Before his death, Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first Black president and the face of the anti-apartheid movement in the country, owned at least three homes. One was at Qunu, the village where he was raised; the second in Soweto where he started his family, and the third in Houghton, Johannesburg where he stayed till his passing. It is this last home that the Nelson Mandela Foundation in conjunction with the Motsamayi Tourism Group has converted to a luxury boutique hotel.
Dubbed ‘Sanctuary Mandela’, the hotel has been designed ‘to provide the perfect combination of tranquillity, heritage and mindful experiences’ where guests can “rekindle their spirit in reflection of Mandela’s life,” says Jerry Mabena, CEO of the Motsamayi Tourism Group.
Houghton itself is a quiet suburb for wealthier South Africans, but the lush gardens surrounding Sanctuary Mandela, as well as designated retreat spaces for reflection and healing has rightly earned it the title ‘a place of reflection.’
The hotel has a total of nine rooms that can accommodate up to 18 guests. Each of the rooms commemorates Mandela’s many names and are tastefully finished in colours of emerald-green, taupe and ivory. All rooms come with modern amenities and will feature a piece of the iconic South African president.
In spite of its small space, the property will also have two meeting rooms with conferencing facilities. The meeting rooms are decorated with photographs and artwork that highlight Madiba’s crucial decision making meetings and state visits.
Other facilities include a rooftop garden, a swimming pool, free onsite parking, a bar, and a restaurant that will offer a menu inspired by Nelson Mandela’s favourite dishes. Guests will also have the opportunity to dine with his personal cook and listen to her share stories about her experience with him.
Sanctuary Mandela is set to open in August 2021 with prices ranging from Rand 4,000 ($2769) per night for the Deluxe Studio to Rand 15,000 ($1035) per night for the Presidential Suite.