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“Great guesthouse in Melville, where the magic has disappeared” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Space Guest House

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The Space Guest House
93- 4th avenue | Melville, Johannesburg 2192, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #56 of 234 Johannesburg B&B and Inns
Netherlands
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Great guesthouse in Melville, where the magic has disappeared”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

Two years ago, when I was living and working in Johannesburg for some eight months, Melville was one of THE suburbs of Johannesburg to be. Its bustling high street (7th Street between 1st and 5th Avenues) was full of restaurants, bars and little shops, attracting a bohémien crowd of often large size.

Last month me and my boyfriend returned to Melville, to stay there in The Space Guesthouse for three nights on the final leg of our three weeks' South African round trip. We were quite disappointed, not by the Guesthouse but by Melville. Many former shops and some former restaurants and bars had closed down. Others still appeared in business but didn't open. The global crisis seemed to have hit hard onto Melville. Several other places across Johannesburg showed an identical picture. Formerly flourishing shopping malls were now empty or almost empty. On the other end, however, building sites could be seen all over the place. And although air quality seemed to have deteriorsted considerably, the metropolis still appears well maintained in most places. Of course one could think of a post-Worrld Cup 2010 bubble burst, but that does not explain all of the apparent economical decline.

Enough on Melville and Johannesburg. Now to The Space Guesthouse. We were allocated Twin Suite 1, consisting of two large rooms, each with their settee, a more-than-pantry-like kitchen and a comfortably spacious bathroom. Plus a nice outdoor terrace overlooking 5th Avenue (away from the earlier hustle &bustle) and (fairly important in Johannesburg, although its criminal reputation seems somewhat exaggerated) a safe car parking place during the night. So space is amply offered: it looked that the other suites are equally spacious.

Cleanliness is spotless and the suites are very well maintained. They are also very well appointed, providing an overall feeling of pleasant luxury and pampering. Hence, value for money (€ 110 per night for two persons, incl. a convenient breakfast in nearby Café de la Crème), no doubt.

Two lightly critical observations need to be made. The instruction (together with a large amount of other guest instructions) not to provide any food for staff sounds like 'don't feed the animals', often found in zoo's and similar places. This does not justice to the proud efforts made by the black staff to provide hospitality, and suggests a somewhat paternalistic employer attitude. Hospitality from the owner's mother, who seems to be the permanent duty manager, was generally ok. The owner himself, publishing his venue in a fairly personal way in order to attract sufficient custom (of course totally justified) did not follow up by greeting his so acquired guests, although being present on the premises on some afternoons. The personal dimension of the sales process was not continued during delivery, much to our regret.

Nevertheless, for the time ownership of the place continues as it is, The Space Guesthouse is certainly highly recommended, offering spacious, boutique-like accommodation in what still is a reasonably relaxed area of Johannesburg, at fair prices, with the right value-for-money.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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30 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2012

We stayed in Suite 2 and there is a small garden area but is has no comfortable furniture there for relaxing outside - so there is no real good outdoor space.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

For anyone thinking of opening a guest house, I highly recommend that they go to the Space Guest House and learn from the very best. Space turned out to be a real gem. Ruby and Johann as hosts, treat you with a warmth and friendliness that makes you feel like family. They do everything within their power to ensure that your stay is enjoyable and memorable. I have stayed in hotels all over Johannesburg and not one of them came anywhere near to what I have experienced during my stay at Space. The rooms are lovely, spotlessly clean and tastefully decorated. Breakfast at the quaint café next to the guest house was lovely too. It is ideally located and there are numerous great restaurants and bars located within walking distance. I advise Melon and Ratz, good food and great company. The location of the guest house is great from a convenience point of view when doing business in Johannesburg.
Overall, this is an excellent place to stay with two of the most amazing hosts you will have the pleasure to meet. I fully intend to stay here on all future visits to Johannesburg.

Thank you Ruby and Johann

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Boston
Top Contributor
227 reviews 227 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
160 helpful votes 160 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2011

I had stayed at this guest house on a previous occasion which led me to select this guest house.

I reserved a room online and received confirmation at the end of June that my guest suite had been booked. On arrival, I was told that I had been booked into a completely different guest house because a large group had wanted the accommodation at the guest house!
No apology by the manager or any offer to compensate the inconvenience.
The accommodation at the booked guest house was adequate but did not meet my expectations.

