High-rise in the heart of Johannesburg’s most popular suburb, Rosebank, the 16-storey The Bank is one of South Africa’s smartest new hotels. barely two years old, WACO JOHANNESBURG ROSEBANK The city has definitely made a name for itself and on a recent work trip I finally got the chance to experience the vaunted Woko magic for myself.


If you are driving to the hotel, charming men from the concierge team wait to greet you, and after unloading your luggage, park your car safely. You’re automatically added to the WhatsApp group, so if you ever need your car, you just notify the team and within minutes it’s waiting for you at the front door. If you’re arriving by Gautrain, which connects Rosebank to the airport, the hotel sends a golf buggy to collect you at the station – a very nifty addition.


After being thoroughly impressed with the interiors of the hotel, it was with some anticipation as I was escorted to my room; Will it live up to the rest of the hotel experience? Within minutes I was at ease – with subtle design elements tinged with 1920s Art Deco styling, the bedrooms are beautiful urban sanctuaries spread across six floors of the building. Soft touches, fine white linen and Antipodes plant-based bath products complete the experience. Of course, I couldn’t help but smile to find the latest edition of YOURLUXURY Africa magazine next to the bed, featuring one of my international travel pieces.

While Johannesburg is affectionately known as the City of Gold after its origins as a gold mining colony, it is also the almost daily sunset that paints the sky in countless variations of red, yellow and gold. From the elevated position of the walk, this sunset is beautifully enjoyed. In the late afternoon, the sun streams into the room until it descends for the night beyond the horizon.

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Workshop17’s shared workspace solutions. With 8 co-working locations across South Africa and 4 in Mauritius, Workshop17 complements Voco’s mixed-use facilities perfectly. Workshop17 Bank offers flexible and seamless coworking, meeting and eventing solutions and everything from; 62 offices, 8 meeting rooms, 7 boardrooms, event space, hot desk, concentration booth, video conferencing room and a coffee shop. Hotel guests have access to a café and hot desk on offer and can easily hire meeting rooms if needed.

Impressively, Waco is home to over 700 stunning original South African artworks. They don the walls and public spaces of each floor, offering a gallery-esque experience during a stay. In addition, two Eduardo Villa sculptures are featured in public spaces, and then world-renowned artist Cameron Plater was commissioned to design a large mural in the bank’s courtyard. Plater’s work is interdisciplinary and playfully uses drawing, sculpture, painting and video. In addition, the Art Butler offers guided tours to showcase the hidden art gems within the hotel, enhancing the guest experience.


It is undeniable that Rosebank is one of the most attractive places in Johannesburg. Extensive development over the past decade has resulted in a vibrant multi-purpose district. Within steps of the hotel are Rosebank Art & Craft Market, The Zone @ Rosebank, Mall of Rosebank and The Firs offering endless shopping options.

Dining at Waco

voco has every right to be proud of its in-house eatery – Proud Mary is an exemplary restaurant that spans the ground level of the hotel – and then head out for a walk. Each space is stylishly curated and with a plethora of dining enclaves, you have plenty of dining options. The mixology is world-class (an onsite mixologist is able to offer more than 100 specialty cocktails), along with a stellar wine selection from the sommelier catalog. Try the pork belly – honestly, the best I’ve ever had.


Rates depend on room type and season, starting at R3,5550 or R3,750 for two including breakfast. Don’t forget that Voco is part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, so points can be redeemed and earned on hotel stays.

The best bit

During the three days of stay, I got to know many of the staff personally, and I have rarely met such a dynamic and engaging team. I remember leaving and thinking that if foreign visitors have this welcome and perception of my country, I know they’ll already have given up on planning their next visit. After all, at the end of the day, all luxury hotels have comfortable beds and beautifully-smelling amenities, but most of the time, it’s the staff that makes all the difference.

final judgment

Waco offers a very attractive stay in Johannesburg thanks to its world-class design, convenient location and superb dining options on the doorstep. After profiling several hotels in the city, I now have a favorite for future visits to Johannesburg.

Disclosure: We were sponsored by Invest WACO JOHANNESBURG ROSEBANK.

Jared Rutenberg

Jared Rutenberg is a freelance travel journalist who enjoys connecting people and experiences through word, image and social media. Read more at www.jaredincpt.com

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