The perfect staycation in Braamfontein

Winona Griggs

The ultimate stay-at-home vacation in Braamfontein

Breaking away from the ordinary routine can be a breath of fresh air. It’s so invigorating to explore new places and make memories that will last a lifetime. But what if I told you that you can experience all the fun and relaxation of a vacation without leaving the comfort of your own home in Braamfontein?

Imagine creating the perfect staycation right here in your own backyard. No need to deal with the hassle of travel or the expenses that come with it. With Braamfontein’s vibrant culture and exciting activities, you have everything you need for an extraordinary vacation without ever stepping foot outside your front door.

First and foremost, treat yourself to a well-deserved break. Take the time to unwind and recharge your batteries. Put on your favorite music, grab a glass of your preferred beverage, and soak in the tranquility of your surroundings. Whether you choose to lounge in a hammock, stretch out on a comfy couch, or bask in the sunshine on your balcony, embrace the serenity of a no-stress zone.

Next, indulge in the delectable flavors of Braamfontein. The neighborhood boasts an array of culinary delights to satisfy any palate. Venture out to one of the cozy local restaurants and let your taste buds be tantalized by unique flavors and delightful aromas. Experience the joy of savoring a gastronomic adventure right here in your own community.

No staycation would be complete without a touch of adventure, and Braamfontein has plenty to offer in that department. Dust off your bicycle and explore the charming streets at your own pace. Discover hidden gems that you may have missed in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Immerse yourself in the local art scene by visiting galleries and experiencing the creative energy that permeates the neighborhood.

In the evening, why not turn your living room into a private movie theater? Grab your popcorn and dim the lights as you revel in the magic of cinema. With the wonders of technology, you can transform your space into a cozy sanctuary where you can get lost in captivating stories and unforgettable characters.

As you can see, a staycation in Braamfontein can provide a unique and memorable experience that rivals any traditional vacation. Why spend time and money on travel when you have everything you need right at your fingertips? So go ahead, embrace the extraordinary in the ordinary, and create your own perfect staycation in Braamfontein.

The perfect staycation in Braamfontein

When I look around at the world we live in, it’s hard not to notice that everything seems to be focused on franchises. From the small shops that used to be at the corner of the street and were run by families, to the local pubs, it feels like everywhere you turn, there’s a chain store or restaurant.

But I have to tell you, there’s something special about independent businesses. They have a unique charm and personality that you just can’t find in a franchise. And you know why? It’s because the owner of an independent business is usually right there, in the middle of it all, making sure everything runs smoothly.

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The perfect staycation in Braamfontein

As I stroll through the bustling streets of downtown Braamfontein on my various urban expeditions, The Bannister Hotel never fails to capture my attention. Its lively bar on the street level, brimming with patrons, creates an irresistible allure that beckons me closer. The pulsating rhythm of the music pours out into the street, like a siren’s call, enticing me to step inside, find a cozy spot, and engage in conversation with one of the locals over a refreshing draft beer, perfectly chilled to that oh-so-desirable temperature.

It was only a matter of time before my curiosity got the best of me, and I set out on a quest to uncover the hidden gems that make The Bannister Hotel an unsung hero of the Braamfontein revitalization. Located on De Beer Street, this establishment holds the promise of an unforgettable experience.

The Bannister Hotel: A Hidden Gem

When I look at the Bannister Hotel today, I can’t help but marvel at its history. You see, back in 1961, this place went by a different name – Celtron House. It’s hard to believe that this vibrant hotel was once just a humble office and industrial space. But if you step inside and glance above the entrance, you’ll see the sign that reminds us of its past.

Celtron House was a special place for me, especially because my grandfather built it. He had big dreams for this building, and he turned those dreams into a reality. For years, it served as a hub for all sorts of businesses. People came and went, chasing their own goals and aspirations.

But it wasn’t until 1996 that I truly made my mark on this place. You see, I’m a photographer, and I decided to set up my studio right here in Celtron House. It was my way of continuing my family’s legacy and immersing myself in a space full of memories.

Running my studio from here was an incredible experience. Every day, I captured moments that would be cherished forever. The walls of Celtron House acted as silent witnesses, witnessing love, joy, and the occasional tears. But despite the happiness that filled these halls, change was on the horizon.

In 2002, my father and aunt, who were co-owners of Celtron House, made the difficult decision to sell. At first, I was unsettled by this news. I had poured my heart and soul into my photography studio. But as time passed, a new calling began to stir within me.

I couldn’t let Celtron House simply disappear into obscurity. I knew deep down that I had to preserve its legacy and breathe new life into it. So, I made the bold choice to transform this place into the vibrant hotel it is today – the Bannister Hotel.

The Bannister Hotel pays homage to its roots while embracing a fresh start. When you step through its doors, you’ll be greeted by a mural dedicated to a Great Dane. It’s a symbol of strength and loyalty, just like the hotel itself.

