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InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport
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Reviews (1 480)
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Reviewed 17 October 2017 via mobile

Great place to stop on your way through to Africa after a long flight from Sydney. What makes it fantastic for us is you literally walk from your luggage across the road which takes 2 minutes. It has great security which is a priority in this town to us when passing through. Very relaxing and room was tidy and comfortable.

Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
Thank WendyOkane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SCarreira, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2017

Dear WendyOkane
Thank you for taking the time to post your recent stay with us on TripAdvisor. I am delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay in our elegantly appointed rooms that have full amenity offering in the rooms. I truly appreciate you recommending my property and I do hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the hotel in the not too distant future.
Kind Regards
Sonia Carreira
Guest Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2017

This is an exceptional hotel that is just yards from the airport. It was so nice to walk to our hotel after a 10 hour plane flight. The hotel was absolutely beautiful. Our room was exceptional and the restaurant was fun and inviting. We had a great experience in South Africa. The InterContinental made it all very easy.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank MontanaSplash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SCarreira, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2017

Dear MontanaSplash
Thank you for taking the time to post your recent stay with us on TripAdvisor. I am delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay in our elegantly appointed rooms that have full amenity offering in the rooms. I truly appreciate you recommending my property and I do hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the hotel in the not too distant future.
Kind Regards
Sonia Carreira
Guest Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2017

Very friendly staff. The gym was being renovated so there was a room set aside with equipment but I did not try it. Was upgraded due to status - but my colleague had similar experience with nice spacious room, full amenities, large firm bed with plenty of pillows. The closet was fully stocked with quality hangers, ironing tools and a safe. For an airport hotel, this is far beyond expectations, and frankly I look forward to my next "after dark" arrival so I can stay again!

Stayed: June 2017
Thank jadedtravelista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SCarreira, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2017

Dear jadedtravelista
Thank you for taking the time to post your recent stay with us on TripAdvisor. I am delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay in our elegantly appointed rooms that have full amenity offering in the rooms. I truly appreciate you recommending my property and I do hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the hotel in the not too distant future.
Kind Regards
Sonia Carreira
Guest Relations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2017

I was traveling to South Africa for the sole purpose of doing a safari in Kruger National Park. However, flight times made it necessary to spend a minimum of one night in Johannesburg (the safari company - Nhongo Safaris - picked up in the Johannesburg area at 7am, but we wouldn’t be landing until 5pm - thus having to fly into/stay in JNB the night before). Unfortunately, Johannesburg doesn’t have the best reputation as far as crime is concerned, and since this was my first time in South Africa and I wasn’t sure what to expect, I wanted to find somewhere safe and preferably close to the airport.

When booking hotels I usually check booking.com for prices/ratings first, and then, when I find one I am interested in, I cross reference reviews with TripAdvisor. The Intercontinental Hotel O.R. Tambo came very high rated on Booking.com. The price, however - yikes! Over $300 for one night (granted, I did book the hotel only 2 weeks out, so who knows how much the price fluctuates). But upon looking at a map of the property, I realized that the location could not be beat, and was therefore willing to pay for the convenience and (hopefully) safety.

After going through passport control/baggage claim of the international terminal at JNB, we walked straight out the glass doors (no need to go up or down a level as it is on the same level you exit on) and there it was. Literally just across the street - you could hit it with a rock. There were several guys coming up and asking us about taxis as we were exiting the terminal/heading to the crosswalk, but as long as you look determined and like you know where you are going and nicely tell them that you don’t need a taxi, they seem to back off.

The hotel and lobby isn’t very big or overly fancy, but it is definitely a nice hotel. And EVERY staff member we encountered (reception, bellmen, servers, etc) were beyond friendly - and not in a fake way. They were also extremely helpful and professional. The rooms are quaint, but very nicely furnished with a coffee maker, flatscreen TV, nice beds, a desk, and nice decor. But the best part was the bathroom which included a very large tub and a separate, walk-in shower with the best water pressure EVER! Definitely felt like I got nice and clean and refreshed after over 20 hours worth of flying in from the United States.

