We thought we had found a comfortable, moderately priced B&B in Joburg that was near the airport. The Emerald Guest House sounded ideal. Unfortunately, our experience at this guest house was a disaster. Don’t be fooled by the website photos and description. Do not consider staying at the Emerald Guest House in S. Africa winter months. The rooms have no heat. Nightime and morning temperatures can easily drop to near freezing. There was also no heat in the reception area and dining areas. For breakfasts there in July, we had to eat wearing warm coats and hats. One morning, our room had no electricity and it was not restored before we checked out hours later. Another in our party had no hot water in the morning. Despite what may seem as attractive rates and rooms at the Emerald Guest House, this accommodation did not provide the bare minimums of heat, hot water, and electricity. A campground would have been much less costly and offered the same lack of amenities. Besides breakfast, the food available for sale onsite was terrible, mostly prepackaged microwaved stuff. There were no nearby accessible restaurants for dining without taking a taxi or using the guest house van to the mall. That van service was not free of charge—it cost 100 Rand for the van transportation to the mall. There was one pay phone on the premises, but it was outside and completely unlit at night. The staff were not particularly helpful. This was the worst accommodation we had the misfortune of using in our 3 week South Africa trip.
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