As a Jozi resident, it isn't often you get to stay in any of the local hotels, apart from the those on the outskirts of town.
I attended a conference at the Gold Reef City Theme park a couple of days ago and i think in right by saying that if i was a Tourist in Johannesburg, it's exactly where i would want to stay.
i really liked the small village-style of the hotels layout. Its a number of buildings spread out in an old settler-type setting which is quite novel and a nice place to walk about.
This layout does have its drawbacks, though. The open street layout can create more noise than you would be used to from your standard hotel corridor, and the added wildlife in shape of a vocal peacock and a rooster with a sick sense of timekeeping, while initially charming, do have the ability by themselves to ruin a good night's sleep.
One of the bonuses, though, are the rooms. I was lucky enough to get a suite and it was one of the nicest I've stayed in. The interior belies the turn-of-the-century town outside - everything here is very contemporary, sharp and clean with tasteful modern furniture and plenty of space to walk around.
Breakfast and dinner are standard hotel-buffet fare - acceptable, but you would be better off finding somewhere off-site.
But the hotel's biggest drawcard actually has nothing to do with the bricks-and-mortar stuff.
While staying there it dawned on me how well positioned i was in relation to the major attractions in the greater joburg area - the location is fantastic.
Everything from the apartheid museum (okay, that's right next door) to Soweto and Newtown are all within ten minutes drive. And those attractions further afield like the Cradle of Humankind are also a relatively short trip thanks to the Hotel's proximity to the main higway systems.
I don't know why any propoer tourist (read not a business traveller) would stay in Sandton or Fourways - anything worthwhile seeing in Johannesburg is at least another 30-minutes away and the hotels are certainly not superior by any clear margin.
It's simple - if your holiday to SA includes a stop-over in Joburg, then you'd be an idiot not to stay here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Escape to an age of elegance and grandeur at the Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel. Located within Africa's biggest theme park hotel is reminiscent of an authentic turn-of-the-century mining town. Staying at the hotel also gives you free access to a multitude of fun filled attractions and entertainment in the Theme Park. Please note the Theme Park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.The adjacent Gold Reef City Casino complex offers a variety of dining and other entertainment options. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Protea Hotel Johannesburg