The City Lodge family comprises Road Lodges (1-star), Town Lodges (2-star), City Lodges (3-star) and Courtyard Hotels (4-star). Road Lodge Southgate Hotel is in the most affordable category. The room, though modest, can accommodate up to three people, and is charged at a room-only rate, which includes a simple breakfast.
Where is it?
The hotel stands at least a floor above surrounding buildings and is conveniently situated on the corner of Columbine Avenue and the Golden Highway in Ridgeway, in the south of Johannesburg. It is within walking distance of Southgate Mall, in close proximity to the N1 highway and about a 15-minute drive to the CBD. OR Tambo International Airport is approximately a 45-minute drive away, depending on traffic. The hotel is conveniently located if you have business in the south of Johannesburg, or if you plan to take in a soccer match at the nearby FNB Stadium, or have an event to attend at the adjacent Nasrec expo centre.
What’s it Like?
From the outside it is impressive with tight security (high walls and electric fencing). The rooms are incredibly modest and space is a squeeze. There are no luxuries, and one can expect to pay for even basic amenities like tea and coffee that would normally be available in other hotels. However, special mention needs to be made of the staff, who are exceptionally friendly and offer wonderful service.
There are 119 rooms in the three-storey hotel. One in every 50 rooms is equipped to accommodate the physically disabled. The rooms offer double or twin beds, and a single sleep-chair is available in selected rooms. The cupboards are not designed to accommodate luggage for a long stay – and it becomes even more apparent with the limited space and basic amenities that this type of accommodation is best as a one or two-night stay. The bathrooms provide only the necessary ablution facilities – toilet, basin and small shower. Be advised that you will be offered a bar of soap, but you need to bring all other toiletries (which can be purchased at the front desk.) A small work desk is available and a 10-inch (yikes!) colour TV is available with five channels – SABC 1, 2 and 3, e.tv and MNet (satellite channel). A problem with the room is the fact that it is not sound proofed, so when people are walking or talking in the passage or having a party in the parking lot (as was the case on this particular occasion), you will need to be a deep sleeper.
Business & Conference Facilities
The hotel does not offer any conference or business facilities, but it is close to other conference venues and business hubs in the area, such as Gold Reef City. Wireless connectivity is available in the rooms, but at a cost.
Restaurants & Bars
There is no on-site restaurant except a canteen that caters breakfast between 07h00-10h00 daily. A modest continental-style breakfast is available, offering a small variety of muffins, cereals, scrambled eggs, cheese, cold meat and toast.
I was impressed with the warm welcome and the level of service during my one-night stay. This is functional accommodation for a traveller who needs a place to ‘crash’ and refresh. I would not recommend it for leisure travel, unless it is an en route stop before resuming the journey. It is a place to rest your head and grab a quick shower and bite before moving on.
Address: Cnr Columbine Avenue and Golden Highway, Southgate, +27 11 942 9000, citylodge.co.za