Italian fix at the Michelangelo in Johannesburg

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Italian fix at the Michelangelo in Johannesburg


Florence was calling me – a wedding in the Tuscan countryside and a beeline to see Michelangelo’s David who is threatening to topple off his plinth because of weak ankles and earth tremors. I’ve got my own David, who alas does not remain ever youthful, nor maintains a physique worth flaunting!

But the universe works in mysterious ways and while I did visit the Michelangelo, it wasn’t in Florence but in Johannesburg. And I did get to see a naked Italian, but only on the front cover of a book on Michelangelo in the hotel display case.

People LOVE Living in Joburg

The Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton – the richest square mile of Jozi – welcomed me with an enthusiasm I hadn’t expected. True, I was told Joburgers were much friendlier than Capetonians, and whaddayaknow they were right. It turns out that the amiability of pretty much everyone is why people LOVE living in Johannesburg. I found little else to commend the city to me – except the well considered script on the City Sightseeing Bus and my stay in the Michelangelo and its sister hotel the DaVinci.


I found my little Italy in the grand palazzo surroundings of the Michelangelo with a magnificent 6-storey atrium. I was feeling a little vulnerable, being in Johannesburg alone on a mission to write about being a tourist in this City of Gold. But Archie the Greek came to my rescue with an ebullient welcome and treated me like visiting family, explaining what, where and how. He’s the perfect Concierge. I like being able to say that, because as a former Star Grading Assessor – inspecting accommodation for their stars – I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly and the staff at the Michelangelo were nothing short of excellent.

There was something so comforting about the traditional Renaissance-inspired décor of over-stuffed sofas, richly patterned carpets, faux marble, Roman columns and stone architectural features in unexpected places. Old-fashioned comfort can still trump modern chic.

But once I’d got my mojo back and began to feel confident about touring around Joburg and getting on and off at 12 possible City Sightseeing Bus stops, I was ready for a bit of city chic. This I soon found was de rigeur in both clothing and car for any self-respecting Sandton slicker. So I transferred from the Michelangelo to its artistic rival the DaVinci Hotel; a startling leap in style from historic past to super-chic present in a 3-minute car transfer. The DaVinci was fabulous…read more here.

 What I especially liked about the Michelangelo Hotel

  1. La Contessa sculpture floating in a pond patrolled by huge Koi.
  2. Glass lifts looking into the central atrium and down upon La Contessa.
  3. Archie the Greek concierge – always pleased to see you.
  4. Smiling staff without exception.
  5. Free transfers to Gautrain Station (even though it’s a completely safe 2-minute walk away)
  6. Delicious breakfast selection.
  7. Nelson Mandela Square outside the window, with a giant bronze sculpture of the man in mid-dance.
  8. Instant access to Sandton City Shopping Mall, where my credit card took a hammering!
  9. Restaurants galore.
















Some facts about the Michelangelo Hotel:

  • 242 en-suite bedrooms
  • A ‘Fish Doctor’ who looks after the Koi
  • Piccolo Mondo Restaurant and Il Ritrovo Lounge with resident pianist
  • Cocktail bar in the atrium beside the Koi pool
  • High Tea buffet on Saturdays and Sundays
  • Spa – with a convenient 30-minute mini-mani for the busy executive
  • Indoor heated pool, sauna, steam and jacuzzi
  • Gym
  • Business Centre
  • Free Wifi Internet
  • Conference facilities for up to 160 delegates
  • Free transfer to Gautrain Station (or 2 minutes walk)

Have you stayed in the Michelangelo? Tell me about it please.






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