When it comes to hotels, it is often said that location is everything. However if the hotel also offers comfortable luxury and upscale amenities, then it becomes an even more attractive choice of accommodation. The award-winning Radisson Blu Gautrain boasts all these and more, and my family and I were looking forward to staying there.
The hotel is perfectly suited for a business or leisure stay in the heart of Sandton, Africa’s richest square mile. Guests can arrive and leave via the Gautrain Station, just 55 steps away. Staff will accompany guests to and from the station. Sandton City Shopping Centre and Nelson Mandela Square are within walking distance too or one could just travel with the complimentary shuttle service (within a 5 km radius).
We arrived at the hotel on a Saturday afternoon. The expansive open-plan lobby extends all the way from the Central One Restaurant at the one end to the meeting rooms at the other end. The reception area in–between is flanked by trendy seating areas. High ceilings, and full-length glass windows and doors open out onto the terrace and pool deck, adding to the spacious and airy feeling, a far cry from the congested city outside.
There are 220 rooms at the hotel, including 20 suites. After checking in, we proceeded to our spacious Business Class rooms on the tenth floor. We had two adjacent rooms, for us and our children. Inner doors connected the inter-leading rooms, which was ideal as we could have our privacy but still keep an eye on them. There was a king size bed in our room and twin beds in the kids’ room. Both rooms had huge work desks and seating areas. Plush bathrobes and slippers were provided. The bathrooms had bath tubs and rain showers. The kids immediately made themselves comfortable with the family entertainment on TV, the complimentary wi-fi, and the hot chocolate provided, while my husband and I helped ourselves to Nespresso coffees.
We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon but as evening approached, it was time to head for the rooftop pool deck, one of the best venues to watch the sun set over Jozi. The deck is a popular meeting and socialising venue. It is also a great spot to relax in while you miss the peak hour traffic leaving Sandton in the evenings.
Dinner at Central One was something else we were looking forward to, having previously enjoyed a very memorable dinner there. We were not disappointed. We enjoyed a hearty three-course meal, which included dishes like Spicy Slow Roasted Tomato Soup, Mediterranean Seabass, and a decadent chocolate platter for dessert.
Breakfast ends at the leisurely hour of 11 on weekends, which meant that we could sleep in the following morning. I wish that all hotels would be as considerate! The breakfast itself was delicious. Apart from the wide range of cold buffet items which included the most succulent salmon, one could also order hot dishes. My husband and I had our favourite Salmon Eggs Benedict, while the kids had freshly made pancakes with whipped cream.
My family can’t stop talking about the amazing food we had at Central One. The good news is that you can enjoy the food there even if you are not staying at the hotel.
The Radisson Blu Gautrain is the only hotel in the Radisson Middle East, Europe and Africa region to have won two World Luxury Hotel awards in the same year – just two of its many accolades. It is a great hotel for a business trip, a couples’ getaway or a family vacation in the city.