I travel fairly extensively and Sandton Sun is one of the real gems. The hotel is part of the South African owned “Southern Sun” hotel group with about 40 hotels throughout Africa. My other favorite hotels in this chain include the Cullinan in Cape Town and the Beverly Hill in Umhlanga (truly a magnificent location and impeccable service). Southern Sun offers one of the easiest to use Frequent Guest programs I have ever utilized. Rewards are simply 10% to 20% depending on your reward tier of whatever you spend, paid to you in Sun Rands. In addition you receive additional perks plus discounts of up to 20% on food and beverages depending on your reward tier level. More Hotel Chains, Airlines and Car Hire companies could benefit by adopting this type of Frequent Guest rewards model. South Africa offers many leading international hotel chains (Hilton, Holiday Inn, Fairmont, Hyatt, Radisson all of which I use outside of South Africa) but nobody does hospitality in South Africa like Southern Sun.
Back to Sandton Sun itself. What I like best about this hotel is location, location, location. Not only is it right next door to the world class Sandton City Mall and Nelson Mandela Square shopping centre, it is directly connected by a walkway to the Sandton City Mall and office tower block with over 300 shops and restaurants, a food court, banking hall a cinema complex and is very close to the convention center. As much as Sandton is the commercial hub of South Africa, the hotels swimming pool area is a little oasis in the city and a great place to relax. The bad news for the hotel was that with such a variety of restaurants in the neighborhood we did not make much use of the hotel restaurants this trip. When coming home late on occasions we ordered room service and they even turned a simple snacks of toasted (grilled) cheese and spaghetti bolognaise into gourmet, well presented meals. As an added convenience there is a no charge mini bar fridge which is restocked daily with juice, soda and water
On first arrival at the Sandton Sun I was greeted at the front door by Amos one of the porters with “Hi Mr Hill how are you, how are your wife and children”. It made my trip. How he remembered my name I have no idea, it was at least 12 months since we were previously in South Africa at Sandton Sun. Also the last time I recall seeing Amos he was working at a competing hotel during the 2010 Soccer World Cup and I could not get into Sandton Sun as it was 100% full on this memorable occasion. I remembered Amos because he stood out there too. On this particular visit to South Africa we had organized our trip by using Sandton as a hub, by first staying at Sandton Sun, then on to Cape Town (Cullinan Hotel) then back to Sandton Sun for a few nights, then to the Kruger park, then back to Sandton Sun for five days before flying home. Amos truly provided an exceptional customer experience, taking bags, carrying shopping, parcels and dry cleaning giving advice and suggestions at every opportunity, forever smiling and greeting and always going above and beyond. I had not been looking forward to all of these hotel check in and check outs but Amos and another friendly porter (his name unfortunately escapes me) always made the experience pleasant. And yes we had between the four of us 8 suitcases, 2 overnight bags, 3 computer bags, parcels etc.
Check in and check out and front desk access was so simple with the added convenience that Frequent Guest members have have their own separate reception area on the fourth floor at the business center. Here, the Sandton Sun team, especially Julian took care of our every request. On one occasion at check in the room was not ready, not that I really expected it to be, I was checking in at 11:00 in the morning, I was offered juice, tea or coffee, a comfy chair and a newspaper while I waited less than 30 minutes and they hurried housekeeping along. Yes tiny things did need occasional correction during the stay; but they were always taken care of immediately and resolved, first time. We were a family of four people and were upgraded to a corner room plus a corridor room on the 14th floor. We made some comments on how we really liked the corner room and both times we checked in afterwards we were checked into interleading corner rooms on 14th floor again. I am convinced this was by the hotels attention to detail not by coincidence. On the final day of departure we asked for late checkout (3 pm) absolutely no problem and no charge.
Even on the days the hotel was full to capacity over New Year, service did not suffer. In fact the only reason I knew the hotel was full was the secure underground parking cordoned off in an area for hotel guests was full and I had to park in the general mall parking area. My one complaint if any, I wished there was a shortcut from the hotel parking area to the hotel.
You can obtain cheaper hotels in the Sandton area but Sandton Sun offers exceptional value for money, five star standards, a great location and a wonderful guest experience. All I can say is we will be back, in fact I have already provisionally booked for December 2012 and January 2013 using Sandton Sun hotel as a hub again. Of course, I will also be making use of those Sun Rands accumulated from the last trip.
Hill family – stayed a total of 14 nights in two rooms on three separate occasions between December 8th 2011 and January 3rd 2012.
- Also Known As:
- Sandton Sun Hotel Sandton
- Sun Hotel Sandton
- Sandton Sun Greater Johannesburg
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of Johannesburg's business district and connected to the most luxurious shopping centre in the city, the hotel offers 5-star accommodation and a range of business and leisure facilities to all travellers, including state-of-the-art boardrooms, conference and banquet facilities. The menus at the award-winning restaurants are seasonal and sustainable while the outdoor deck offers breath-taking views of the city. Everything from an on-site deli to a luxurious spa can be found under one roof, highlighting accessibility and connectivity ... more less
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