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“Good service but hotel is tired! In need of an upgrade”

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The Palace of the Lost City
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Sun City
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Good service but hotel is tired! In need of an upgrade”
Reviewed December 19, 2012

We stayed for one night at this hotel. After agreeing to pay the exorbitant nightly rate, I was expecting much more. The lobby is huge and impressive, the check in fast and efficient (somewhat like being on a factory line) and the explanations of the facilities and activities good. The service is very good. Wine and fruit were brought to our room by an attendant, asking us what we'd prefer. If you want to visit the gym,spa, casino or any other part of the complex private shuttle drivers in luxury vehicles whisk you over. Another example of great service.

The rooms are tired! The furniture is chopped, the towels are worn and paint is peeling off the walls. And all this for $600 a night???? The balconies can't be used as there is no furniture on the balcony and guests are asked to keep the doors locked for fear the monkeys will come in. Bird dropping and dust is on the floor of the balcony.

I can see why there's an attraction to take kids to this complex; good pool, wave pool, zip-lining, movies and safari.

The facilities at the Palace of the Lost city are good (great pool) but once you step out of the hotel area the crowds of people (day trippers and guests of the other hotels in the complex) are annoying and loud. This area is the epitome of the African version of Vegas.

I think this hotel is over priced and in need of an overall - especially if they want to continue charging the very high rates! Until then, I wouldn't go.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank longtimetraveller16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (321)
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
281 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 382 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2012

We visited the Palace of the Lost City when it first opened and recently went back nearly 20 years later, and very impressed with how exceptionally well kept the property is. The rooms have not been renovated but meticulously cleaned and maintained over the 2 decades since the opening of this flagship resort of Sun International.

This is Africa so it is not reasonable to compare service delivery with countries in the Far East and high-end hotels in the US and Europe but for African standards the service is good and the staff truly represent genunine Bophuthatswana hospitality. We met some staff at breakfast who have been there for over 15 years and still going strong.

The rooms facing the pool enjoy a small balcony and are quite spacious. The bathrooms are well laid out with a deep soaking tub with marble surround, separate loo, walk-in shower and twin basins, closet forms part of the bathroom and is large. Lovely use of dark toned woods, terracotta tiles and carpet.

Beds are very comfortable with good quality linen. The restaurants on site are all superb. The Villa del Palazzo remains a true cordon bleu Italian experience. Beautifully decorated, a first class restaurant. The buffet breakfast served in the Crystal Court ranks as one of the best buffet breakfasts ever experienced. Silver domes everywhere, a selection beyond reasonable expectation. Crepes like you've never tasted before!! The fruit selection is amazing as only could be found on African soil. Service exceptional. The casual dining outside and around the pool at the Palace Pool Deck is delightful and offers light fare with friendly staff.

One of the great joys of spending 4 or 5 nights at the Palace is taking time to appreciate its design and architecture. This property remains the crown jewel of Sun International and justifiably so. However, the grand old dame is showing signs of aging and this company is going to need to work hard at not letting the standards drop. Sometime soon major room renovations are going to be needed!!

Here are a few con's: there is no spa at the Palace - the closest spa is located at the Gary Player Gold Club at Sun City. Having to travel by shuttle bus to get to the spa proved to be a major inconvenience and we think this was shortfall in design from the very begining! The location, whilst embracing a true "lost city" experience, is a 2,5 drive from OR Tambo International Airport and often not an easy drive dodging the occasional wandering goat and being cautious of vendors trying to sell you curio's on the side of the street! Not recommended to do this drive at night!

Overall a true grand majestic property in the middle of the African jungle. Exceptional by most standards but teetering on the brink of becoming outdated.