So, if you find yourself near the Bannister Hotel, take a moment to appreciate its journey. Look beyond the walls and imagine the stories that unfolded here. Because this place is more than just a hotel – it’s a testament to the power of transformation and the resilience of family ties.

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We invite you to be part of this story. Come inside and create your own memories at the Bannister Hotel. We’re ready to welcome you with open arms and ensure your stay is one for the books.

The perfect staycation in Braamfontein

Hold up, I’ve got something to explain here.

Back in 2002, Braamfontein wasn’t the trendy spot we all know it to be today. You know, with fancy models sipping vegan G&Ts while a Red Bus zips by.

I asked Andrew about his vision for the area back in the day. He said, “I thought more would happen here, and faster.” Well, things didn’t go exactly as he planned. But now, Andrew has a landmark space and a place in history that shows how Braamfontein has transformed. It’s totally Braamfontein style.

The perfect staycation in Braamfontein

When I first bought the building, my plan was to create a place where artists could come together and collaborate. The building was already being used as a combination office and studio space, with several artists already working there. But there was also an unexpected problem – one tenant had turned part of the building into a hotel without permission. They left in the middle of the night in 2006, and that was the moment I knew I had to turn my vision into reality. That’s how the Bannister Hotel came to be.

Ever since the beginning, we’ve had a strong sense of community. And when the COVID pandemic hit, we saw it as an opportunity to improve our business model. We downsized our staff, but we made sure that each member was trained in multiple skills. This not only helped us survive, but also allowed us to pay our staff more than before. We believe in investing in our team’s growth, not just in the hospitality industry, but in other areas as well. That’s why we offer financial assistance to help them expand their skill sets.

The perfect staycation in Braamfontein

On weekends, the Bannister hotel is always fully booked with people who come to town to relax and have fun, knowing that they have a comfortable room waiting for them upstairs.

A Break in Braamfontein

Here is my plan for an amazing weekend in Braamfontein.

Begin your day with an early morning stroll through the streets as you make your way to the JFF Rooftop Farm for a cup of coffee. This rooftop café and plant nursery not only offers breathtaking views of Braamfontein but is also a unique way to start your day. Just be aware that you’ll need to climb up (and later down) a tall metal ladder to get there, but the experience is definitely worth it.

The perfect staycation in Braamfontein

After you’ve gotten your fix of caffeine, make sure to pay a visit to the Kalashnikovv Gallery on Juta Street. This gallery specializes in contemporary fine art and never fails to showcase works that will ignite your imagination.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, step into Open Slice right next door for a delicious brunch. Trust me, their hazelnut and banana French toast is to die for. But don’t worry if that’s not your cup of tea, their menu offers plenty of other delightful combinations that will satisfy your brunch cravings.

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Hey there, have you ever been to Braamfontein? It’s a pretty cool place, and one spot you definitely don’t want to miss is The Playground artisanal market. They’re open every Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and trust me, it’s worth checking out. They’ve got all sorts of awesome stuff there, from delicious food to unique clothing.

But wait, that’s not all! The Playground keeps getting even better. Now, on top of all the great things they already have, they’ve added some new experiences. They’ve got this amazing wine and cheese pairing that is absolutely divine. And if you’re feeling like getting in touch with your creative side, they’ve got a guided paint ‘n sip art experience that is so much fun. Plus, for all you yogis out there, they’ve started offering yoga sessions too.

Now, you might be thinking, “Why should I go to The Playground? What’s so special about it?” Well, my friend, let me tell you. It’s not just about the food and the shopping, although those are definitely awesome. It’s also about the atmosphere. When you’re at The Playground, you get to sit back and watch all the people going about their day. It’s like a whole different world, right in the heart of Braamfontein. And to top it all off, you’ve got the magnificent Nelson Mandela Bridge as a backdrop. It’s really something special.

So, next time you’re in Braamfontein, make sure you swing by The Playground. Trust me, you won’t regret it. There’s always something new and exciting happening there, and you never know what you might discover. Enjoy!

When it comes to spending evenings in Braamfontein, one place stands out: The Bannister Hotel. This iconic spot regularly hosts musicians and other acts, creating a vibrant atmosphere that truly captures the essence of the neighborhood. Whether you prefer the lively bar or the purpose-built basement event space, The Bannister is the perfect place to wind down and enjoy the night.

But here’s the thing – don’t sleep on this local gem! It’s easy to overlook places like The Bannister Hotel, thinking they’re just another spot in the city. But trust me, you’d be making a big mistake. The Bannister Hotel is a true hidden treasure that deserves your attention. It’s a place where you can fully immerse yourself in the spirit of Braamfontein, so make sure to keep tabs on their social media accounts to stay in the loop about upcoming events and experiences.

If you want to discover more exciting adventures in and around Joburg, be sure to follow Ryan and his explorations. He knows the best spots!

So, what are you waiting for? Embrace the unique vibe of Braamfontein and embrace The Bannister Hotel – your new favorite destination for unforgettable evenings.

Photos: Ryan Enslin/Supplied

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