Fabz Estate Hotel

, Johannesburg, South Africa
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Fabz Estate Hotel

, Johannesburg
4 star

Rooms: 30

Cnr. Conco Lonehill - Johannesburg - 2021 - South Africa Hotel Website | | (011)465-3551
12 Traveller

Reviews - Fabz Estate Hotel

8/10
Fab service & competent staff
Submitted by: Elizabeth in 01/02/10
  • Age Group: 60plus
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
Stayed at Fabz on friends recommendation and found it absolutely wonderful. An oasis in the middle of Joburg.Read the trip advisor reviews but fortunately ignored them as we understand this has now changed hands and is owned by the Gooderson Leisure Group who are putting their imprint on it. Somethings still need a little tlc but overall we were delighted and our friends booked their daughters 21st there and the management could not have been more helpful. Carry on the good work hope to be there in 2011
1 out of 1 reader found this review helpful
9/10
Charming Boutique Place
Submitted by: John in 05/01/09
  • Age Group: 60 +
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Business Traveller
I never write reviews, but the one other review on this hotel gives a false impression. They went for breakfast. They do not point out that the gazebo is by the river and some quarter mile walk through fields from the kitchens. Of course there will be compromises.
I have stayed at Fabz twice, for 5 days each, and this is now my favorite hotel IN THE WORLD (and believe me I know a lot of hotels). I recommended it to my boss, a similarly well travelled businessman and he is also sold.
Jo'burg is just like the Atlanta that I live in - including terrible traffic. It has multiple big American style hotels including a Las Vegas style themed/plastic/artificial/casino hotel. Your decision is simple - do you want everything as if you never left America at $240 a night or have a safe experience of a bit of Africa at a third of that (hey, if you want to prove you came to Africa, the duty free at the airport has little plastic giraffes).
Fabz is small, in a residential area and behind a walled enclosure with manned security gates. The reception and restaurant areas are worn but thoroughly cleaned daily at 6.00am. There are only 30 rooms and to get to them you go outside through the garden. If it is raining, you get rained on. The rooms are sparsely furnished but clean, spacious and have ample windows and balconies opening to the garden areas. Think Mediterranean or Caribbean hard floors etc. Heating and AC? No idea - I did not need them. Electric connections are a challenge everywhere in SA, including here. Your little adaptor set says that SA uses the large plugs with squared off prongs that the UK has, but that is wrong. They all use the even larger plugs with rounded prongs that the UK used uo to 40 years ago. No US-bought adaptor set has them, but you can buy in local electric stores an adaptor converting from SA to USA etc. And you may need to not all Fabz rooms have shaver points.
Staff are not African-American, they are African-African. Employment prospects and wages are low, so there are plenty of people wandering round.They mostly have a slightly disorganized "learning on the job" feel. But the broad bright smiles are genuine.
I was there in December their summer. Internet access is free (not like the expensive hotels) but works from a wireless system in the reception area there is none in the rooms.
I have not had lunch or dinner there local seafood and steak restaurants are just too good and cheap. But breakfast qoul can choose between English fried, pancakes, cereals, cold cuts etc. But it is a small and low throughput place, and choice is limited but it is ok.
But the garden is a delight. Here are actual extracts from two emails I sent from there:
Been a long day. Turned in at 2.00am, up at 5.30, meetings all day and dinner. But good. I'm here at 6.15am - the enjoyable part of jet lag is sitting in the after dawn watching the bunnies, listening to the doves, sipping coffee, smoking a big long cigar and corresponding with Joe.
I'm back at my "desk" - A cheap metal dining table outside the reception area that has the only wi-fi terminal. But it is a balmy night, the frogs are loud, the geese are quiet and the bunnies and kid mountain goats that dominate the area in the day are tucked away. I had meant to get an early night, but my cigar tastes good and I am warmed by the thought the\at this place costs 50 bucks a night, not the 250 bucks of the competitor.
It really has bunnies that flinch not a bit as you walk within two feet, plus ducks, geese and couple of itty-bitty mountain goats that are well behaved (but if you make clear to the little male that you are up for it, and present the sole of your shoe, it will playfully push against it). It has conference facilities - meeting rooms and staff. Yes it has some amateurish "Fawlty Towers" aspects - but think willing amateur rather than rude Basil. Johannesburg is not the Savannah, and the Fabz is not a Safari. But if you want to feel you have begun to touch Africa it is great. Alternatively the big hotels will give you hot toast at only an extra twenty bucks a slice.
1 out of 1 reader found this review helpful
1/10
Horrible breakfast experience
Submitted by: Alma in 19/12/07
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From: South Africa
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
When I saw the venue on the net, it looked very nice. We decided to go there for breakfast on 16/12/2007. We had this beautiful spot on the dam in a gazebo with ducks, birds and bunnies all around. I was interested in the Continental Breakfast. Wanted to have the cheese 'platter' and cold meats. They start breakfast at 7. When I got to the buffet table at 9, there were NO cheese or cold meats. Had to ask them for it. When it arrived, there were only 1 cheese (wrapped in a loaf) and 2 cold meat loafs (wrapped). Not nicely sliced and arranged on plates - you have to wait for the waitress to do it (or do it yourself). I was disappointed. I ordered a croissant. No croissants. Hein ordered a full SA breakfast. They brought it without the toast. He had to walk inside to fetch the toast. I ate one of his toasts. When I asked to speak to the manager, the chef came out. He explained to me that their croissants were finished from SUNDAY'S breakfast (the day before we went there), so I couldn't have a croissant. When I asked again for the manager, another guy came out, standing in for the manager. After we gave our complaints, suddenly the manager appears. With such a lot of petty excuses. Cheeses are not that expensive and croissants can be bought in packets from Woolworths. How on earth can someone be proud to manage a place like this? I would never go there again. It's appalling to receive such slovenly service from such a beautiful boutique hotel.
1 out of 1 reader found this review helpful
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