From Boutiques to Sought-After Boutique Hotels

Hotels in Johannesburg are plentiful. Those seeking accommodation have a plethora of choices – large, small, or medium sized hotels, hotels which are independently owned or those which belong to big hospitality chains, or budget establishments or high-end, multi-starred hotels which cater for a wealthy, prestigious clientele.

Some offer full-board accommodation, while others have no on-site catering facilities whatsoever. Likewise, other facilities and amenities on offer will vary. Boutique hotels are a later addition to the types of hotels at which one might choose to stay.

Now universally used to describe any smaller, independent establishment that caters to an exclusive, well-heeled clientele, the French word “boutique” initially referred to small clothing outlets that sold designer garments and accessories in Paris in the 1920s. Such boutiques were typically attached to the premises of designers’ workshops and sewing rooms. Some 30-40 years later, clothing boutiques were preferred by affluent, fashion-conscious ladies in Europe and America.


Exclusivity was and is the fundamental factor that differentiates boutiques from other outlets. Today, “boutique” is applied to many other exclusive enterprises.
Boutique Hotels in Johannesburg

It is unclear where and when the first boutique hotel opened in Johannesburg or elsewhere in South Africa, but nonetheless, such distinctive establishments are now sought after by discerning guests in this country. Some of the defining characteristics of boutique hotels include:

  • A unique setting and picturesque location.
  • A smaller size and fewer rooms – fewer than 100 rooms in total.
  • A distinctive architectural style.
  • Rooms may be individually decorated and furnished, and sometimes themed.
  • Upmarket, sophisticated, and elegant furnishings.
  • Superior, discreet personal service.
  • Service excellence and top standards of quality in all aspects.
  • Luxury.
  • Attention to detail.
  • On-site dining.
  • Gourmet standards of catering.
  • Sufficient safe, secure guest parking facilities.
  • Well-maintained grounds, gardens, and buildings.

Johannesburg’s Thaba Eco Hotel

Thaba Eco Hotel meets and, in some respects, far exceeds the criteria for boutique hotels. We’re situated amidst the rolling hills and grassy plains of the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve – just to the south of the City of Johannesburg – close to the city, but worlds away in peace, tranquillity, ambience, and natural, unsullied beauty. Indigenous antelope and small game species roam around freely here.

Accommodation at Thaba is available in three types of rooms – Deluxe, Luxury, and VIP. A total of 52 of these lovely luxury suites are on offer. The furnishings are tasteful, elegant, and sophisticated. The décor introduces the colours and hues of Africa and our architectural designs utilise natural elements wherever possible, because our ethos is that of conserving and preserving our natural environment and the planet’s healthy integrity.

Dining at our Kraal Restaurant is a feast for the senses and we’re fast becoming a favourite fine dining destination in Johannesburg. We have an on-site spa and a host of activities and packages, and we pride ourselves on the service excellence we offer throughout all our guest services.

Thaba is a luxurious, 4-star establishment only about 20 minutes’ drive from Johannesburg centre and we are also classified as a world-class boutique hotel.