Sunset from the top of the Hallmark Hotel

Joburg’s Hottest Rooftop Party at Hallmark House

A couple of weeks ago I visited Hallmark House, a hip hotel in downtown Joburg, for my friend Gilda’s birthday celebration.

Hallmark House has an interesting story. It was built a few years ago (at great expense) by Propertuity, the real estate company that created the Maboneng Precinct, and designed by acclaimed architect David Adjaye, who also designed the Smithsonian Museum of African American History. Hallmark went up for auction last year when Propertuity abruptly went out of business. The building is now owned by Steyn Investments.

Most interestingly for me, the top of Hallmark House has the best view of downtown Joburg in the city. (Okay, maybe the view from the top of Ponte City is better. But only just.) The Hallmark rooftop has now become a bar with the hottest sundowner party in town happening every Sunday.

Hallmark House rooftop Sundays
Impossibly cool people atop the impossibly cool Hallmark Hotel, waiting for the sunset on a Sunday afternoon.

I had already been to the top of Hallmark a couple of times before it was renovated, but this view never ceases to enthrall me. I’m so glad the rooftop is now open to the public. (Most of the best downtown rooftops are open only for private events.)

Hallmark Rooftop Sundays is an all-day-into-the-evening affair, with a fancy bar, brunch specials, and a DJ from 1 p.m. onward. I wasn’t super blown away by the food and the wine was overpriced. But those flaws were greatly outweighed by the elegant surroundings, the hip but unpretentious clientele, and of course the view. With a view like this I don’t really care what I’m eating or drinking.

View of Hillbrow skyline.
A view of the Hillbrow skyline.
The outdoor bar tables with a view of Hillbrow in the distance. As you can see there is a small swimming pool but no one went in while I was there.
The bar wraps around three sides of the building.
People drinking cocktails in the Joburg CBD.
More impossible coolness.
Hallmark bartenders
The bartenders are very cool.
Heather on the roof of Hallmark House
I am not cool at all. (Photo: Thulani Mhambi)
View of downtown Joburg
My all-time favorite view of the city, looking straight downtown from the east.
Hillbrow from Hallmark
There were interesting clouds that evening.
Sunset from the top of the Hallmark Hotel
Yes, I took a million photos of basically the same view.
Another view of downtown Joburg
One more.
Nighttime Joburg skyline
Seriously, last one.
Blurry Joburg skyline picture with people kissing
This photo was obviously an accident but I can’t not include it for some reason.

Good times. Be sure to book in advance for Hallmark Rooftop Sundays.

Hallmark House is at 54 Siemert Street in downtown Joburg.

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9 Comments

  • Reply dizzylexa March 1, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Amazing photographs, I need to get here sometime soon.

    • Reply 2summers March 1, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      Yes! It’s just the best view.

  • Reply AutumnAshbough March 1, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Those sunset views are amazing.

  • Reply Catrina March 1, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    Beautiful photos! I wonder what magic you could do on Cape Town’s rooftops with your camera. Although they’re perhaps not as hip as the Hallmark Rooftop.
    Oh, and by the way, I think you ARE cool on that pic!

    • Reply 2summers March 1, 2020 at 7:52 pm

      Hahaha, thanks! I’ve been on a couple of nice CT rooftops but they generally aren’t as high 🙂

  • Reply Lani March 3, 2020 at 10:19 am

    Excellent lighting! And beautiful dress 🙂

    • Reply 2summers March 3, 2020 at 10:24 am

      Thank you! My friend brought me that fabric from Senegal last year, and I finally went and had it made into a dress using the pattern of another dress I like. I need to do that more often 🙂

      • Reply Lani March 3, 2020 at 10:29 am

        That’s a great idea. I should do that too. Love the print, bright colors, and it’s a good fit on you 🙂

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