view over the Melville Koppies and onwards to the Magaliesberg. One side is open completely to the elements, something we specifically look for as we still are super conscious of keeping our distance and meeting safely. Note that we got a special dispensation to work at Pablo House. The hotel prioritises guests (who are of course free to spend the day work) so does not usually open for remote working.
What’s for lunch: The first Pablo, Pablo Eggs Go Bar on Melville’s 7th Street (which has since moved to Sandton) gained early fame for its breakfast eggs and they are truly some of the best. For lunch, a signature item is their excellent wood-fired pizza. In fact most meals at Pablo Dos Manos are prepared in the pizza oven. Worth making reservations for!
What we liked about working at Pablo House: This is a cool, casual and friendly space. It’s also super sexy. On a good weather day the views of Joburg are astounding, and sitting at Pablo Dos Manos feels like you are in a rock star treehouse. Service is smooth but with a smile and many locals popping in for lunch or sundowners create a cosy neighbourhood feel. Above all, yes we have already said this twice, but, we’ll say it again – the view is something special.
Find out more and plan a visit here.
ABOUT THE ROAMING OFFICE: As with all our content, opinions are our own and our reviews are independently written by In Your Pocket’s team of writers. If you would like to invite the Johannesburg In Your Pocket team to visit your hotel and review your offerings as part of the Roaming Office, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.