Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff

Archive article. The hotel might have improved since my visit.

Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff in Johannesburg offers a luxurious escape with stunning city views. Nestled on a hillside, it features elegant rooms, gourmet dining, and a serene spa. Guests can unwind in lush gardens or explore nearby cultural attractions. A great hotel for both leisure and business, Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff is an ideal hotel to stay for a visit to Johannesburg.

My arrival experience: Warm welcome from the kind receptionists.

What I liked the most: The stunning design and beautiful views.

What about the breakfast: The breakfast buffet is probably the smallest I have seen in a Four Seasons hotel and is lacking any wow factors you usually find at high-end hotels. The Saxons in Johannesburg had high-quality items, but Four Seasons’ buffets are no better than what you find at most 5-star hotels in South Africa. I was told 95% of the produce is South African, and it was certainly a good breakfast. It just wasn’t as great as I had expected it to be. South Africa is one of the best countries in the world for food, and I would expect the Four Seasons to stand out. I could name many better breakfasts I have had at 4-5 star hotels around the country where rates are a lot less. As far as I can see, any item in the buffet can be bought cheaply at any supermarket in South Africa. I would expect high-quality items such as fresh yoghurt and fresh fish.

The food at the restaurant is very expensive for South Africa, but on average cheaper than almost all Four Seasons I have stayed. I didn’t get the chance to have lunch or dinner here so my review of the food is entirely based on the breakfast.

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What about the service? It is a professional-run hotel with experienced Four Seasons personnel in key positions, and 95% of the staff are South African. The hotel has only been open for six months, and it takes time to reach the service level of Four Seasons. Attention to detail is lacking. I was told my room would be ready at 1 pm, but I waited half an hour in the lobby upon arrival. Missing welcome amenities, a cheaper product than other Four Seasons, and an average breakfast are things to work on to reach the high level of service that Four Seasons is famous for. Especially the slow service at breakfast, which I agree with the comments. Four Seasons has excellent management, and I am sure they will get it right over time.

What about the rooms: They are beautiful new rooms with many of the Four Seasons standards, such as the ultra-comfortable signature bed. A few local touches, like four pictures of Nelson Mandela in my room. They didn’t have L’Occitane, as found in the bathrooms of almost all Four Seasons hotels and resorts, but they have replaced it with an Italian product I personally didn’t like. My bathroom had a separate rain shower from the bathtub and a double sink. The rooms didn’t have any welcome amenities besides a bottle of South African-produced water. What I liked most about the room was definitely the design itself. Being a new hotel makes a difference and is the main selling point for this property at the moment. In my opinion, more effort into their service and breakfast would be a good priority to reach Four Seasons standards.

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Number of rooms: 117.
Website: www.fourseasons.com/johannesburg
Type of property: City hotel.
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa.
Facilities: Business Center, gym, swimming pool and a beautiful spa where all in-house guest can use the facilities.
Complimentary internet: Yes, but it’s very slow, as you can see in my screenshot below. As I pointed out to the hotel, they list Free High-Speed Internet on Tripadvisor, but it’s not high-speed. You get free slow-speed internet, while you have to pay for a Premium. The Premium is almost 50 Mbps and is really fantastic. It’s fair to charge for it, but all guests should get at least 1.5 Mbps when advertising Free High-Speed Internet on Tripadvisor.

My overall impression: Great experience.

The Four Seasons Hotel The West Cliff Johannesburg has a design better than most Four Seasons, but breakfast and service not up to the standards of the brand. I still rank it as a great experience, as it had only been open six months at the time of my visit, but there are definitely things to work with. All Four Seasons have different owners with different priorities, and since this property is focused on cutting costs, it will be difficult to deliver an experience of Four Seasons standards. Overall, it was a great experience, and I would like to stay again. It has the potential to become a fantastic hotel experience.

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