Through the years

A new hotel in downtown Jo'burg traces the history of the city with its edgy and original locally-inspired designs.

Interior design in Johannesburg is often accused of being ostentatious, over-the-top and just not very lekker, in a local kinda way. But the 12 Decades Art Hotel is adding a fresh dash of original to the mix.

12 Decades is a new boutique hotel in downtown Jo’burg that captures the history of the city through the designs in its rooms. The name, 12 Decades, refers to the approximate age of the city and the number of rooms that have each been decorated to represent a different decade of the city’s history, starting in 1886.

Situated on the roof of Main Street Life, just about all the 12 self-catering, double rooms have a magnificent view of Jo’burg. Visitors are encouraged to take pride in the city by learning something new about it and making use of the old history books and annuals in the hotel’s foyer. Spaces have been utilised in innovative ways, to represent everything from Jo’burg’s mining history to the impact the Bauhaus movement had on the cityscape in the early decades of the 20th century and the prominence of boxing in the city.

The hotel is part of the developing Maboneng precinct that boasts a number of facilities dedicated to art and design.

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