Room Tip: Rooms on the lower level, garden level, have water problems and damp is evident with musty smell! R...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
9 Thank Harv and Les C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2012

This was my third visit to the Palace but the first time with my children. When booking online I booked a family room as both my children, 10 and 11, where coming with. When arriving in the room I noticed that there was a sleeper couch in the room and the normal king size bed, when the bed was prepared that evening I was shocked to notice how old the bed was, it looked like a canoe and was extremely uncomfortable to sleep on. The service and friendliness of the staff was impecible, the breakfast wonderful and so full of choice, sushi and oysters, the hotel is so grand and well designed you literally feel that it is the lost city. The valley of waves is just a short walk away and free to residents and the walks around the hotel are well laid out and the kids enjoyed them, The main pool is heated and large, like the hotel, and you are pampered all the time. We enjoyed our stay but if there are family rooms offered it would be much nicer to have a proper bed for the kids, there is more than enough room, and we managed to stay on a special rate which allowed us to take the kids for a wonderful experience at a very reasonable price, if I was paying the normal full fare I would have been a lot more critical and would probably have laid a complaint about the sleeper couch and felt very unhappy about the family offering.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank DeanSouthAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Everything at the Palace hotel is opulent and extravagant, and totally amazing. The rooms are done in the colonial/African style, and are large and comfortable, loved the bathrooms. Lovely views of the resort from the balcony. Breakfast is huge, with a wide variety of choices. You overlook the pools and water features, and often have birds hopping in to steal a crumb or two. The Palace facilities are only for guests at the hotel, which gives it a degree of exclusivity. Stay here if you want to be thoroughly indulged! It is expensive but worth it.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Yasmin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jasper, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012

This can be great or terrible depending on what you are looking for. It reminds you of Las Vegas or Disneyland - Africa style. The Palace is beautiful, just a bit over the top. The grounds and sculptures are stunning. Everything is big. The palm tree are beautiful - just not real. There are more activities than you could do in a month. The water park is great, the maze looked amazing, and the golf courses are just stunning. There is a casino at another hotel on the property, lots of restaurants, theatre, movies, video arcade, pools and the list goes on. You can take a game drive into the Pilansberg. This is a way to "see Africa" without having to really see it. You experience it without getting into the bush - never leave the comforts of home. If you have kids this would be great for them. The whole time we were here I kept thinking my 11 year old grandson would just love this place, so would our 19 year old grand daughter. But if you are looking for a bush experience where you really go to the bush and spend time in nature, this is not the place. But if you only have a weekend after a business trip in Jo'berg this is an easy place to go.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank mountainhomegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thailand
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2012 via mobile

This is a throwback to the 80's when Sun City was the place to go. Now it is a tired and sad old place but within beautiful grounds and under an amazing African sky.

My ratings are driven but the obscene prices charged for accommodation for what I can only describe as a very nice yet ludicrously over priced room. The thing to come to sun city for is the amazing golf courses. For safari there are far better places.

Nonetheless attentive service, good food and a massive complex with an amazing man made beach (Valley of the waves) however I think it's just over prices for what it is.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank BigT71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2012

What an awesome time residing a t the Palace for 4 days for the opening of the Nedbank Golf Challenge. We had an extraordinary time there being treated like Royalty. We were treated to so exceptionally it was incredible. The Molton Brown products in the rooms were marvellous. At breakfast we had at least 4 people waiting on us at any time. We had so much to choose from in buffet. We had dinner one night in the crystal court and we had a spread that was unimaginable. The spread was delicious and so much of selection. As we had to attend numerous events and banquets we made use of the Royal salon every day and the service is outstanding. The drivers in the resort were brilliant. We had the best time ever.

Room Tip: Pool facing rooms are the best as the view is incredible.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Farhana H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Palace of the Lost City

Property: The Palace of the Lost City
Address: Sun City Resort off the R556, Sun City 0316, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Sun City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Sun City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Palace of the Lost City 5*
Number of rooms: 335
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Palace of the Lost City hotel in South Africa lavishes its guests with 5-star service. From the distinctive grandeur of the African Suite to the King Suite with its unforgettable maple paneling, delicately coloured ceilings and stunning views over the Lost City. Each room of this Sun City resort offers royal hospitality situated close to the Valley of the Waves and a short drive away from Johannesburg. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Palace Of The Lost City Hotel Sun City
The Palace Of Lost City

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