One thing that was a little frustrating, however, was the hairdryer. There was a hairdryer located in the closet of the room, but it had a European (two prong) plug, and there were no accommodating outlets in the bathroom. The only outlet I found was near the desk, and I was a little nervous to use it (as I wasn’t sure of the voltage) - but it worked just fine. So, I don’t know if it was a fluke that we had a European hairdryer or not, as I think there was a South African outlet in the bathroom (if I remember correctly). That being said, for those traveling from Europe, there is a working outlet for your appliances at the desk (possible UK outlet as well, but I can’t remember). You can also rent adaptors from the front desk if you need (US guests, etc). Also, wifi is free in the room (for I think up to 4 devices? At least 2 for sure…)

The guest services book that is on the desk of the room is very informative of what the hotel has to offer, a 24 hour in-room dining menu, local attractions, and safety precautions for travelers. I read the whole thing and found it very helpful. (I also want to make it know that I felt incredibly safe and well taken care of during my short (12 hour) stay).

I do not smoke, but there is a very nice smoking lounge on the main floor. I also did not use the pool or any of the hotel facilities, but I heard the views of the planes landing/taking off from the pool area is pretty cool. My only disappointment of the hotel is that I felt their gift shop was extremely lacking - it seemed to be mostly higher-end jewelry (maybe there was another gift shop that I was missing)?

We had both dinner and the continental breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant (Quills - which I may write a separate review for, later). Both were very good - particularly the desserts! I will say that the continental breakfast didn’t seem to have many hot items (though we were there before they opened at 6am, so maybe not all items were out yet - I’m not sure). That being said, the items we did have were incredibly good and fresh tasting, so I was definitely not disappointed.

Check out was a breeze, and our tour company picked us up in the morning a little before 7am right in front of the hotel. The driver came to the front desk - who then directed him to us in the lobby.

I know the price is extremely off-putting, and normally I would dock a star rating for this, but because it was so convenient for us and the experience so good, I am still giving this hotel a 5-star review - mostly because I knew the price ahead of time and I made that decision - to choose convenience over price.

If you are spending only one night in Johannesburg - either landing at JNB late or taking off from JNB on an early morning flight - I would definitely recommend this hotel if cost isn’t of a huge concern to you.

(Final tip: I booked the hotel via Booking.com, but would suggest doing a price comparison between Booking, the hotel website, TripAdvisor, and Trivago to make sure you are getting the best price. Also, I ended up paying about $370 for one night (breakfast NOT included) because I booked a room with free-cancellation - thinking maybe prices would go down. Unfortunately, it was free cancellation up to 48 hours before arrival, and I forgot to check periodically for price changes, so I was stuck with that price when I could have gotten a cheaper room (WITH breakfast) had I not insisted on booking with free-cancellation. So that is basically up to you and how willing you are to keep up on price-checking. If money isn’t of huge concern to you and you are sure you won’t cancel, then just book a room WITHOUT free cancellation (and breakfast included) initially).

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank JJ F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SCarreira, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2017

Dear JJ F
Thank you for taking the time to post your recent stay with us on TripAdvisor. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed the comfort of our elegantly appointed rooms where we focused on comfort and quality and all of the offerings and services our property offers. Thank you for taking the time to recommend my property and for the lengthy review on my property. Thank you once again for the feedback and I look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel in the not too distant future.
Kind Regards
Sonia Carreira
Guest Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2017

My fiancée and I recently stayed at the InterContinental Johannesburg Airport for one night between flights at JNB. We arrived on a long 15.5-hour flight from Atlanta, and needed to stay over for one night before departing on a domestic flight for a safari the next morning.

