The 2021 World Travel Awards was recently held, and Sun City was named Africa's Leading Family Resort.
We recently visited the resort which coincided with the announcement.
Although we had very limited time at the resort (one night), we tried to make the most of it.
On arrival we were greeted by Dorah at the reception desk of the hotel, who incidentally assisted us with checking out the next day. Dorah was very helpful and went through everything thoroughly so we had a clear understanding of what was included in our package.
We checked in at Sun Soho Hotel, one of 4 hotels at the Sun City Resort. The others include: Cabanas, Cascades, and The Palace of the Lost City. There is also a self catering/ time share option available at the Sun Vacation Club located on the resort.
Our room was located on the 5th floor which had a balcony that overlooked the picturesque Pilanesberg mountains and luscious green Gary Player Country Club.
The fully sanitised room had an inter-leading door to the next room (it was locked for us), so if you were to book in with a family and have older kids, they could have a separate room.
Inside the room was:
- A Queen sized bed
- A Sleeper couch
- A Work desk with a night lamp
- Tea/Coffee space with a kettle
- A Mini Fridge stocked with two ice cold Sun City bottled Still Water
- A TV with the DSTV hotel bouquet, as well as online streaming channels
- An Aircon
- Ample cupboard space with a safe
- A Bathroom with a shower, basin, toilet, and bath, and basic amenities which included a hand sanitiser
We visited the famous Valley of Waves, but only managed to spend a few minutes in the waves as the gates to the water park open at 9a.m, and we had to check out at 11a.m.
The Valley of Waves is a world class water park with a man-made palm beach with white sand, and a lagoon which generates waves which rise to 2 metres every 90 seconds.
Inside the Valley of Waves are also water slides, a designated kids area, and a relaxing river-like water route which you can travel along with a tube. We hope to explore more of these activities at a later stage. There are also eating places located in the Valley of Waves, lockers for your valuables, and change rooms.
Eating places are situated throughout the resort with eateries like Hard Rock Cafe located around the entertainment area just below the hotel that we stayed in, as well as a few fast food take aways and restaurants like Nando's, Simply Asia, and Steers at Sun Central.
Sun Central is home to:
- The Welcome Centre
- A central bus station which links to all the stops around the resort
- Retail Stores
- Conference and Concert Venue - the Superbowl
- Magic Company which is a kids entertainment area with Ten Pin Bowling and Arcade Games
- South African Hall of Fame
- SunMovies movie theatre
- And is also the thoroughfare to the Valley of Waves.
Further up pass Sun Central, is the Sun Vacation Club which has a few family restaurants like Spur and Ocean Basket. For dinner, we were craving some seafood so we visited Ocean Basket. The service was quick and efficient, and the sushi and our seafood platter was well prepared - definitely worth the 2 and half hour drive from Johannesburg.
Our visit was a collaboration with Matchbox and Sun City, as part of the Matchbox Drive Your Dream Car (#DriveYourDreamCar) Campaign.
We took full advantage of driving our Matchbox cars around the resort, and found that Sun City was the perfect place to take them on an adventure, while discovering that the resort, like Matchbox, are making an effort to conserve the environment.
Sun City now offers guests a service to be driven around the resort in an all electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-PACE. Although the busses are still operational, the ride hailing service seemed to be more commonly used throughout the resort. Previously there used to be a "mini Gautrain", called the Sky Car, which shuttled guests around, but it did not look like it was operational on our recent visit.
Golf carts are also used in some parts of the resorts as there are two world-renowned golf courses on site.
Outside each hotel there is a private pool area for guests of that hotel. The pool at the Soho Hotel is located in front of the breakfast area - but beware of the monkeys who seem to gather at the pool when the sun is rising, and again before the sun sets.
Breakfast is a COVID regulated buffet, meaning everything is pre-packed, and all the tables are sanitized before and after guests arrive.
There is a wide selection to choose from like; yoghurts, cereals, fresh fruit, croissants, muffins, flapjacks, fruit juice, tea and coffee.
A Halaal hot food section is also provided where Chef Magdeline prepared our omelettes stuffed with mushrooms, onions, tomato, cheese and peppers, and paired it with a lamb and a chicken sausage, hashbrowns, beans, and mushrooms.
Overall we had a pleasant night's stay, but you would need at least 3 - 5 days to enjoy and explore the entire resort as there are many other activities including The Maze of the Lost City, Waterworld, Kwena Gardens Crocodile Sanctuary, and a game drive to the neighbouring Pilanesberg National Park (Pilanesberg Game Reserve).
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