Cnr. Nothern Parkway & Data Crescent, Ormonde, Johannesburg 2159, South Africa
Air Conditioning, Banquet Hall, Business Center, Casino, Conference Center, Conference Room, Dry Cleaning, Family Rooms, Fitness Center, Free High-Speed Internet, Free Parking, In-room safe, Internet, Kids Activities, Meeting Rooms, Minibar, Non-Smoking, Parking, Reduced mobility rooms, Restaurant, Room Service, Satellite TV, Smoking Rooms Available, Suites, Wheelchair Access, Wifi
One night is nowhere near enough time to see everything Gold Reef City has to offer. The casino, theme park...
One night is nowhere near enough time to see everything Gold Reef City has to offer. The casino, theme park and the nearby Apartheid Museum At Freedom Park all beckoned, and I wanted to see them all.
I was exhausted when I checked in late to the Gold Reef City casino hotel. The hotel staff was helpful and patient, showing me how to connect to guest Wi-Fi, how to get my universal adapter to work and bringing me water.
This hotel has undergone a recent name change. It’s one of two Gold Reef City hotels in the Tsogo Sun/Southern Sun family. One is located in the Gold Reef City theme park and the other is nearby, and houses a casino. This created confusion and I checked in to the wrong hotel first before being redirected to the one where I had a reservation.
The casino hotel has the feel of a very big place so it surprised me to learn there are just 38 rooms. You pass through a metal detector with a body scanner to get into the cavernous lobby and casino beyond. The lobby was bright and full of gorgeous floral arrangements and over-the-top gilded elephants you might expect in a casino.
My room, by contrast, was a calm retreat that was dark even when the lights were on, and full of antiques. Staff put a bottle of J.C. Le Roux sparkling wine on my desk to make me feel welcome.
The hotel’s vintage theme included black-and-white framed photos of turn-of-the-century South African gentry who got rich on the city built literally on gold. Even the hotel’s glass elevator doors looked old-time, with filigree designs stenciled on them. There were separate hot-and-cold faucets in the bathroom.
The hotel casino was undergoing renovations to add a movie theater and bowling alley but you’d never have known it.
I awoke in the morning to the sounds of excited screaming from the walking-distance Gold Reef City Theme Park, where roller coasters, water rides and a newly renovated mine shaft are now the starring attractions.
Gold Reef City was once an old gold mine that closed in 1971. The park theme that was built around it to attract tourism is based on the gold rush that started in 1886 on the Witwatersrand. Park staff wear period costumes of the 1880s, and the park’s buildings are faithful to the period.
Grateful to be given late checkout, I walked to the theme park, where I perused the museum of gold mining. Guests can see gold as it appears naturally in ore, and watch the precious metal being poured into barrels.
I barely made it to excellent buffet at the hotel’s Pavilion Restaurant.
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