I am a journalist based in Johannesburg who has covered stories from Darfur to Baghdad, a father of two boys and an avid salsa dancer.
Never expected the flat to be like this from how it looks outside the entrance! Commissioner Street can be a bit intimidating at night, so arriving by taxi is probably best. The entrance is directly opposite a Ria Vaya bus stop. When you put in the code for the entrance door, be sure to pull the door straight away - took us ages to work this out!
When we stayed, the lifts weren't working, which was frustrating given the flat is on the 8th floor. Another serious problem is the fact that on the 4th floor is a locked gate which we didn't hold the key to ... raises a few questions about fire exit safety when the staircase is locked and lifts are out of order!
The flat is beautifully furnished and the facilities are excellent. We didn't have a key to lock our room, but the other 2 people living in this 3 room flat were really lovely and there were no trust issues. The shared pool was always empty but is well worth a try - great views across Jo'burg. Same for the roof terrace - a huge space perfect for drinking and smoking while watching Jo'burg go about its business.
The internet wasn't great - Samson pays for a kind of pay as you go internet which is shared with all the guests, so frequently 'ran out'. He's a great host, however, with an impressive background and an even more impressive collection of books!
A great stay perfect for those who like their luxuries and want to be in the heart of the city.
Samsons Loft Apartment is beautiful and inspiring! Although we didn't meet him, he arranged parking, key handover, Towels and provided information on the city. The two other girl living in the big appartment were very nice and could help out with any question. The only little difficulty was to get the lift, because one lift key was missing and the internet didn't work constantly, but there is worse! Overall we enjoyed our short stay in Joburg.
It was really a amazing Loft, we only stayed for one night, but it was also great. Thnk You Samson!!!
Thanks, the apartment was really great! Fantastic central downtown location, very modern apartment and great view. WiFi is only mobile-based so it's not breathtakingly fast.
Samson's place is truly the best value in the city. Gorgeous apartment, perfect location, and a extremely friendly host! I wouldn't look anywhere else when travelling back to joburg.
Samson is a great person and host. His apartment has a nice view over Joburg's inner city, a nice rooftop, and in the same building a really cool pub (the oldest in town).
From his apartment it is not far to walk to hipster areas like Maboteng or Bramfontein. I walked both distances once, but didn't feel comfortable while walking the bridge. Seems like many people prefer to drive those short distances.
My stay at Samsons place was nice. I can't comment on the area because I didn't spend much time there. However the apartment was really comfortable, spacious, and nicely decorated. I didn't meet Samson but he did arrange for someone to meet me which was nice since I arrived quite early. There was some noise from the street during the day but if you're out and about this won't be a major issue; I was superbly jet-lagged and in need of a nap which I found a little difficult.
I hesitate to leave another glowing review for Samson's place. It's already become so popular I fear I'll never be able to book it again. But I will be honest, the penthouse is light-filled and beautiful, Samson is delightful (though rarely home), and I'd argue that- if you really want to experience the city- there is no better place to stay than downtown Johannesburg. I was so glad I didn't follow advice to stay in "safer", wealthier areas like Sandton which I found very boring when I visited. If I wanted suburbs and malls I'd have stayed in the U.S.
Enough positive things have been said about the house and the host by other reviewers so I won't repeat, but I will confirm it's all true. Downtown itself is vibrant during the day. I spent over a week here and found myself doing surprisingly little touring of Joburg sites. There was enough to see of city life within walking distance of the house that I was pretty happy staying close to home.
There are a number of cafes, restaurants, some markets (and even a mall) within a few blocks. They're not always right in front of your face, but you'll find a lot just walking around and Samson can direct you. Diagonal Street is nearby and so is a lot of public transportation. There is a taxi stand almost in front of the building, the Gauteng train from the airport is about 8 blocks away and the Hop on Hop Off bus stops in Gandhi Square- about a 4 minute walk away.
The one down side, especially if traveling alone, is that downtown- which is so alive during the day- empties almost completely at night and it's not a great idea to walk around after dark. I solved this by taking cabs to other areas (like Melville) at night and that worked fine. The apartment is also so lovely that staying in is still fun. Don't miss checking out the stars from the rooftop and try to pin Samson down to chat. He's a fascinating person.
Beautiful apartment with great views of downtown that you wouldn't otherwise experience. A nearby grocery, coffee shop and short walk to the red bus going around town made the location convenient. Samson was helpful as a host and respectful of space.
I liked his apartment and the terrace very much. Samson respected my privacy and was always more than helpful when I had a question. It was really interesting to talk to him about downtown Johannesburg. Next time I'm in Joberg, I'll try to stay at his place again.
Hi Samson!...It was our great pleasure to have Teddy and you as our guests and we hope youre going to come again and stay longer next time!...Kami,Keith,Jessen and Honey xxxx