Working from home for over a year has been somewhat of a blessing in disguise. I don’t have to deal with traffic and rude drivers. I work at my own pace, have access to unlimited snacks when I want, and I get to do it all in my PJs (I kid you not).
But, sometimes a change of scenery is necessary if you want to shake up your already comfy routine.
So, I swapped sunny Durban for a colder Johannesburg to spend three nights at one of the city’s swanky new hotels called BlackBrick Sandton for a workation.
I’ll admit that the idea of an ‘out of office’ trip felt daunting.
Still, I decided to test this workation theory: would I be wooed by Jozi’s grandeur and meet my print and digital deadlines?
After I checked into my studio suite, prepared myself a cup of ginger chai, I positioned myself on the couch to plan for the weekend ahead. I wrote down a list of articles that I needed to complete during the stay and scheduled time to explore the city and catch up with friends.
BlackBrick’s industrial design is a work of art. Once you walk through the dark corridor to get to your room, your sanctuary awaits.
My suite overlooked the Sandton skyline and near the window stood a tall tree where birds sang their afternoon choruses. The spacious suite boasts all the modern comforts of a hotel room, from a fully equipped kitchen, a smart TV with streaming channels, a small bathroom, a lounge area and super-fast fibre.
The star had to be the nifty workspace that doubled as a dining table. I wasn’t a fan of the chair.
The design of the room is fresh and vibey–words you would use to describe a young professional.
At the same time, the décor also appeals to the leisure market, perfect for a couple wanting a romantic getaway, a family on a staycation or a solo retreat. If you like it, you have the option of renting a similar apartment for longer stays.
Wasting no time, I drank the last of my chai tea and started my first feature. Despite a slow start, I managed to complete the feature and switched off my laptop just in time to enjoy the sunset.
Blackbrick Sandton is a destination in itself, so if you do not want to venture out, there’s plenty of amenities to keep you occupied. In between your work schedule, you can book a 2-hour movie at their private cinema, have cocktails at the rooftop bar, or get lost in a book at the library.
If you do not feel like cooking, you can head to the restaurants on the property. Other onsite amenities include a conversation lounge, meditation garden, boxing gym, and more. You can even rent a Mini Cooper for a day of exploring.
BlackBrick hosts weekly events that range from business, fashion, food and wine and entertainment. There are even workspaces and conference rooms (the first hour is free) where guests can conduct business.
Clinton, the explorer
Surprisingly, the weekend offered plenty of exploration time. On Saturday morning, I took a stroll to Sandton City, a five-minute walk from the hotel. I spent a few hours window shopping, indulging in rainbow cake and making a few purchases. I even found the time to binge season 1 of Million Dollar Beach House.
I spent Sunday morning at Modena with friends. The chic eatery is famed for its Italian food and breakfast service. I worked out the French toast, berries and mascarpone meal by checking out the local scene in Parkhurst. I also visited some foodie spots in Sandton with a friend.
Despite some scepticism of how a workation would work, I managed to complete my list of articles while finding time to discover new places in the City of Gold.
Location: 25 Fredman Dr, Sandown, Johannesburg. There is also a BlackBrick property in Cape Town.
Cost: Rates start from R950.
Contact: Call 087 183 1766 or visit www.blackbrick.club/
Clinton Moodley was hosted by BlackBrick Sandton
Read the June 2021 edition of IOL Travel magazine here.