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“Wonderful gem!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of African Rock Hotel

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African Rock Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   48 de Villiers Avenue | Van Riebeeck Estates, Kempton Park 1620, South Africa   |  
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Ranked #1 of 23 Hotels in Kempton Park
Netherlands
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Wonderful gem!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2013

This hotel is truly a surprise. The hotel is only 20 minutes from the airport of Jo'burg, but has all the facilities you can be looking for. Rooms are spacious, but a bit dark. A great garden with swimming-pool. An outside fireplace in front of which you can enjoy drinks and dinner. A bar and restaurant and even a wonderful shop. Gloria's smile in the morning makes you happy for the rest of the day. Christina's cooking is very tasty and the prices of three course dinners (5 if you count the in between sorbets) are very, very reasonable. We wanted to leave part of our luggage because we brought diving equipment but first went to Botswana for safari. This was not a problem at all for them and very comfortable for us. I can only state: if your looking for a place to stay in the neighbourhood of Jo'burg don't look further: book African Rock Hotel!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OttiM, Owner at African Rock Hotel, responded to this review, January 14, 2014
Google Translation
Hallo, Bedankt voor de beoordeling en fijn dat jullie het hier bij ons naar jullie zijn gehad hebben!
Groetjes en tot de volgende keer!! Otti
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190 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
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Coffs Harbour, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

We always spend a night in Johannesburg before or after our long haul Australian flights and usually overnight at one of the airport 5 star hotels....they were fully booked this time so we decided to try the African Rock Hotel....Wow...what a wonderful surprise.

Our airport pick up and drop off was very punctual and the driver very pleasant and entertaining.

The B&B Hotel is stunning with very tasteful decor. Our room was spacious with a lovely large free standing bath. We enjoyed lazing around the pool in the landscaped garden and in the evenings the candles are lit giving the whole place a wonderful ambience. Dinner that evening was delicious as was breakfast the next day.....we hung around all day not wanting to leave to catch our flight! But very reluctantly said goodbye to the friendly staff and Otti the delightful owner who we thoroughly enjoyed meeting. We can't recommend them highly enough to any overseas visitors needing a close and utterly indulgent stopover in Johannesburg with an authentic African flavour.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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OttiM, Owner at African Rock Hotel, responded to this review, January 14, 2014
Hi there, Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review. We hope to be able to welcome you here with us again! Happy Travels and warm regards Otti.
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pender island
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

African Rock is great because it is close to Jo'berg international airport yet far enough away that it is quiet and comfortable. Rooms are very modern, reasonably spacious and well equipped. Food is o.k. (it appears to be cooked by cooking school trainees) but there is a little lack of truth in advertising. The "five course meal" is really three courses with two servings of sherbet to clear the palate between them. Also, there were a few electrical problems as rooms seem to share circuitry but they were readily repaired when occupants complained. The airport pick up and drop off is great. Even though we had booked weeks before, they met us right on time and also had us booked to meet our outgoing flights without us giving them the details. If you get Musa (sp?) as your driver, you will get a quick humorous lesson on South African arts, culture, sports, religion and politics as you travel.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OttiM, Owner at African Rock Hotel, responded to this review, December 15, 2013
Dear Mrs P, Thank you for taking the time to write a review. It is much appreciated by all of us. We share reviews with the relevant staff. This motivates, stimulates and where required assists with adjusting procedures and duties. Our in-house restaurant, the Blue Hippo, it got its name from the huge painting, hanging in the double volume area of the restaurant, is run by Head Chef Christine with the assistance of Chef TK. Both professionally trained and duly qualified chefs.
Head Chef Christine with her 11 years + experience in top end restaurants and regarded by most of our valued guests as a “food authority” on her own, designs most dishes and sets the menu of the day.
The younger Chef, TK, the chef on dinner service on the day you were here, is a young passionate chef, born and raised in rural KwaZulu Natal and a proud Zulu lady. Under the guidance of Christine, she gets the opportunity to also hone her communication skills with guests when explaining the different menu courses and pairing the wine at the guest’s dinner table.
We offer in general a “relaxed fine dining experience” which consists of a starter, a sorbet as palette cleanser, choice of 3 mains, a palette cleanser, and a desert. The palette cleansers can be a sorbet or a salad or another suitable dish to cleanse the palette, this depends on the menu choice of the day. Hence the 5 courses she must have mentioned when at your table.
We do not advertise any number of courses anywhere, only the dinner chef on the day might mention it while explaining the menu and pairing the different wines with the starter the main and the desert.
November is the time of year when we have our fair share of electrical storms here on the Highveld and these storms sometimes cause outages.
The design of the electricity cable layout in the hotel is such that it is divided into 3 sections and each section has its own protection in the form of a search protector and an Earth Leakage trip switch which will cut the power before any damage can be done to equipment or infrastructure.
It can happen that the power trips in one section of the hotel without the duty manager being aware of this unless a guest or somebody else mentions this.
As a back-up power system we have a powerful battery pack and inverter system which kicks in automatically by a power cut and it supplies clean power to all outside lights, all guest rooms and other key operational areas such as the kitchen.
Musa is becoming an institution of his own, he, together with the duty manger of the day is responsible for the planning of all daily transfers and other day trips we offer. Musa, like all others here, loves his job and enjoys to communicate and tell his stories and when in the right frame of mind he will sing for you his songs…..
Thank you for making our part of the World a part of your Bucket List, we hope to see you here again on your next visit to this part of Africa. Happy Travels, Otti.
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Dublin
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2013

