A Hasty Review of a 1,600 Square Foot Suite in Africa (Absolutely Free With Capital One Miles)
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
This is a brief and long overdue review of one of my favorite hotels, The Residence Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa.
My friends and I booked the most expensive, opulent suite in the hotel, and the final price was ~$500. THAT’S NOTHING compared to the price you’d pay for a similar experience in the US. You could cover that bill with the Capital One miles you’d earn by opening a card like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
I’ll give you a quick look around!
Review of The Residence Boutique Hotel, Johannesburg
Traveling overseas to developing countries is equal parts enlightening, sobering, and enjoyable. It’s crazy how far your money can go in areas like Mexico, the Philippines, or in this example, South Africa.
You don’t have to pay much to receive a top-tier hotel experience. One of my seasoned travel buddies researched just about everything in the Johannesburg area, and decided this was the best place. I think she was right.
We booked the most expensive room in the hotel, the “Madiba Suite.” It was 150 square meters (1,600+ square feet), which I can confidently state is larger than my apartment.
While the room came with plenty of fantastic features, like a wine closet, complimentary alcohol in every direction, and a giant hot tub, my favorite element was the sound system. The speakers were built into the ceiling, and played ubiquitous ambient Tibetan music throughout the room.
In case you don’t have time to watch the above video, here are a few quick pictures of the room.
Immediately when you open the door, you’ve got giant windows to the right, giant mirrors to the left, and an abundance of sunshine.
Turning 180 degrees, you’ll see an enormous portrait of Nelson Mandela. They cannot get enough pictures of Mandela in this hotel. Various sizes of this exact picture are framed innumerably throughout the hotel.
Walking straight ahead leads to the bedroom, with big closets, a decent TV, and complimentary mini bottles of Amarula (South African cream liqueur).
Also attached to the bedroom is the preposterously sized bathroom.
Walking back into the living room, there is a glass door to the left with your own massive private balcony. The wooden floors creak in a charming way. It’s got a hot tub, sun bed, and far too many chairs. The balcony is about the same square footage as the actual room.
Beside the hot tub at the end of the balcony is an outdoor shower.
Food at The Residence was inexpensive, delicious, and BEAUTIFUL.
Something we ordered more than once were these chocolate ball things that were served with what I presume is strategically placed dry ice. Gimmicky but so much fun.
As you might guess, you can’t use hotel points to stay at hotels like this. They aren’t a member of Hyatt, Marriott, or any other hotel chain. So if you’re going to stay at a boutique hotel like this, I highly recommend using credit card rewards like Capital One miles. You can redeem them for anything that is considered a travel purchase, which of course includes boutique hotels.
The 2 best offers at the moment for Capital One miles are:
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business – 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 on purchases within the 3 months of account opening
I’d love to hear your favorite hotel experience!
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardAPPLY NOW
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)