Rosebank is one of Johannesburg’s most cosmopolitan areas, yet it is also very commercial. It lies in the leafy northern suburbs, on the Main Gautrain route from Pretoria to Johannesburg central. It’s right in the middle of schools and shopping malls.
Young professionals and younger people alike enjoy it as do business persons and residents of the adjoining suburbs, Parktown, Melrose and Houghton. Then there are celebrities, designers, and members of the gay community, all loving the place.
Its day-time life is as lively as its night-time, with cafes, bars and it even has its own flea market. This is a very popular tourist area, quite safe as it’s all connected and off-street, with lots of people around, and security quite visible. The Johannesburg Gay Pride event passes though Rosebank and then heads off in the direction of Zoo Lake.
Some very big companies have their HQ in Rosebank, for instance Nu Metro Cinemas, Total South Africa and the State Bank of India.
Possibly the most important feature of Rosebank is the fact that the Gautrain stops right there. There’s the Parcade which enables businesspersons to park and go, catch the train to OR Tambo which literally takes 25 minutes to arrive.
What is also very important from a strategic point of view is travelling in Johannesburg without having to hire a car. There are plenty of taxis and Uber operates fully.
- Travel by Gautrain is reasonable – view the fares here.
- Rosebank Gautrain Station is located here: Oxford Road between Baker Street in the south and Tyrwhitt Avenue (GPS S:26°08.715', E:28°02.632')
A very interesting place to stay in Rosebank is the Monarch. The word stylish is an understatement for this five-star establishment. It’s the epitome of sophisticated elegance, with some beautiful art, from wall, to decorative … around every corner, in every room and space and area.
It has altogether twelve exquisitely appointed rooms/suites, with secure parking and all-round security: divided up between one King-bedded Presidential Suite with its own private entrance and facilities; five King-bedded Royal Suites with separate guest rooms; six Luxury rooms with open plan layout; four King-bedded and two Twin-bedded rooms.
In addition to the standard luxury conveniences such as individually-controlled air-conditioning, tea- and coffee-making facilities, private mini-bar, hairdryer, flat screen television, electronic safe, fine linen and international luxury bathroom amenities.
Further facilities include: Internet access, Selected DSTV channel range, DVD Player, Heated towel rails, Under-floor heating, In-house laundry service and twenty-four-hour security.
The Monarch has quite a history behind it. It was once the building that housed the Saxonwold Post-Office, today Saxonwold and Rosebank are adjoining suburbs.
One of the latest in development in Rosebank is Redefine Properties’ called “The Link”. If nothing else, it has redefined the Rosebank skyline and landscape. It links up beautifully with the rest of the area, blending into the new Rosebank Mall and The Zone.
Its completion in October 2018 was welcomed by shoppers, business persons and visitors, providing elegant dimensions to the zone.
Features include, a fifteen story-high building of which eight are office space; two basement parking levels, with a link to the Gautrain, without having to cross Oxford Road. The pedestrian walkways are as if into outer-space.
Today the terms business and coffee are one; and it’s no longer just coffee for early morning but also “coffee-drinking moments scattered across our day”.
As one website has said: “We rest our happiness on them, and sometimes it feels like even our survival!” Seattle have worked hard to bring among the best in coffee making.
Shopping Malls in South Africa are as many as the grains of sand on the sea-shores. Some are prettier than others, others less elegant. Pride of place is Rosebank Mall recently built with the trendiest things to see, nice eateries and lots of shops.
Any tourist or visitor will have to agree to its elegance and splendor. Security is tight as the staff keep a watchful eye on things… my camera was practically confiscated because I was taking photographs and the more I explained it’s for the site to go to readers who one day might want to come and shop there, the closer I got to losing my device.
Its four stories include major names such as EB (Exclusive Books); The Incredible Connection… where I got a new phone (unbelievably friendly staff), and a wide range of women’s and men’s fashion and accessory outlets.
I also had my hair cut there, also an incredibly friendly experience. Then a choice of coffee shops, gourmet meals, movie houses, therapy, and the normal tenant mix — Edgars, Clicks, Pick-’n-Pay, Dis-Chem and Woolworths.
Catch the latest blockbusters on the big screen at Cinema Nouveau. Perfect if you are looking to keep the little ones entertained or want to spend some quality-time with friends and family.
There is also the Rosebank Art and Craft Market and on Sundays the Rosebank Sunday Market open on the rooftop from 0900 — 1600. If you’re looking for something to do on a Sunday, then be sure not to miss out on visiting this event.
One can expect to find anything from arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, antiques, books, spices, and a range of smoked meats, with some entertainment and a number of food stalls for some light meals on the spot. And there’s enough space for 2200 cars to park in this building! For the Sunday Market go to http://www.rosebanksundaymarket.co.za/
There is also an Arts and Craft Market to celebrate our African heritage which is open Monday to Sunday. This truly African marketplace offers shoppers a variety of artefacts, beading, wiring, sculptures, gift ideas, and paintings; all representing our South African roots.
Exclusive Books is always one of those welcome shops we go to for books and coffee. EB in the Rosebank Mall is no exception. There is a wide range of books to choose from, with copies of favourite authors or to bring requests for niched titles — from contemporary South African writing, fiction and non-fiction this in itself is a reason to settle into one of the comfortable areas for reading.
For tourists, there is a big selection of hiking and road maps. In addition, it hosts regular book events and kids clubs and has a coffee bar with coffee made from Ethiopian beans.
I have always been a fan of two exceptional products carried by EB on their shelves. One is Lamy, the high-quality, beautifully designed writing instruments, sporting “timeless modern aesthetic and perfect functionality”.
