I have just checked out of the Sandton Sun and wanted to input this whilst still fresh in my head. I am constantly travelling for work and in hotels 3-4 nights a week clocking up over 180 room nights last year. This was my first trip to South Africa was told that Sandton was THE place to stay to ensure (as much as one can) safety and good amenities. I stayed at the Sandton Sun for 18 nights and was highly impressed from the minute I walked in the door. Upon going to reception I was taken to the 6th floor (business reception) where I was checked in and my bags were stored as the room wasn’t ready yet (I had arrived off the early arriving flight from UK). I was offered a shower so I freshened up and was ready for work.
Once can Imagine that spending 18 consecutive nights in one place could become monotonous. However the hotel is linked to probably THE most expensive shopping centre in South Africa and right next door to Nelson Mandela square so I wasn’t spoilt for choice. There are also plenty of seating areas where one can watch TV (e.g the grand prix at weekends) or you can head out to the open air area where there is seating, a small round pool and sun loungers – sun screen is definitely recommended. You are 6000ft above sea level so the air is much thinner and you will burn faster.
The hotel is basically a large triangle with a hollow middle. The rooms are all around the outside with all the amenities in the middle on the 6th floor which makes for an airy feel to the place (see picture). I have seen reports that it is gloomy and beige – yes the decor is all in brown and gold but the light doesn’t make it feel dark and gloomy at all.
There are 3 restaurants, Vilamoura which is on the ground level and very expensive but has exquisite service, Vin which is more a la carte dining and in a small area next to the open plan kitchen and San which is the main eating area and which is a joined to the outside area – this is also where breakfast is served.
There is a medium sized fitness centre with 3 running machines, 3 cycles and free weights – all have TVs so you can lose time exercising. The hotel is joined by two tunnels one to the shopping cntre and the other to the convention centre (the gym is ¼ way down this tunnel)
Approaching the weekends there is jazz saxophone music played on the outside area with open flame firepits to keep warm – great for a drink.
The hotel offers free wi-fi which is operated by a 7 day voucher so if you stay for longer you need to go back and get another. The wi-fi can suffer at peak times as lots of businessmen are video conferencing from laptops in the lounge.
Generally (90% of time) the service is incredible. There can be a couple of times especially eating in the outside section when food service and general service can be slow but overall it is very good. Very quickly you will spot the good staff and they can’t do enough to help. If you can find and get seated in Sindi’s section at breakfast and Gabrielle’s section at dinner you won’t go wrong. Tipping is between 10-15% and I didn’t hesitate as the service was excellent.
At the business centre (where you will ask most of your questions and need assistance) Abbigail is another example of what service should be like, I never felt like I was imposing and she always managed to assist. I know the manager reads these and I would hope he passes on my feedback to these individuals.
The hotel also offers a free shuttle to and from most places in Sandton such as local offices, or places you are visiting locally. This is essential at night for security and a welcome facility.
The food is very good. Breakfast is open buffet and has what you would find at any Hilton, Marriott etc – cereals, freshly squeezed juice, cakes breads, meats, cheeses, hot food etc. On the weekends the hot food is self service buffet but during the week
Dinner is generally very good although I did have the same meal a couple of times in a row and presentation and makeup of the dish varied considerably. There are two menus to choose from at San, the a la carte and the lounge menu. The a la carte has about 5 things per course and the lounge menu has more light bites etc. All ingredients are ultra fresh and it is encouraging to see the kitchen preparing your food behind you. The prices aren’t too bad either. A three course meal without wine comes in at about 250-350 Rand (about £25-£35). Wine and beer are the same as you would pay back in the UK. Interestingly the wine is cheaper than many establishments in Nelson Mandela square where wine can start at 500 Rand. Beer is about 30-50 Rand a drink.
The hotel is very good value for money. The hotel is classed as 5 star and I would rate it equivalent to most large London Hilton’s or Marriotts. It’s probably 4-4.5 star in reality. This would be a London equivalent of approx £200 per night.
My room had a king bed which was very comfortable. The bedding was changed every day. My only gripe would be that because of the shape of the hotel and the fact it has a 20 storey open space up the middle, that when there is large gatherings (at weekends and some evenings) you hear all the noise up on the top floor which could get annoying.
Overall the hotel was very clean. All the public areas are very well maintained – you will oftern share a lift with hotel staff polishing the brass work in the lifts. The room and bathroom are maintained every day.
As mentioned above, the hotel is slap bang in the middle of the Sandton shopping area and a 5 minute walk to Nelson Mandela square. There is also plenty of things close by such as the Gautrain which takes you right to O R Tambo airport in 15 minutes.
I stayed in 2029. The room is quite large – judging from experience of Hiltons, it is probably 25sqm or larger. You have a king sized bed, large wardrobe with digital safe, 20inch flat screen TV, complimentary mini bar which is stocked each day with coke products, water and fizzy grape juice. There is also a Nespresso coffee machine with capsules refreshed every day, a BOSE sound dock for your ipod, an international socket bar so that you can use UK, SA or European plugs (although the reception will give you a SA adaptor for a 100 Rand deposit). If you can get a high floor on the side where the business centre is then you will get a spectacular view across Sandton (see pic). The windows open all the way (sliding) so you need to be ultra careful with anything you stick out there like iphones etc when taking pictures – it’s a long way down. There is a turndown service each night with yet more water placed by your bedside, a chocolate and fresh slippers. At the corners of the hotel on each floor are larger suites which you will see by the door bell outside them. Each of the rooms has a privacy switch which when activated puts a red light on outside your room so the maid won’t catch you asleep or “otherwise”.
Given the chance I will definitely stay at this hotel again.
Stay on a high floor on the side with the lifts.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC