Hotel check: InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport

Johannesburg, South Africa


BACKGROUND: Tsogo Sun is a prominent hotel group with a portfolio of 13 casinos and over 100 hotels across Africa and the Middle East. The InterContinental brand is a five-star offering, of which there are two in South Africa – the InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport and the InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers. My overnight stay was a last minute arrangement, booked while I was stuck at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport after my flight was delayed. Since the flight moved from a night flight to a day flight, the Gautrain had stopped running by the time I landed and my car was parked at the Gautrain Sandton station. As opposed to arranging a series of lifts from the airport and my home in order to retrieve my car the following morning, a stay at the airport was an easy choice.

WHERE IS IT? Conveniently located at O.R. Tambo International Airport, the hotel is a short and safe walk, fewer than 70 metres, from the international arrivals terminal. This makes it a great choice for travellers with early departures or a late arrival.

ROOM FACILITIES: There are a total of 138 rooms, including two suites, decorated and furnished with luxury in mind. My deluxe room was an absolute pleasure after a 12-hour delay of my flight and a night spent on the floor of an airport lounge in Paris. I checked in at 22h00, tired and grumpy, and had to wait in line behind a group of spritely Americans on the first leg of their African adventure. It seemed like an hour before I entered the peace and quiet of my room, but it was probably only five minutes. Along with a king-size bed, there was a large work desk, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a coffee machine, bottled water and even a plate of bite-sized desserts waiting for me. I took full advantage of the large shower in the en suite bathroom, the complimentary toiletries, and the fluffy towels. Once I cleaned up, I crawled into the king-size bed for a good night’s sleep. The large windows are sound proof, so there were no disturbances to interrupt my rest.

RESTAURANTS & BARS: Exhausted as I was, I didn’t have dinner at Quills, but I did order a very tasty hamburger from room service. Quills is open 24 hours a day and has menus appropriate for any time of the day. Breakfast diners can choose from an a la carte selection of hot dishes, a continental buffet, or a combination of the two. The all-day menu offers a few soups, salads, pasta dishes, grills and desserts. Dinner offers something to suit most tastes, and although I didn’t dine during my stay, I have eaten at Quills before and can confirm that the food is top notch.

BUSINESS & MEETING FACILITIES: The hotel has seven well-appointed and flexible boardrooms, and its two conference rooms can accommodate up to 80 guests. If needed, the conference centre is open 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. A dedicated conference team will customise the venues for business meetings, conferences, cocktail parties and even breakfast presentations.

LEISURE FACILITIES: These can be found on the top floor of the hotel. Unwind from the stresses of travel at the hotel’s indoor heated pool or the fitness centre with its treadmills, elliptical trainer, exercise balls, exercise bikes, yoga mats and free weights. And for a real indulgence, you can book a session at the Camelot Health Spa.

VERDICT: Oozing style and luxury, the InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport is a real gem. The staff are friendly and helpful, and the convenience factor for travellers can’t be overstated. I was sad to leave after such a short stay.


T: +27 11 961 5400