The success story of Lamy began more than 50 years ago when the Lamy 2000 was the model that laid the foundation stone in 1966 “for the clear, unmistakable design language which still characterises the style of all Lamy products today — Lamy design”.
The other great feature product stocked by EB is Moleskin. This brand was created in 1997, bringing back to life the legendary notebook which used to be the tools of writers, and artists. Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemmingway among them.
Always a trusted and handy travel companion, these artifacts are as relevant now as then, even with all the electronic apps available in the world. The skin is not real, just an imitation, styled to look and feel good.
The H & M group is a global fashion and design company — with the brands H&M and H&M Home, COS, & Other Stories, Weekday Cheap Monday and ARKET, each with its own unique identity, all their brands are united by a passion for fashion, design and quality and the drive to dress customers in a sustainable way.
Another classic shopping space in Rosebank is The Zone with a variety of shops, entertainment, eateries and beautifully designed opened spaces, good for summer and on the sunny wintry days on the Highveld.
There are a great number of men and women fashion shops in the area of Rosebank, obviously too many to mention,but here is a selection of some of the top-notch ones.
- For some high-end men’s fashion go to https://www.facebook.com/republikzone/
It’s modern, sophisticated, and there’s simplicity. This is what the website says about Thula Sindi’s brand.
“It was formed in 2005 — on the back of a South African landscape that was ready for designer-wear that was trendy, dynamic, accessible, ramp-to-reality and ready to wear — this is a clothing brand that was poised to cut across the vast discrepancy that existed between unrealistic high-end designer haute couture and everyday retail chain/bargain bin clothing.”
Its website reads: “Find your freedom, create a passion and uphold your motivation, at OTG Active we aspire to inspire you. Our passion is our people, we find freedom in empowering our women to reach their full potential through building a community of active and healthy women, that motivate one another to discover limitless potential”. Every reason to visit this inspiring store at The Zone.
A taste of Paris in the heart of Johannesburg — It’s been there for the past 15 years, not quite as long as the Eiffel Tour but at least it’s still there. Go to http://thepatisserie.co.za/
The Firs is a very elegant shopping mall with business areas and restaurants and excellent fashion. It interlinks perfectly with the Hyatt Hotel, and has lovely outdoor areas for al fresco dining. It recently underwent extensive refurbishment without holding back on expenses. All-in-all the operations to bring it to where it is, lasted almost two years.
Possibly its main attraction for the visitor is the piazza flanked by several top-brand restaurants such as Doppio Zero and The Fishmonger. For more on The Firs go to https://www.thefirs.co.za/current-events
Originally built in the 1970s, The Firs is an upmarket and niche retail centre situated in Rosebank. It has easy access to the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the Holiday Inn, with interleading pathways and all-covered.
The Firs underwent a multi-million rand redevelopment and today ranks as one of the country’s leading Malls offering “an intimate selection of retail outlets and dining establishments that is distinctive and one that caters specifically to the aspirations and desires of the modern high-end patron … with each store being owner-managed, personal care and attention are always ensured”.
Clive Rundle is an award-winning South African Designer store showcasing spectacular creations with flair. The seasonal collections that normally get showcased on International and National catwalks are available in the store at Rosebank.
As the website says: “A Clive Rundle garment is not only an ultimate statement of taste and style, but also an intensely sensuous experience; one is stroked and kissed with exotic fabrics and garments of extraordinary beauty. The Clive Rundle woman is modern, chic, elegant confident and comfortable in her second skin. Her beauty is not only skin deep”.
Definitely a great favourite with fresh produce, the Fishmonger Rosebank is superlative for fish. You go there for the Dining Experience and can choose from Fresh Line fish daily, Tender Calamari and the Best Mozambique Prawns, Langostines and Lobsters.
There’s also a choice from Paella, Prawns Nacional, Beef Espatada, Portuguese Grilled Peri-Peri Chicken, Meze Platter and Oven Baked Fish. All Seafood is Free Range and Organic by Nature.
One of the hotels to stay in in that area is the Hyatt regency, a five-star hotel, facing Oxford Road. It is fully linked to the malls so guests can step out of the hotel into the shopping areas with a choice of dozens of restaurants. Also, there are banks, and boutiques, couture and hairdressers all within a stone’s throw away.
54 on Bath — is situated in the leafy suburb of Rosebank. Its style is luxury, with intuitive service, offering guests a range of options to maximise comfort. From here one can easily access Nelson Mandela Square at Sandton City or nearby Melrose Arch and of course the precinct of Rosebank with the Gautrain and Mall right there.
The hotel offers a choice from 75 elegantly decorated rooms, comprising of 60 deluxe standard rooms, twelve executive rooms and three luxury suites. Each suite/room offers twenty-four-hour room service, DSTV, direct-dial telephones, Espresso machine, mini-bar and complimentary WiFi.
There are several venues from which to choose — the Level Four restaurant, or enjoying a workout at the state-of-the-art fitness club (Planet Fitness Rosebank), or in summer, unwinding at the pool.
Definitely a really lovely and home-from-home place is the Holiday Inn at Rosebank. The venue is so central, stylish, friendly and linked to the malls and the transport. In fact, it’s situated in the The Zone Shopping Centre with the Rosebank Gautrain Station right on its doorstep. The trip to OR Tambo International Airport is 25 minutes.
The Hotel offers a free corporate shuttle service within a five km radius. From there visit the Soccer City Stadium, or the market for handcrafted ceramics and African masks, or proceed to the Johannesburg Zoo to see the rare white lions.
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Rosebank has it all… eateries, transport, malls, cinemas, lots to see and lots to do… you just need to get there whether by carriage, car, or Gautrain. Contact http://www.rosebanktravel.co.za/ to see how.
- All photographs are taken on the spot by the writer and where applicable, with permission.