Johannesburg Journals

Tears for South Africa: Best and Worst of Time

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A May 2001 trip to Johannesburg by samepenny

InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa More Photos
Quote: LIfe in South Africa is improving after so many years of hard times. Visitors can now make wonderful visits, but you must use common sense. The culture is more Europeon than I expected, often very sophisticated. The whole country is not a camp in the bush.

Tears for South Africa: Best and Worst of Time

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Overview

Make do or do without Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
Update included: We traveled to South Africa with a Rotary International Foundation Team. We paid our own way and expenses and stayed in some of the best hotels in the world. They cost us about the same as a night in a Sheraton in the U.S. By day, we visited Rotary projects or projects that wished to have Rotary funding. We were carefully escorted at all times when outside our hotels and adjacent shopping centers. We barely took a step on our own without a Rotarian at our side. At night we showered and slept in luxury. Dickens the 'best of times and worst of times'. I am so incredibly proud of the work that local Rotarians are doing in South Africa, usually with matching funds from ...Read More

InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers

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Hotel | "Inter-Continental Airport Hotel"

InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
This is a brand new hotel facility in a remodeled ''''office block''''. Shiny as a new penny, we were the first to occupy our room. We had a standard room which although smaller than the one we had at the Sandton Sun & Towers Inter-Contintal, it certainly was very nice. Masses of closets and the usual luxury items. The bathroom was compact but had both a shower and large tub. The toilet had its own room; so 2 could easily use this facility at the same time. Heavy drapes with no apparent airplane noise (the last flight out is at 2200 hours). Our room was always quiet. Only a few steps from the International Arrivals Hall via an outside walkway (porter service available), I believ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 8, 2001

InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers
Corner Alice and Maude Street
Johannesburg, South Africa
+27 (11) 780-5555

InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers

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Hotel | "Sandton Sun Towers Intercontinental Hotel"

InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
This hotel is a castle fortress in a city gone mad with violence. For people who need to go to South Africa, it is a safe place to sleep, eat and shop. The heavy drapes keep out the uglyness of Johannesburg. The guards and security systems keep you safe-----you hope and pray! These are glorius luxury towers of beautiful design. Connected to the famous Sandton Sun Shopping Centre. Our room was a massive ''standard''. The hotel is beautiful, mixing modern design with African art and culture. The staff at the hotel is extremely well trained, but remember most people work ONLY for tips with little or no base wages. Tip frequently and often! I tipped our room maid ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 8, 2001

InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers
Corner Alice and Maude Street
Johannesburg, South Africa
+27 (11) 780-5555

Inter-Continental Airport Hotel

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Restaurant

Inter-Continental Airport Hotel Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
I ended up 'giving' a last minute buffet dinner at this hotel. I mean very last-minute, for about 16 people. I gave the chef about 15 minutes notice. We used a private party room on the 8th floor. He came up with a wide selection of chicken, fish and shrimp dishes munchies and ice cream sundaes. Everything was wonderful, tasty and very well presented with china plates and a full service of silver ware. Try doing that elsewhere and see what happens! We also had our own bartender who made numerous trips to the main bar with our drink orders and carried tray after tray up to us. It could not have been better. Even the head housekeeper came up to make sure that we had enough te...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 8, 2001

Inter-Continental Airport Hotel

Johannesburg, South Africa
27 (11) 961-5400

Sandton City Shopping Centre

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Attraction

Quote:
This is a high security shopping center that even has two grocery stores. Attached to the Inter-Continental hotel towers, 2 office buildings which include medical offices and several apartment buildings. Be very, very careful in the parking lots, although there is security and they are heavily patrolled by armed men; rapes and murders do happen. We bought safari clothing, underwear, books, recorded music, food and other items. The best buys for us were high quality leather bags. Prices are so good when you consider the bargain air fares that you can get to take you to South Africa, you might well be able to combine a vacation with a major purchase such as a diamond ring an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 8, 2001

Sandton City Shopping Centre
Corner Sandton Drive And Rivonia Road Sandton
Johannesburg, South Africa 2146
+27 11 217 6000

Johannesburg International Airport--Duty Free Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
Well, and some things you can't carry on. That I can't figure! Johannesburg has joined the list of major international airports where you should allow plenty of time for Duty Free Shopping. We had 4 hours and it wasn't enough! Does that give you a clue? Everything from the ordinary: blenders, toasters, micros, to the supurb: diamonds, furs, designer clothes. Store after American Name Brand store. Obviously appealing to non-Americans. Many stores that sell food, candy and coffees. Dare I forget cameras and electronics at very competitive prices. Plenty of gifts stores for those items you really need to take home for friends and family. I bought several fine scarves and t-shirts tha...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 8, 2001

Johannesburg International Airport--Duty Free
Airport
Johannesburg, South Africa

Remember the good times!

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Story/Tip

Johannesburg City Scape Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
My trip to Johannesburg was difficult. By day we were out trekking around seeing Rotary projects, but by night we dined, made new friends and got to know each other across international, cultural and financial borders. I will always remember the teachers who worked so hard to bring literacy to a huge population of very poor children. I will remember the teachers who were teaching poor day care workers to read and teach reading so that they could improve the lives of the very young children in their care. I will remember the kind hotel maids who picked out anything we had thrown away that looked like it might have gotten into the waste basket by mistake and laid the item on the desk on...Read More