Elevate at the Reef Hotel: Joburg’s Secret Rooftop Bar

by | Nov 15, 2018 | Food and Drink, Johannesburg, Johannesburg City Centre | 2 comments

I have long bemoaned the fact that although Joburg has tons of downtown rooftops with incredible views of the city skyline, hardly any of them are open to the public. The rooftop at the Parktonian Hotel, for example, is open only to hotel guests, and Randlords is only open for events

The Elevate Rooftop Venue, at the top of the 16-floor Reef Hotel, used to be the same — available only for guests of the hotel or for various events at varying times. Not anymore though: Anyone can visit the Elevate bar between 3:00 p.m. and midnight, seven days a week. The view is spectacular.

View of downtown Joburg from Elevate Rooftop VenueLooking out over Anderson Street, Gandhi Square and beyond from the Elevate rooftop bar.

Reef HotelThe Reef Hotel on Anderson Street. This hotel is also a bit of a best kept secret — one of very few nice, affordable, full-service hotels in the CBD, on a safe, quiet street.

Sundowners on the Elevate Rooftop

Elevate’s decor is a bit night-clubby for my taste — all black marble and faux leather furniture — and sometimes the music is a little loud. (I know, I am making myself sound 1000 years old.) But none of this matters. There’s a bar, with drinks and a friendly bartender. And there is the view.

Elevate rooftop barI don’t even mind the branded glass. It somehow makes the view even better.

Seating at Elevate barFiver enjoys a Savannah and the spectacular view on a comfortable faux leather seat.

Elevate viewThis view though.

View from ElevateDid I mention the view?

To visit the Elevate bar, simply walk into the lobby of the hotel and take the lift to the 16th floor. There is usually parking outside the hotel, especially on evenings and weekends, but if you’re paranoid about parking on the street the hotel does have a (very claustrophobic) garage.

There are two restaurants in the hotel: The casual Homestead restaurant on the ground floor and the fancier Grill Room on the third floor.

Elevate still occasionally hosts private events, and sometimes on weekend nights there are parties with a cover charge. If you want to be absolutely certain the bar is open, call +27-11-689-1000.

Elevate viewOne last shot of the view. You’re welcome.


  1. jean2371

    Thank you for another fascinating article about a place I had never heard about before. The photographs of Jo’burg are wonderful.

    • 2summers

      Thanks Jean!


Leave a Reply