When planning our stay, we considered various hotels near the airport, almost all of which were cheaper than the InterContinental. However, we still considered this hotel because of the large number of glowing reviews, in addition to knowing that it is truly just steps away from the airport with no shuttle required to get there. Once we weighed the options, we decided to pay the premium price to stay at the InterContinental to maximize convenience. It turned it to be a great decision. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone, and I would stay here again in a heartbeat if ever at JNB.

Prior to our stay, I didn’t have any sort of status or points accrued with the IHG Rewards program, but in the process of booking our room, I stumbled upon the fact that IHG was having a sale for purchasing reward points at the time. It turns out that it was actually cheaper for us to purchase some IHG points and redeem a cash + points reward to stay at this hotel, rather than paying the lowest cash rate that was offered at the time. It worked out solely because there was a promotion for purchasing points at the time, but it’s definitely something to look into, which in our case ended up saving us about $50 USD for the night.

After a long-haul flight, we just couldn't wait to take a shower, eat decent food, and have a nice bed to sleep in. The InterContinental allowed us to accomplish all of this, and was a very welcome sight as we walked out of the international arrivals hall at JNB. The hotel is literally just across one of the airport’s internal roadways from the international arrivals area. It took about 5 minutes from the time we retrieved our luggage from baggage claim to the time we were in the InterContinental’s calm, well-decorated lobby checking in.

Upon entering the lobby, guests are immediately greeted by the hotel’s excellent staff members, all of whom go out of their way to make you feel welcome. The doormen were insistent that they assist us with our bags as soon as we entered the lobby, and the front desk clerk who checked us in was great. She managed to make check-in quick and painless, while still making us feel welcome and giving us all key information we could need. She also offered to make us a dinner reservation at the hotel’s restaurant, Quills, for whatever time we desired, and she went out of her way to recognize that I was an IHG Rewards member several times, which is a nice touch.

The elevator requires scanning your room key to get to your floor, and it will only stop at the floor that your room is on, as well as the floor housing the gym and pool (which we didn’t have a chance to check out). This can be a little bit annoying if you’re in the elevator with guests from other floors and want to hit the button for others. The elevator requires separately swiping a room key to access each floor, which seems a little more secure than is needed.

From the minute you walk out of the elevator to get to your room, you can tell you’re in a very peaceful, upscale hotel. The hallways are nicely appointed and quiet, which is exactly how the rooms feel too. In our room, we never heard any noise from other guests or from air traffic at the airport. It was a quiet oasis.

Our King Deluxe Room (211) was beautiful. Although not overly large, the room was very well appointed and felt luxurious. The décor in the rooms is neutral and restful, with a classic upscale look that is modern enough to feel fresh. The bed was quite comfortable and felt amazing after a long flight. The room was in great condition, with very little wear and tear, and included thoughtful amenities that guests appreciate, including the well-stocked coffee and tea station and USB wall plugs for charging cell phones easily. The turndown service that was done while we were at dinner was better than at most hotels, with a chocolate left on each pillow, a bottle of water and a glass left on each nightstand, slippers left at each side of the bed, and a little card with the next day’s weather forecast.

The marble bathroom was very nice as well, with a separate tub and large shower, which had great water pressure. The toilet is in a separate water closet. There were even some fresh flowers left in the bathroom, and the towels were large and fluffy. The single sink and vanity area was small, with very limited space to put one’s things. However, since we, like most guests, were just passing through, it was fine for one night. The only other thing I found slightly annoying about the bathroom design was that the light switch is located outside of the bathroom (and the entrance to the bathroom is directly next to the bed), so if one person needs to use the bathroom while the other person is sleeping, you can’t help but briefly drown the room in light before you can enter and slide the bathroom door shut.

After feeling disconnected from the world while on our flight, having good wifi to check email and get online was a must. The free wifi at the InterContinental was easy to connect to and worked well. I got kicked off of the network briefly at one point when I was checking email in the middle of the night while I was having trouble falling asleep. However, when I woke up in the morning, I was able to log back onto the network and it was working perfectly fine again.

