Nelson Mandela’s Johannesburg Home Now A Luxury Boutique Hotel

by SharonKurheg

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was South Africa’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. The  anti-apartheid revolutionary overcame nearly 30 years in prison to eventually become a respected political leader and philanthropist.

Mandela (a.k.a. “Madiba” – Nelson Mandela explained in 2008, “I am often addressed as Madiba, my clan name, as a sign of respect.”) passed away in 2013, at the age of 95. The home where he lived at the time of his death was located in Houghton Estate, an affluent suburb of Johannesburg, northeast of the city center.

In 2018, it was announced that the Mandela mansion in Houghton Estate would be converted to a boutique hotel. The building had seen some neglect over the years, but finally, after 3 years of work, the newly named Sanctuary Mandela opened in August, 2021.

Sanctuary Mandela is owned by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and run by Motsamayi Tourism Group, South Africa’s oldest Black-empowered tourist company, established in 2001.

From Motsamayi Tourism Group:

The concept of converting Nelson Mandela’s primary residence into a place of reflection, is to create an avenue that will provide visitors with additional insights into the Mandela heritage, through an experience that is inspired by the icon’s life and times while he resided and worked at the property.

From Sanctuary Mandela:

Paying homage to Madiba’s depth of character and contemplative spirit, Sanctuary Mandela is surrounded by lush gardens and retreat spaces filled with perfectly-curated exhibits that pay tribute to the human rights activist, former president, and global icon, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Every corner of the boutique hotel is envisaged to provide the perfect combination of tranquillity, heritage and mindful experiences. Time spent at Sanctuary Mandela promises momentous healing and reflection. That reflection is encouraged throughout the hotel, whether through design elements, photographs personal to the house, or art from the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s archive, including paintings of Madiba from renowned artist John Meyer.

Sanctuary Mandela is also designed to engender a sense of curiosity. Throughout the hotel, there are design ‘Easter eggs’, enticing guests to ask staff questions, who are all trained as storytellers and can give guests a guided tour, explaining the story behind each little touch.

The hotel offers 9 rooms in 4 categories:

  • Deluxe Studio [Rooms 4, 7 & 8] – $258
  • Deluxe King [Rooms 2 & 9] –  $407
  • King Suite [Rooms 3, 5 & 6] – $556
  • Presidential [Room 1]) – $971

Sanctuary Mandela offers big, spacious bedrooms with air conditioners and all modern conveniences. We pride ourselves on making every experience a memorable one. Guests will find small nods to Madiba’s life in each of the rooms, including photos and letters from important points of Madiba’s life as well as subtle references to some of the historic moments he was involved in.  All rooms offer a choice of either two single beds or a king-size bed. All rooms are en-suite and are equipped with bath and shower facilities.

All rooms include breakfast, Wi-Fi, flat screen satellite TV and in-room safe.

Sanctuary Mandela offers a variety of amenities, including a swimming pool, a fully serviced bar and lounge as well as meeting rooms that can hold up to 12 to 16 people.

For more information about Sanctuary Mandela, visit

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