I ended up having to call the owner who did apologize and who also offered to provide me with a meal for 2 at his restaurant, the Melon, located nearby. His explanation was that they had some water damage to the rooms (although there was no evidence of this when I looked in the rooms).

In spite of the owner's attempts to win back my confidence in his establishment, I probably will not be staying there again.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2011

We made a booking @ The Space, & arrived just before sunset.
The person on duty, didn't know of our reservation so left us out on the street with our bags while she apparently checked for our reservation.
Then she suggested we go next door to the The Saffron guest house.

In any case, they are owned by the same people, but we certainly didn't appreciate being left out on the street.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Johann S, Owner at The Space Guest House, responded to this review, December 4, 2011
Dear guest. You were never booked with my establishment, but with Saffron Guest House, which is located directly opposite me, and have their own staff and check-in procedures. I cannot take responsibility for another guest houses guests. Hope you had a pleasant stay, as they are our neighbors and we work well together with them.
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London
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2011

I was booked in for 3 weeks but had to leave early due to work plans changing.
I can only talk about Suite 2 cos that's the only room i was in - although Suite 1 looked nice also when i was offered the choice of the two, took 2 because of the full garden access.
Suite 2 feels like a self contained studio flat. Own front door , hallway, bathroom, kitchen/sitting area thru to bedroom area with TV and sliding doord out to a sunny little garden/courtyard with sitting area.
Bed was comfy and clean. TV worked fine. Kitchen area was fine, kettle and microwave very handy when working early/late. Wifi was good and the bathroom was big .
The area is good for restaurants - especially The Lucky Bean ( opposite the Space ) and Melon 2 minutes walk down the road. A liquor store down the road was handy too - as was a self service launderette down 4th Avenue.
The security and parking attendants around The Space were good guys - really friendly. Suite 2 has a front door, metal gate and then another metal gate from the gardens to the street - very secure.
Ruby made my booking really simple via email - and Rose ( manager i think ) was very friendly and helpful and always on hand..

The odd time i was around for breakfast i had it in the 'french' Cafe de la Creme - about 20 seconds walk away - nice Halloumi omelette in there.

I undersetimated how could Joburg would get in June / July - so be prepared and take a coat!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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12Stars, Owner at The Space Guest House, responded to this review, September 6, 2011
I took time as the owner to read all the reviews. i thank all my guests for the wonderful response and we always strive to make your stay more comfortable, and secure. Please feel free at all times, during your stay to voice your concerns, as this will only help us to offer you the best service, and make your stay in the heart of Melville, fun and friendly.
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2011

This place was very good. It is right on 5th in Melville (which is a street full of bars, bookstores, restaurants, etc), one of the really nice safe bohemian districts in JBurg. There are two buildings (one each side of 5th ave). The properties are fenced and locked (usual in JBurg). My suite had a separate bedroom and bathroom, and also a living room with sofa, TV, and a mini kitchenette thing with microwave, plates, sink, cutlery etc. Furniture was nice, stylish, everything was very clean. Staff were great, friendly, very obliging, obviously without the polish of a major hotel, but then this isn't Sandton...

Airport pickup was on time and efficient, internet worked well.

My suite was set in a very pretty garden compound. Very peaceful, shady.

Breakfast could have been better. It is served in a french cafe at the end of the block. I ordered an omlette. I didn't finish it because it wasn't that great...It was just OK but kind of was a let down after all the other stuff...

Melville was fun, as always.
I

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Space Guest House

Address: 93- 4th avenue | Melville, Johannesburg 2192, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Johannesburg
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #56 of 234 B&Bs / Inns in Johannesburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Space Guest House is centrally located in the heart of trendy Melville, close to SABC, Media 24 and the University of Johannesburg. The guest house is on Melville’s vibrant main road which boasts a variety of top restaurants, cocktail lounges, galleries, boutiques, bookstores and coffee shops.The Space Guest House is also close to the main highways and centres of Johannesburg, the closest being Rosebank, Parkhurst and Greenside, as well as many of the city’s tourist attractions, including the Apartheid Museum, Constitutional Court and the Nelson Mandela Bridge.Modern, stylish and contemporary bedrooms have private entrances and many comforts, including shared satellite TV and bar fridge. Full breakfasts are served. Other facilities include ADSL Internet access in each room, laundry and airport transfers and arranging of tours.Safe and secure parking is also available. ... more   less 
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