When listing the best of Africa’s premier destinations, it’s hard not to mention South Africa’s very own Sun City, an internationally recognized center given many eulogistic reviews for its superb offering of hotels, attractions and world-class events. From the luxurious opulence of the casual extravagance of the Cascades, the glam of the yearly Nedbank Golf Challenge to the tropical spellbinding of the Valley of Waves, this Southern African destinations is in the offing of an abundant to see in a malaria-free landscape.
The huge Sun City Resort Complex is almost 20 km in circumference, a gargantuan, lavish extravaganza of cutting-edge hotels, glittering entertainment centers, restaurants, gaming centers, shops, discos and long-stretching, beauteously landscaped grounds. Rated among the world’s most unusually conceived and most luxurious island resorts, Sun City is truly one of the best places in the world to be, and so for a cornucopia of reasons. There are many reasons people visit this place, some for fun, others for the lavish relaxation and a handful of other visitors for the golfing.
For a place that offers a litany of exciting resort activities, a vibrant nightlife and range of accommodation for family fun and romantic escapes, having four different arms or types of hotel is just about ideal. Asides its particular wonderful sporting facilities and the magical Valley of Waves water parks, Sun City delivers that promised second-to-none experience and accommodation to suit the taste and needs of every guest, any day and any time.
Of the four hotel offerings, the Cascades seem to be the most prominent. The accommodation service has a tiered silhouette which it derives from the charm and contribution of its tropical surroundings such as the Aztec temple.
Thanks to the endlessly cascading waterways, there’s a unique ambience added to the hotel, making it something similar to secret paradise set in a lush green land of many a wonder. Cascade Hotels has a total of 243 rooms, all of which are fed by breathtaking views over the landscaped gardens and the chapters of sparkling pools that sit in between the cascading waterways.
From each window in this hotel arm, guests can enjoy what can be termed to be a watery experience which invigorates the entire essence of staying in a tropical destination. The hotel is also home to a selection of last word restaurants and prides itself in nothing less than three pools that never tank the swimming experience. There’s a kiddies pool and a heated pool, with the perfect additions of a private beach and tanning island.
The rooms in the Cascade are centrally located to make a leisurely stroll to the rolling green to access the Gary Player Country Club. A just-as-gentle walkway in the other direction takes you to the grand entrance of the resort’s primary Entertainment Center.
Sun City’s most inexpensive hotel, the Cabanas is easily the perfect location for the go-getters, trend-setters and young family groups. This is the one place in the resort where guests get the chance to enjoy the informal and cheerful island style atmosphere alongside the kaleidoscopic, multi-coloured views and the supervised kiddies playground. Oh, wait there's more - a fleet of family-friendly restaurants at the Palm Terrace.
The Cabanas Hotel is as well given a relevant central location, one which is in close proximity to the popular open-air kids’ activities, whose ever rolling lawns take you to the thrilling Waterworld.
Within the reach of a short stroll is Kamp Kwena, which has a children's centre, a playground and a farmyard that has different kinds of animals to feed your eyes with. You can also hop aboard the resort shuttle to the major Entertainment Center for where all things movie and screenplay takes place, where there’s also a gaming centre an array of kid-friendly eat spots.
The rooms in this arm of Sun City’s hotelling total to 380, each of which features high-speed internet connectivity, tea and coffee-making machines, reliable air conditioners, a safe for your valuables and a TV for your in-house comfort and entertainment.
Palace Of The Lost City
Have you ever heard of the lost African kingdom? This hotel arm in Sun City feeds of off its myth, set on the highest ground in the resort to ensure that it grandest of proportions as well as its gorgeous towels are within eye’s reach from the other end of the resort.
The Palace of the Lost City is usually called the fantasy of an African palace that is spiced up with every bit of detail possible, from the stately volumes of the lobby and dining experience enlivened by mosaics, frescoes and fountains that do well to bring out the architectural enhancement. While the streams murmur and the waterfalls keep gushing, the sculpture-lined walkways lead between the hotel and its serene gardens, golf course and all the way to the Valley of Waves.
The hotelling structure is bounded ear to ear by evergreen botanical gardens that have been crisscrossed with hiking trail, affording nothing short of a magical view of the natural surroundings and an equally enchanting feel guests can wander and get lost in. Just across from the painstakingly adorned Grand Pool lies the main dining area.
The pool facility is circled with plush loungers that soak up the sunshine, even as a considerable number of waiters are standby, waiting to do virtually your bidding to satisfy the needs of your stomach. It’s not just about the setting, idyllic nature or ambience of the Palace of the Lost City that’s that interesting, but everything compounded with bespoke service that makes guests feel very much like blue bloods upon arrival that makes the departure from the hotel a reluctant one.
The Soho Hotel
A glamorous name that speaks grandiosity, this is Sun City’s first and foremost hotel, central to the resort. The Soho Hotel is an ideal position, which does the job of catering to guests that want to soak up in the sun around a majestic pool, soothe their nerves in a luxurious spa or double down on their handicap on a championship golf course.
