Cnr Fifth & Alice Lane, Sandton 2146, Johannesburg, South Africa
Air Conditioning, Airport Transportation, Babysitting, Bar/Lounge, Business Center, Concierge, Conference Center, Conference Room, Dry Cleaning, Family Rooms, Fitness Center, Free High-Speed Internet, Free Parking, In-room safe, Internet, Laundry Service, Meeting Rooms, Minibar, Non-Smoking, Parking, Reduced mobility rooms, Restaurant, Room Service, Safety Deposit Boxes, Shops, Shuttle Bus Service, Smoking Rooms Available, Spa, Suites, Swimming Pool, Tours, Wheelchair Access, Wifi
The Sandton Sun has a look of faded glamor to it, which is perhaps why it is undergoing renovations for...
The Sandton Sun has a look of faded glamor to it, which is perhaps why it is undergoing renovations for much of 2015 — the place needs a bit of freshening up to match its reputation as one of the best hotels in Sandton City. (Rooms are unavailable for booking until late 2015, but the spa and restaurant remain open.)
From the outside, the glass and steel monolith looks a bit cold and imposing, but once you enter, you’re dazzled by the gold-tinted décor complemented with hues of brown and orange. Behind the reception desk is a wall relief which has African tribal echoes, and avant-garde chandeliers cast a warm glow over every room.
The hotel is actually structured as two cavernous atria stacked on top of each other: when you enter the ground floor the ceiling rises up five floors, with escalators zipping you from reception, to the spa, to the health club and finally the sixth-floor restaurant complex. Above the restaurant the hollowed-out interior rises a dozen or so more floors, with wood-paneled terraces circling the perimeter.
Rooms are comfortable but not fantastic, although they have all the mod cons you’d expect in a top-tier hotel: minibar, flat-screen TV, DVD player, and espresso machine. The décor is done in muted browns and beiges, but looks a little tired and the standard room I had was a bit on the small side. The bathrooms are tiled and modern, but again, look like they haven’t been updated in more than a decade. The towel warmers were a nice touch, but the shower was a bit confusing to operate. My room happened to be located right next to the lift on the 19th floor, which meant it was a bit noisy at times, and the atrium, though impressive to behold, does radiate sound from the restaurant below.
Other than those small glitches, the hotel is a lovely place to stay. If you get a chance, eat in the San Restaurant and have a sundowner drink on the San Deck, where you can enjoy impressive views over the city. And the spa is one of the best I’ve ever been to in Joburg: the design is gorgeous, the therapists are experienced and friendly, and the prices are quite reasonable. Go have a body treatment, even if you can’t stay in the hotel overnight.
I was not able to try the on-site gym since it was under renovation, and guests were being re-directed to the gym at the Intercontinental next door. And that’s another huge plus for the Sun: the location is absolutely perfect. It’s directly connected to the Sandton Convention Center via aerial skyway, and the mall and at least two dozen high-end restaurants are within two minutes walking distance.
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