Hotel check: Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch



Building on the success Fire & Ice! Brand first introduced in Cape Town, Protea Hotels have now opened the first property in Johannesburg under this quirky brand.


Taking the elevator from the parking lot to the hotel lobby already indicates to you that the hotel is going to be anything but ordinary. The old Hollywood glam theme of the property is evident from the moment you take your first step into the lobby. The walls are adorned by portraits of Hollywood legends and most of the decor is black, white and simple. There is nothing “normal” about this hotel, from the chair with a back that stretches almost two floors up, to the menu which features meals like the Terminator, Jawbreaker, and King of Karoo, and the widest, strangest range of milkshakes I have ever come across. Even the restaurant staff are unusual, well at least my friendly and eager waiter, Banana, was.

The rooms are chic and also have portraits of old Hollywood actors and musicians and the carpet design gives the impression of rose petals being scattered on the floor, which complicated the fresh rose petals that were actually scattered on the bed and floor. The Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch manages to present a time in history in a contemporary way that will stay modern for years to come.


This hotel is located in Melrose Arch in Johannesburg. The location is ideal for business people as it is only minutes away from the Sandton and Rosebank CBDs and is a few kilometres from the M1 highway. The Melrose Arch complex comprises a number of upmarket dining venues, shops, banks, offices and a gym.


There are 197 rooms available at the hotel, of which 190 are standard kings, four are paraplegic rooms and three are corner suites which have separate lounge areas. The rooms all feature LCD TVs, open plan bathrooms with showers, tea and coffee making facilities and an electronic safe big enough to store a laptop. Making it possible to stay up-to-date with your work, there is a work desk as well as Wi-Fi connectivity. I was told that the first 50mb is complimentary. The shower has quite a strange design and it is not completely closed, which looks great, but allows the occasional cold breeze in while showering. The room is not that generously spaced, but the space available has been well used to create a comfortable setting.


Probably my favourite feature of the hotel is the restaurant on the first floor. The staff are lively, the vibe is contagious and the black, white and silver chairs just finish off a sophisticated environment to complementing a creative and one-of-a-kind menu. I would recommend the restaurant to any person in Johannesburg looking for a fun, yet sophisticated restaurant. Seating is available on the pool deck outside. The Deli on High Street is also open 24 hours a day and offers a selection of light meals and beverages. You can even enjoy these while sitting on the sidewalk of High Street.


A 24-hour business centre is available at the hotel and there are three conference rooms, four meeting rooms and one boardroom, equipped with standard conference equipment.


This is by far one of the trendiest hotels currently in Johannesburg, and there is undeniably something special about it. It is quirky without being over-the-top and its location makes it a good choice for business travellers.  I loved the hotel, but was concerned that no one offered to help me with my bags (and I had many of them) on check-in and check-out, and the lady at the check-in desk was more concerned about me paying for any extras, than actually explaining the facilities at the hotel, or how to find my room.


+27 (11) 218 4000/1,

Chana Viljoen