Soho is home to a variety of top-notch restaurants, some of the finest casino salon prives. Overlooking the much-talked-about Gary Player Golf Course, which acts as an umbrella to the annual Nedbank Golf Challenge, this hotel is only a few minutes away from the popular Gary Country Club, equipped with its gym, spa, restaurant and a very own pro shop. The fleet of rooms is perfect for days on which you can indulge in your most cringe-worthy pastimes and nights of winning, dining and magnificent thrill at the tables.
In Sun International’s flagship resort, the Soho Hotel was initially built in 1979 and was named Main Hotel. It was recently that it was rebranded to encapsulate the real meaning of the renowned Soho destinations as located in London and New York City. These look-alikes are known for their popularity with the in-crowd, eclectic vibe and unending action.
The hotel has an iconic casino which started it all alongside a host of food and beverage outlets, revitalised bar and well-served nightclubs. Inside the accommodation space is the Sun City Theater has been refurbished to make some area for the millennial bar known as Vibes and nightclub called Encore - a contemporary dance venue.
Some come to Sun City for the natural habitat and others for the unique and storied waterways. The most of the rest come here for the golf. The South African destination is home to two great golf courses - the Gary Player Golf Course and the Lost City Golf Course. These make Sun City one of the country’s premier golfing locations, playing host to a pair of 18-hole, par 72 ranges designed by the famous South African Gary Player. Both courses have been built to maximise the challenge for every handicap of golfer.
Gary Player Golf Course
Located just in front of the Soho Hotel and Cascades Hotel, this golf course is the one that hosts the annual Nedbank Golf Challenge, with a prize offer of $2 million always up for grabs for the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson. The Gary Player Golf course has been home to some of the most significant games and hosted some of the biggest names in golfing history.
The course has been smartly engineered with imaginatively placed bunkers and multiple tees to afford both newbies and established albatrosses a satisfying round. Offering a near-perfect playing surface, the Kikuyu fairways and bent grass are also lovely to see.
The range provides a social hub for players and spectators alike, while it has gastronomic houses that overlook the rolling greens. There’s also a pro shop that boasts of global-standard golfing equipment, most of which are items golfers can just not do without. A modern gym, a luxurious spa and a 5km running trail that expands with the course, there’s just about everything fantastic in Gary Player Golf Course.
Lost City Golf Course
Yet designed by the same man, the Lost City Golf course is the not-so-different flipside of Sun City’s golfing glory. It’s a par 72 cart course that’s been completed with a trendy clubhouse and within strolling distance from The Palace of the Lost City.
One of the ways in which it differentiates itself from its brother range is its featuring of a water hazard of 20 live Nile crocs on the 13th hole. Lost City Golf Course, which is also inspired by the myth of the lost African kingdom, offers facilities such as a driving range and a golf pro shopped that’s equipped with teeing must-haves.
Established in 1993, the course covers over 100 hectares with a variety of themes, from parkland to deserts and mountains, incorporative a praiseworthy 28 00 m sq of water features. Well, fairways are generally open, but do not so much of a wayward golfer because there is an abundance of waste bunkers to catch errant shots.
Well, that you are not a fan of golf does not imply that a stay at Sun City will be an overly boring one, because there are lots of other fun activities you can engage in to make your visit all the more worthwhile.
From the Valley of Waves to Sun City Waterworld, you just can’t get wet enough. These two theme parks give you a chance to slide and ride, as well as indulge in some action-packed water sports. The Lost City’s flagship attraction is Valley of the Waves, where you’ll get the exhilarating water slides on a palm-fringed beach always gently bombarded by lapping waves. Then, the resort’s lake is home to Waterworld, and that is where the attractions seem endless, including fun activities for an entire family - from literally bumping bumper jets to exciting parasailing.
Sun City delivers when it comes to show-stoppers for the whole family, at both day and night: movies, live shows, high-end shopping - you name it. There’s the Sun City Superbowl, one of the most beautiful concert venues in S.A, hosting sporting events, beauty pageants and international exhibitions to mention but a few. You can Netflix at the Moviezone, where the current box office releases show daily at two cinemas on the upper level of the Sun City Entertainment Center.
At the Soho Hotel is the Sun City Theater which stages cabaret productions fed by great acts, cool costumed and trendy funk. You can also put on your dancing shoes or buy some at Silhouette Nightclub or the shopping centres provided in each hotel arm.
The Sun City resort is also near a pair of South Africa's best malaria-free wildlife reserves: the Pilanesberg National Park, and the Madikwe Game Reserve. These reserves are both highly recommended for family safaris. There are many activities on offer surrounding Sun City, from clay-pigeon shooting to horse riding to adrenaline-fuelled zip lining, and the resort’s Welcome Centre is the information and booking hub for all these great experiences.