I stayed in the African Rock for one night with a friend while awaiting the arrival of the rest of our group. I had searched for a place where I could just chill out for the day, read a book by the pool, catch up on sleep etc. I didn't want the potential noise and confusion and chaos of a chain hotel. The African Rock could not have been more perfect for my needs. Upon arrival at the airport, Moussa was standing dead centre in the arrivals hall with my name on a sign with the hotel's name on it and a big smile. It's the small things like this that make a difference - so often it is difficult to find your contact in a crowd. Moussa gave me a huge African welcome. And this warmth continued with all staff throughout the 24 hours I was lucky enough to stay there - everyone greeted us with a warm (genuine) hello whenever they ran into us. The meals and the wine were delectable, I wish we could have enjoyed the outside fire after dinner, but alas there were thunderstorms rolling through. The room was beautiful and the decor throughout let you know that you had truly arrived in Africa. The shower was lovely with the overhead rain forest head. The garden was perfect for the relaxing chill out day we had both sought. If I am ever in Jo'burg again, I will definitely book another night or three! Thanks so much for a wonderful first night in South Africa.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OttiM, Owner at African Rock Hotel, responded to this review, December 15, 2013
Thank you very much for your review, Musa is indeed a special character and we are happy to
have him as part of our team of 15. Always a huge smile and friendly while on duty during sometimes long and irregular shifts.
I am glad you enjoyed your short stay here with us! Happy travels from all of us and until next time! Otti Meijer.
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Istanbul, Turkey
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

This is a tidy hotel with clean rooms and a beautiful bath. Close to the airport, it makes a perfect connection point. Hosts are warm and welcoming. The best thing is quite possibly the perfect dinners. Very good choice.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OttiM, Owner at African Rock Hotel, responded to this review, December 6, 2013
Hi there, Thank you for taking the time to write a review, much appreciated! I hope you enjoyed your travels here in our part of the World! Happy travels from all of us!!
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Ottawa, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

A wonderful start to our trip. Beautifully decorated. Peaceful surrounded by greenery. Rooms large and comfy. Dinner was wonderful. Only glitch is driver not at airport as expected. He turned up several calls later. Apparently not usual driver. Owner so apologetic, he gave us dinner and wine on the house.
Now that's customer service.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
OttiM, Owner at African Rock Hotel, responded to this review, November 28, 2013
Hi there, Thank you kindly for your review.
Yes, that, the transfer, was not good and unforgivable, we monitor the flights here at the hotel to make sure we, our chauffeurs, are on time in the arrivals terminal. But.... today it went awfully wrong, yes, we used an outside transfer contractor but that is no excuse. It is a good firm, who hardly ever drops the ball. BUT this time he bounced it once or twice to many. More training in proper communication and planning with all individuals involved has been undertaken. That is where the issue lies; communication and planning, simple actually. Thank you for being so understanding, we wish you happy travels and hope to see you here with us again!! Otti & Zelda and the team..
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Milnthorpe, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013

I spent 10 days at the African Rock on a business trip based at the airport, and it was just the best place to come back to after a hard day. Relaxing, quiet - the gardens are full of birds. The service is second to none, the food is superb, the rooms spotless and modern.
The attention to detail and the way you are treated so personally marks the Rock as above the others though. Details like the fire outside in the hearth every evening, offering to get in alternate dishes for the evening meal - any number of things which show they are thinking of you, and how to make you comfortable. Nothing is too much trouble.
It was a lovely stay and I can't recommend the Rock highly enough.

Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OttiM, Owner at African Rock Hotel, responded to this review, November 19, 2013
Dear Bryce, thank you for your review! I hope you had a pleasant journey back home!
It was an absolute pleasure having you here! I miss our chats in the car en-route to and from the airport and of course the jeweler in town! I hope to see you again when in Johannesburg, next time maybe with partner if not for work. Kind regards, also from Zelda, Otti.
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Additional Information about African Rock Hotel

Address: 48 de Villiers Avenue | Van Riebeeck Estates, Kempton Park 1620, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Kempton Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 23 Hotels in Kempton Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — African Rock Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This exclusive 5 star boutique hotel is located 10 km from the Johannesburg International Airport, O.R. Tambo in a quiet suburb of Kempton Park away from the flight path of arriving and departing planes. It has quick and easy high way access to Johannesburg, the Sandton area as well as Pretoria. A well established lush tropical garden, a swimming pool and large patio ensures relaxing outdoor living. The interior "look and feel" boosts a successful fusion of African, Western and Oriental design trends and offers a warm, welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. The architecture is contemporary, includes all modern day technologies is practical and comfortable. The hotel offers a complimentary meet and greet and a return airport transfer. The on site restaurant, The Blue Hippo, offers a fusion cuisine. All meals are prepared by a top chef with fresh ingredients and served in a fine dining manner. ... more   less 
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