Luxury, SunLux Style
PHOTO: The Royal Livingston offers al fresco dining beneath the canopy of the Monkey Tree. (All photos courtesy of Sun International)
Sun International’s SunLux collection spans the corners of sub-Saharan Africa, providing guests with luxurious hotel stays designed to reflect the authenticity of the destinations themselves.
The five-star properties, which are members of The Leading Hotels of the World, include South Africa’s Palace of the Lost City at Sun City and The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, and the Royal Livingstone Hotel in Zambia.
The final link in the collection is the recent addition of the four-star Maslow Hotel in Johannesburg, which serves as a gateway to Africa’s Golden Triangle and SunLux properties in South Africa and Zambia.
The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City
The Palace of the Lost City, constructed on the site of an extinct volcanic crater, serves as the flagship property within the four-hotel Sun City Resort complex.
PHOTO: A king suite at the Palace of the Lost City.
It is themed after a myth of a regal African city destroyed by an earthquake and eventually forgotten. African artifacts line the halls and public spaces, and extend into the presidential suites, one of which houses crowns of royal South Africans.
The hotel’s 335 suites are divided into three wings and feature views of the pool or the Gary Player-designed Lost City Golf Course.
The view from the Grill Room steakhouse is also pretty spectacular. The restaurant overlooks the Palace lakes, with fire-lit lanterns illuminating walking paths at night. Those looking for a fine dining experience should consider Plume, which features Afro-French fusion cuisine.
Guests will be hard pressed to sample all the activities at their disposal. The resort is equipped with a second — and more challenging — Gary Player golf course, tennis courts, casino, the world’s longest zip slide, an entertainment center with a cinema, a manmade beach with watersports, and the Valley of the Waves waterpark.
Visitors also have the chance to explore the Palace’s next-door neighbor, the malaria-free Pilanesberg Nature Reserve, by hot air balloon or on a sunset safari game drive.
Table Bay Hotel
South Africa’s late President Nelson Mandela officiated at the opening of the 329-room Table Bay Hotel in 1997. Depending on your vantage point, the Cape Town property affords views of Robben Island and the Atlantic Ocean or Table Mountain. The landmark hotel distinguishes itself from other waterfront area hotels with its iconic blue roof, Victorian design and Old World glamour.
As soon as guests arrive, porters whisk their bags away and they enter a nautically themed lounge with a grandiose high tea served every afternoon.
Suites and guestrooms feature marble-topped vanities and tubs, walk-in showers and butler stations with tea and coffee. All accommodations feature views of one kind or another. The three presidential-style suites, for example, are named after the mountains they face: the Signal Hill, Lions Head and Table Mountain.
Travelers will soon realize that food takes front-and-center stage in Cape Town, which is home to a generous number of standout restaurants in town. The same can be said for Table Bay’s restaurants, which offer a creative spin on South African dishes.
Dinner at the intimate Camissa restaurant features a menu mixing Malay, Indian and South African cuisines with and seasonal ingredients. Foodies can even embark on a foraging expedition with the hotel’s Executive Chef Jocelyn Myers-Adams for edible flora and fauna, followed by a cooking workshop with these foraged ingredients.
The complimentary breakfast buffet in the Atlantic restaurant serves 250 hot and cold options — from omelets to oysters.
The hotel also provides guests with easy access to the Victoria Wharf Shopping Center via an onsite escalator.
The Royal Livingstone
There are a few ways in which to arrive at The Royal Livingstone in Zambia, but one of the most scenic has to be by water taxi along the Zambezi River.
Located inside the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, the hotel itself features beautiful grounds, from which visitors can see mist coming from nearby Victoria Falls. They can also walk to the falls via private route. The hotel’s location inside the park has another perk: Wildlife — giraffes, baboons and zebras — routinely roam the grounds.
The hotel building is designed in the colonial style. Its open-air lounge is appointed with maps and artifacts from David Livingstone, the English explorer who discovered Victoria Falls in 1855.
The hotel’s colonial-style ambiance extends to the 173 guestrooms, which feature butler service, Victorian-style tubs, tribal décor and enclosed verandas with wicker furniture.
The property’s porch serves as a popular venue for high tea and for viewing setting sun over the river.
Daytime activities start early and include such options as breakfast on Livingstone Island and a swim in Devil’s Pool along an edge of Victoria Falls and a microlight flight tour of the falls.
Evenings activities are decidedly more sedate, with options that include a six-course dinner on board a restored 1920s steam train, The Royal Livingstone Express; or a dining experience beneath the canopy of the Monkey Tree.
The 281-room Maslow is tucked away in the Johannesburg business and shopping district of Sandton near Nelson Mandela Square. Although it is not a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, it nonetheless provides guests with such luxury amenities as Molton Brown toiletries.
PHOTO: The pool at the Maslow.
The property offers travelers a soothing and civilized spot to rest before heading to SunLux properties in South Africa and Zambia.
Guests can unwind in the Africology Spa, whose products and treatments are holistically inspired.
In the Lacuna Bistro, the hotel’s main restaurant overlooking the main gardens, the menu focuses on South African fare using herbs grown from the rooftop garden, and other ingredients from nearby farms.
“We believe in local produce,” says Keletso Kowa, The Maslow’s public relations and marketing manager. “The chef has taken the opportunity to go and visit the suppliers and ensure it’s all organic.”
For more information, visit suninternational.com.
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A version of this article appears in print in the November 2015 issue of Vacation Agent Magazine.
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