Get Lost at The Palace in Sun City
One thing I have quickly learned about Africa is that once you visit, it steals your heart. It’s not a “once in a lifetime experience” as there are so many things to see and do, you’ll want to come back again and again. I had the pleasure of returning to South Africa this month to experience the Golden Triangle with Sunlux International, starting my journey with The Palace of The Lost City in Sun City, two hours west of Johannesburg.
First Impression: Upon arrival to The Palace of The Lost City, the grand entrance makes you feel like you’ve arrived to a palatial hotel, perhaps even a bit of Las Vegas meets Africa. I noticed immediately the majestic lobby complete with its beautiful grand dome, impressive columns and exquisite mosaic tiles was an near replica in architectural design of the Atlantis in the Bahamas. This is no coincidence as the resort once had the same owners. It was not Africa as I had ever experienced, but I was open to new experiences.
The Vibe: The rooms and décor can feel a bit kitschy but fun with an excess of African décor, zebra hides and leopard prints. My room was comfortable and handsome in décor. Once you relax and have fun with the highly African themed rooms and hotel grounds, you feel like you are in South Africa’s playground. The likes of Oprah and the King of Pop have all been guests of The Palace.
Wow Factor: This was African hospitality at its finest. Every staff member I encountered was warm, service-oriented and hospitable. I was blown away at just how welcoming everyone was and for me, this made the experience a memorable one.
Food For Thought: Enjoy a romantic dinner at Plume showcasing some of the best Afro-French fusion cuisine. While the resort has a large feel, this intimate setting makes for a special evening for couples and the service was unobtrusive yet attentive. Those in the know book a private dinner at the top of the Royal Tower overlooking Sun City. It’s the pinnacle of romance.
Don’t Miss: A foot massage poolside at The Palace with Nora. It’s positively heavenly and perfect for those having traveled a long journey. We loved it so much we indulged twice.
Perfect For: Families. There are so many things to do from safari, wave pools, bird sanctuary, world’s longest zip-line, Gary Player designed Lost City Golf Course, and The Maze of the Lost City. Couples will feel like big kids experiencing all the activities and can unwind at The Royal Salon Health Spa. My husband felt like Superman on the World’s Tallest and Fastest Zipline within the resort grounds.
What to Skip: Avoid excursions that take you to lion breeding centers nearby to pet cubs and walk with lions. There is much controversy that surrounds such reserves as to how the animals are acquired and where they are then sold, and it’s best to see the animals in their natural habitat. Get your fix of lions and the Big Five on a true African safari in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve.
Fun Fact: The Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler movie “Blended” was filmed here, but don’t expect it to be anything like the movie. It’s much more sophisticated than portrayed as the hotel is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. You’ll recognize an elephant like this from the movie.
Out of Africa Moment: Seeing a mother and baby hippo on the side of the road, a group or “crash” of rhino and other African animals was a highlight on the afternoon game drive on the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Schedule a Balloon Safari (weather permitting) for the ultimate view of the Big Five.
Getting There: Fly to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) – 11 hours from London Heathrow (LHR). It’s then a two hour car drive to The Palace in Sun City. En route you’ll notice a plethora of platinum and chrome mines, the largest producers of these metals in the world.