A guide for your first few days in Joburg
This is a guide for guests arriving for the first time in Joburg - what to expect of the city, what to wear and a little history... Download a PDF version.
Joburg has one main airport, OR Thambo, into which all international flights arrive. A second airport, Lanseria, serves a few local routes only. The airport recently went through a big renovation and is on a par with any first-world airport. The domestic and international terminals are adjacent and easily walkable. As in any major airport keep an eye on your bags at all times and do not accept help from un-uniformed porters or touts. A firm decline of help will get you left alone and the security presence is good. Avoid the airport taxis if possible or, at least agree, your price before you ride.
GETTING TO US
The quickest route from the airport is to use the Gautrain (a airport train link) and then take a taxi to the hotel. We are about 4kms from Sandton Gautrain station. Total travel time is about 30 mins. Alternatively, if you are travelling with luggage, we can arrange a driver to collect you. Travel time is 45 mins (upto 90 mins in rush hour). For other arrivals by car, the hotel is approx 2km from the M1 Highway ‘Corlett Drive’ Exit.
WHERE WE ARE
The hotel is located in Melrose, a chic suburb between Sandton, Rosebank and Melrose Arch. Sandton, the city's business hub, is ten minutes by car. Rosebank & Melrose Arch are five minutes. The hotel is opposite the James & Ethel Gray Park and the nearest landmark is the Wanderers Sports Club.
The best way to get around Johannesburg is either with a driver arranged by the hotel or using Uber. The Uber network is well-developed. You will not be able to hail taxis on the street (as there are no branded taxis) and public transport is unreliable. If you hire a car ensure you have access to online maps or get a GPS. All the major car hire firms will deliver to the hotel. Avis is 5 mins from the hotel in Rosebank.
SAFETY & SECURITY
Johannesburg’s reputation does precede it but we’re happy to say that things have vastly improved since the 1980’s. The Northern suburbs of the city, where the hotel is situated, are safe and perfectly walkable. However, as in any developing world city, do exercise caution when out and about - do not be obvious with valuables, only use ATM’s in busy areas, do not to walk off the beaten track & preferably use transport organised by the hotel or an Uber.
Voltage is 220v and South Africa uses a specific three prong plug. The hotel has international adaptors in all rooms.
As a guideline, a 10% tip is the norm but only do so if you feel you got good service! It is also customary to tip around R5 for assistance with minor tasks (petrol attendant, porterage etc). Hotels do not expect tips for accommodation.
Johannesburg has, reputably, one of the best climates in the world! Thanks to the city’s high altitude, summer sees hot sunny days with late afternoon downpours. Winter sees dry & warm days with chilly evenings. Don’t forget this is the Southern hemisphere so our summer is Nov to Mar.
Summer (Nov - Mar)
32˚-26˚C | 16 Wet days/month
Autumn (Apr - May)
22˚-7˚C | 3 Wet days/month
Winter (Jun - Aug)
17˚-2˚C | 0 Wet days/month
Spring (Sep - Oct)
23˚-9˚C | 10 Wet days/month
Private hospital health facilities in Johannesburg are first rate. All the usual medicines are available at the pharmacy adjacent to the hotel and the Rosebank MediClinic Hospital is five mins away. The hotel can also arrange for a doctor service to come directly to your room (24 hrs).
The Peech was originally a private residence built in the 1950's, for a Scot who came to settle in South Africa. When discovered by James Peech, the property had been a family home for over 40 years. Transforming it into a hotel started in 2003 and the first guests arrived in Nov 2004 using just six bedrooms. Further rooms were added in 2006 and 2008 and the hotel now owns the adjacent property with a view to expanding in 2018. The Peech is proud to retain many staff members who started as the hotel opened.