#TravelTuesday: What you can expect from Jozi's new trendy hotel

The Red Roof Bar & Terrace at the new Radisson Red in Rosebank.
The Red Roof Bar & Terrace at the new Radisson Red in Rosebank.
Image: Patrick King

Even before its official opening at the beginning of the month, Rosebank was abuzz with excitement around the second Radisson RED to open in SA – the first having opened its doors in Cape Town in 2017.

Located in the new Parks Boulevard Precinct, it’s instantly recognisable by its life-sized angel wing sculpture that’s graced many a profile picture on social media. Such is the popularity it's harnessed, it’s not strange to see a photo shoot – amateur or otherwise – taking place as you pull up on the corner of Oxford and Rosebank Roads.

Called “The Mundane and the Mystical”, the sculpture has been made from reclaimed ironing bases by South African artist Usha Seejarim and offers a touch of social commentary: women, one may argue, are the angels of the household who still bear the brunt of housework and domestic chores.

A second sculpture sits holding its head above a hollow body at the top of the entrance to the hotel, the work of artist Marlene Steyn.

And inside, the space comes alive with the bold colours contained in 23-year-old Ghanian visual artist Prince Gyasi’s photographs – most of which were captured in his hometown of Accra where he’s inspired by the landscape and community around him.

While prominent artworks are permanent fixtures, many of the street-style art on display around the hotel will be changed out every six months.

A moment to relax

A big draw card – for both in-house guests and locals – is the Red Roof Bar & Terrace, complete with red-tiled swimming pool, loungers, couches and a bar from where AJ Durow, head mixologist previously from Sin+Tax, crafts bespoke cocktails.

Here, the rooftop takes on a weekend vibe with DJ sets on Fridays and Sundays.

On Fridays, you’ll need to pre-book for their Bottomless Bubbly special from 4pm to 6pm at R299 per person, and on Sundays its live music between 12pm and 4pm with half price tapas. Think crispy fried chicken bao, salmon tacos, smoked olives, perfectly fried tempura wild mushrooms and meat skewers dripping with flavour.

With spring in the air, it’s bound to be a new hotspot for sundowners with views over the leafy streets of Rosebank.

Executive Chef Genghis San also serves a host of delicious meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner downstairs in OUIBar + KTCHN. I feel eggs Benedict are always a good barometer to judge a kitchen and chef by and the plates we enjoyed for breakfast the morning after our stay in the hotel were not only perfect but possibly superb.

What we love

Apart from the artworks on display, incredible attention to detail has gone into various nooks and crannies around the hotel and you can spend hours sauntering around, admiring the way touches of red – offset against hints of green – are drawn into bookshelves and hollows alongside white-washed bricks, oddities and even an arcade-style Star Wars game.

The art trickles into the 222 standard rooms, family rooms and suites. But, apart from a focus on art, the small touches are what set this hotel apart from most other big hotel names.

Small local touches add flair.
Small local touches add flair.
Image: Sanet Oberholzer

Guests can expect to find hand-written welcome notes written by the hotel’s curator, Carly de Jong, and thoughtful gifts (depending on their room type and whether or not they’re a Radisson Rewards Programme Member).

For this, the hotel has partnered with local suppliers. Gifts range from beautiful beaded roses made locally at the Rosebank Art and Craft Market, tote bags made with Shweshwe fabric, tech savvy power banks and custom designed Sexy Socks which will be arriving soon.

Locally sourced serviettes with cool designs accompany meals and drinks and in the Grab ‘n Go section in the lobby the shelves are stocked with jars of sweets, ice cream tubs and gourmet popcorn from Maverick and Jane.

With a check out time of 12pm, you might just need to pop by if you miss breakfast after being cocooned up behind block out curtains under feathery soft duvets.

Plan a visit

Rates start from R1,417.50 per room per night for Radisson Rewards members and R1,543.05 for non-members excluding breakfast.

OUI Bar & KTCHN and the Red Rooftop Bar & Terrace are open daily from 6 am-10:30 pm (curfview hours permitting — check to see what current operating hours are when planning a visit).

For more information, visit radissonhotels.com.