Retail therapy and five-star luxury – what more could a girl ask for?
I was recently invited to spend a night at Sandton Sun with my husband. I had been to the hotel before and always enjoyed my stay there but it had been a few years since my last visit, so of course I said yes. It was also a great opportunity to check out the new upgrade.
As we arrived at the hotel on Saturday afternoon, the friendly doorman rushed to open my door for me while the efficient porter came to escort my luggage. We entered the opulent reception area on the ground floor and after the quick check-in, we were escorted to our room on the 18th floor by the porter who proceeded to show us around our room, where a welcome platter of fresh fruit and chocolates awaited us.
The rooms were refurbished last year and look amazing. Our spacious, en-suite room consisted of a king-sized bed, a sofa lounger, a work-station, a coffee-station with a Nespresso machine and a mini-bar, and a large flat-screen TV. The décor is elegant with most of the furniture in dark wood, accented by elegant touches like the full-length gilt-edged mirror, the tasteful artwork, the unique chandelier and the bejewelled door-handles on the wardrobe. Even the bathrooms have been renovated and look great. I was constantly drawn to the large windows in the room to admire the great views of the skyline.
It was obvious that a lot of thought had gone into re-designing the rooms. A plush bathrobe and comfortable slippers were provided in the wardrobe and the safe was large enough to hold more than one laptop as well as other items. I loved the USB plug-points on the wall which made it so convenient to charge both my phones at the same time. It is something I often have a problem with at other hotels where we have multiple devices that need charging but barely any outlets to charge them.
The hotel has 326 rooms and suites, including family rooms, studio rooms with kitchenettes and 3 stunning presidential suites. A massive chandelier spanning 14 floors dangles from the centre of the hotel. There are meeting rooms and conference facilities as well as a well-equipped fitness centre. A free shuttle service to Gautrain station is available, which is great if you're not driving.
Apart from the reception area on the ground floor and the spa, most of the public areas are on the 6th floor. This is where you will find the renowned San Restaurant and San deck, which is one of the trendiest spots for after-work sundowners in Johannesburg’s Northern suburbs. The views of the Sandton skyline are absolutely amazing, especially at sunset. There are sofas arranged around fire pits and cane swings to relax in. The swimming pool is also on the deck. The place was buzzing on Saturday night with live music and a steady stream of Joburgers entering. Indoors, there’s a coffee lounge with a small library as well.
Sandton Sun is a shopaholics dream. The retail therapy begins the moment you step into the blingy Diamond Walk skywalk on the 6th floor, which connects the hotel to Sandton City shopping centre, and you are greeted by the store fronts of some of the world’s most-wanted brands, like Jimmy Choo, Versace, Armani and Prada. And if your husband, like mine, hates shopping, you can leave him happily ensconced in the comfortable room with the complimentary wi-fi while you shop to your heart's content. Oh, bliss!
Dinner is served indoors or on the deck. We chose to dine indoors near the fireplace as it was chilly outside. We enjoyed a 4-course meal consisting of seasonal seafood and vegetarian dishes like Sea Bass with Bok-Choi and Fennel, and Thai Vegetable Canneloni. There were other options available too. The kitchen is open and you can watch the chefs as they prepare your food. The food was delicious, and I was really impressed by the presentation. The service from our waiter, Bruce, was commendable.
Breakfast was a combination of a huge cold buffet and hot dishes a-la-carte. Of course, I had the Eggs Royale (Salmon Eggs Benedict), which I always have if it’s on the menu. Later, we had freshly baked croissants, drizzled with white chocolate and filled with a white custard. They were incredible.
The Sandton Sun Spa is one of my favourite spas and offers a blend of massage treatments from around the world. Although I didn’t get an opportunity to visit on this occasion – because I was too busy shopping – I have been there for treatments before. The spa has 8 treatment rooms with soothing names like Replenish, Revive, Rejoice, and Reflect. Each room is fitted with a personal toilet, shower, and closet to ensure that you are comfortable and secluded. I wish more spas had this! You also get to personalise your experience by choosing your music, fragrance and lighting options.
It is easy to see why Sandton Sun is so popular with local and international travelers. It is, after all, one of the top hotels in Sandton. I had a great time and will definitely be returning.
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