Prior to our stay, we had made a couple of room requests, which were to have foam pillows and a room on a high floor away from an elevator. The requested pillows were on the bed when we arrived, and our room was away from the elevator. The only request that was not honored was for a high floor. We had hoped to be on a higher floor for the best chance of getting a room with a decent view and more natural light. Although none of the rooms has any real view here, by being on the 2nd floor on the side of the building where we were, we ended up looking directly at a wall of one of the airport buildings, which was just a few feet away and was a rather depressing view. It didn’t matter since we were there for such a short time, but I would still request a high floor, or at least not to be on that side of the hotel, in the future.

The only dining venue in the hotel is Quills Restaurant, which is where we ate dinner when we arrived and breakfast the next morning. In line with everything else at the hotel, Quills was excellent! Although it seemed unnecessary that the front desk clerk had advised us to make a reservation at Quills when we checked in, it was good that we made one, since the staff at the restaurant seemed a bit flustered when guests arrived without reservations (although they would still seat them with no problem). Quills is nicely decorated like the rest of the hotel, and I would say it generally serves international cuisine, with a focus on African dishes. The salmon and filet mignon entrees that we tried were both excellent, beautifully presented, and fairly priced in my mind for an upscale hotel. You can definitely eat for less in South Africa, but with the pricier entrees being about R250, or about $20 USD each, we weren’t upset with the pricing, especially given how nice our dinner was. The wines they offered were also reasonably priced, and we both liked the South African reds that we tried with our dinners. The cherry clafoutis (basically cherry pie) that we had for dessert was absolutely delicious, and was a highlight of the meal. Our server specified that the clafoutis is a hotel specialty that is made-to-order, and takes about 25 minutes to make once ordered. We’re glad we waited for them to make it, since it was well worth it.

Beyond simply having good food, the service was excellent at Quills. Our server was friendly, polite, and eager to please, and multiple staff members checked on us to make sure our meal was satisfactory. They all seemed genuinely proud of the food they were serving and wanted to make sure we had a great experience. Breakfast in the morning at Quills was a similar experience. The pancakes and waffle we tried were beautifully presented and quite tasty, with great service along the way. There is a full buffet offered at breakfast in addition to a regular menu, but we declined the buffet since it was more food than we wanted.

Our departure from the InterContinental was just as smooth as arrival, and it was so nice to be able to walk just across the street to catch our next flight. It meant that we didn't have to get up unduly early to make it on time, which was important to us. We started our stay bleary-eyed and exhausted from a long-haul flight, but we departed the next morning feeling totally refreshed to begin our safari in South Africa. It turns out that the InterContinental was the absolute best hotel we experienced during our trip, which I never would have expected of an airport hotel. This property is well managed and it shows. Every single staff member we encountered was courteous and enthusiastic, which is perfect when coupled with a hotel that has beautiful rooms and a nice restaurant. I would highly recommend the InterContinental when stopping over before or after a flight at JNB. It’s a decision you won’t regret.

Room Tip: None of the rooms seem to have much of a view, but a higher floor is more likely to avoid a view of a wall
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank mrg0137
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SCarreira, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2017

Dear mrg0137
Thank you for taking the time to post feedback following from your recent stay with us on TripAdvisor. I could not agree with you more with regards to the convenience of the hotels location being only 68.7 meters away from the International Arrivals hall, which really makes your on route transit stop over hassle free and very convenient after a long haul flight. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed all the comforts of our newly refurbished room. As an airport hotel we also operate our restaurant and in room dining around the clock and I am happy to read that you enjoyed the service and offering from our Quills Restaurant. We truly appreciate the lengthy review and the recommendation. Once again thank you for your feedback and your loyal support as an IHG member and I trust that when on route back into South Africa we will be able to welcome you back to the hotel
Kind regards
Sonia Carreira
Guest Relations Manager

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