Twenty years after the historic first universal elections in South Africa, the country’s largest city is experiencing a rebirth as an important business centre and a cosmopolitan destination with a wealth of leisure opportunities, and the new Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg, opening 1 December 2014, is at the heart of it all.Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg is just minutes from major business centres and tourist attractions. With 240-degree views across the city’s famed green canopy and the Johannesburg Zoo right next door, the Hotel is nestled among eight acres (three hectares) of lushly landscaped gardens cascading down a hillside that is less than 30 minutes from two major airports, including the largest and busiest in all of Africa.
Thus, Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff is ideally positioned as a gateway for international air travellers to explore the Sub Continent and beyond. Important game reserves are nearby, including Kruger National Park just five hours’ drive away, and 36 of South Africa’s top 100 golf courses are within an hour of the Hotel – some just minutes away. Open air markets, art galleries, hip restaurants and more await.
Introducing the New Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg
The Westcliff was originally conceived as a stately enclave for an exclusive clientele when it opened in the late 1990s. Under the guidance of Four Seasons and the vision of locally-based RSL Architects and JACKET INTERIORS, the former grande dame is getting a facelift in keeping with a modern African aesthetic – reflective of the dynamic city that surrounds it.
With 117 guest rooms and suites scattered through nine low rise buildings amid beautifully landscaped gardens, terraces and fountains, the mood is almost residential; a welcome respite from hectic business affairs and busy days exploring.
Yet the environment within is closely connected to the pulse of the city, perhaps most notably with its extensive contemporary African art collection. A carefully curated selection features paintings, prints, sculptures and mixed media by prominent artists including Helmut Starcke, Obie Oberholzer, Gawie Joubert, Saral Petrus, Diana Hyslop, Lehlogonolo Mashaba, Louis Olivier and the team of Arlene Amaler-Raviv & Dale Yudelman, among many others.
“The real difference that returning guests will notice is something they will feel rather than see, and that’s the caring, personal service for which Four Seasons is renowned all over the world,” says Christopher Rudolph, who grew up in Johannesburg, lived abroad and has now returned as the Hotel Manager.
A New Dining Destination in Johannesburg
Five all-new restaurants and lounges are preparing to welcome both local and international guests with an array of options to enjoy the finest cuisine, accompanied by the best wines from South Africa and the world. The culinary team is presided over by Executive Chef Dirk Gieselmann, a native of Germany and most recently of the three Michelin star L’Auberge de L’Ill in Illhaeusern, France. Passionate about seasonality and local provenance, Chef Gieselmann is currently foraging the farms and markets of the city and surrounding countryside, acquiring the best possible ingredients on which to base his menus.
The Hotel’s showpiece restaurant will be VIEW, conceived as a gallery of culinary art where Chef and his team will be at their most creative. A dramatic interior opens to an elegant terrace, where couples, business associates and close friends will indulge in the finest seafood and meats at lunch and dinner.
FLAMES will boast an expansive terrace and sunset views. As the name suggests, grilled specialties are on the menu, expertly paired with South African wines and local craft beers. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and cocktails will be served in addition to dinner.
As well as the larders, the wine cellars are also being stocked, with the country’s best regional bottles being laid down. Celebrating the marriage of the most interesting wines with culinary creations is THE CELLAR DOOR. This intimate venue will host wine tastings and other special events, and is available for private bookings for up to 20 guests.
All New: The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg
Housed in a completely new building designed to the company’s exacting standards, The Spa at Four Seasons will be an oasis of pampering and well-being amid the serenity of the Hotel’s gardens. Inspired by the nature that surrounds them, nine treatment rooms – including a couple’s suite – set the stage of expert massage, skin care and body treatments. Full facilities for men and women – both Hotel guests and day visitors – including luxe change rooms, saunas and steam rooms, as well as the outdoor Après-Spa lounge.
Close to eight acres of landscaped gardens offer winding jogging or walking paths, and the concierge team can also provide route maps through the park next door. Back at the Hotel, a fitness centre with all-new state-of-the-art equipment is open 24 hours, and an outdoor infinity lap pool complements the second swimming pool with its water feature and bubble bed.
Meet Me at Four Seasons
Function options at the hotel include 1,457 square metres (15,683 square feet) of naturally-lit event spaces, highlighted by the 615 square metre (6,620 square foot) Arcadia Ballroom. With panoramic views and its own terrace, the room is divisible and features a pre-function space. Thirteen additional rooms offer a choice of smaller venues, or a complete suite for a conference. With the weather pleasant year-round, 842 square metres or 9063 square feet of outdoor space offers a fresh alternative for receptions, and romantic backdrops for weddings.
For honeymooners fantasising about an African adventure, Four Seasons The Westcliff is the perfect place to begin married life before going on safari in South Africa and Botswana, or further afield at the Hotel’s sister property in the Serengeti, or perhaps jetting off to tropical bliss in Mauritius or Seychelles.