The Palace of the Lost City stands tall at the top end of the resort world that is Sun City. As is to be expected from the name, the resort has palatial proportions, is opulent in every sense of the world, and is aptly decorated in African colours, patterns and murals. Everywhere you look, you see something new to discover. It’s as if you’ve been invited to a royal South African king’s palace that has been super-sized and then some.
This is the first property I will have visited in the Sunlux Collection, a trio of three of the most luxurious hotels in the Sun Group. The Sun Group have hotels throughout South Africa and the name is in itself synonymous with hotels and hospitality throughout the country.
The Palace of the Lost City has been a landmark attraction in itself in Sun City since it was opened in 1992. I’m not talking your usual Palace Hotel (of which I have stayed in a few – The Four Seasons Alexander Palace St Petersburg and Royal Mansour Palace Marrakech being two of my favourites) – but neither of these were on such a grand scale as this South African Palace.
Moreover, The Palace is a resort within Sun City, a collection of resorts, so there are more than plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay. I knew as soon I checked in that this would be one very special short stay!
No matter which room type you opt for, you’re in for something special. My home for my two-night stay was an Superior Luxury suite with pool views on the third floor. The décor of my suite was, like the rest of the hotel, distinctively African. Everything from the carpet to the drapes and furniture is uniquely African – even my lampshades were in the shapes of giraffes and monkeys!
The balcony was indeed the highlight of the room, wit ha full view of the opulent pool area below. Other highlights included: a warm welcome letter and treats, Molton Brown bath amenities, a sweet nougat on the pillow at turn down service and one incredibly comfortable bed to rest my head after a long journey to South Africa.
AROUND THE PALACE HOTEL
While it’s great to have a comfortable space of your own to return to in the evenings, the best part about the hotel is perhaps the fact that it is a resort with so many activities and offerings for guests. Here’s a little about what I got up to during my stay!
Game drives in the nearby Pilanesberg National Park are undoubtedly the most popular attractions for guests. After all, that’s what coming to South Africa is about! Veiling the wildlife in South Africa is an absolute not-to-miss activity and the game drives inside the Pilanesberg National Park offer great chances to view the big five.
Another great experience I enjoyed whilst here was the new “walking with Rhinos” encounter. This was an incredible chance to stand just metres away from one of the world’s most endangered species. I was particularly happy to be a part of one of these small group tours as all proceeds go toward maintaining the private park that offers these rhinos a safe environment away from the chance of being poached – still a huge (and growing) problem in South Africa.
Finally, I had an absolute blast riding quad bikes around the park and being able to get up close with the rhinos again. We also saw impala and warthogs during our one-hour-long ride!
Another activity I really enjoyed was to visit the cultural activity centre and learn about the different tribes in South Africa. There’s a number of shows daily for guests at Sun City and I’d highly recommend this one!
The hotel also offers a big range of water activities and there’s even a maze on site plus the world’s fastest zip line. Put simply: there’s no way you will be left wondering what to do! Besides, if you want to relax there’s plenty of space at the pool to unwind or you can book a spa treatment to enjoy in the comfort of your hotel room.
FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD
On my first evening I sampled a degustation menu at newly opened Plume Restaurant – and oh, was it an evening to remember! This would have to be my favourite restaurant on site.
On my second evening I selected a few items from the A la Carte menu at The Grill Room. Being a vegetarian, my choices were quite limited, but I certainly couldn’t complain about the Vegetarian Lasagne with sautéed spinach and avocado quinoa on the side! The dessert, a berry crumble, was also a real treat.
The Pool area is one of the main areas of the hotel where you’ll find most guests during the day. Poolside you can enjoy a great light lunch menu and I was surprised by how good the salads were.
Buffet breakfast in the mornings is more than a refined affair. After eating at hundreds of buffet breakfasts around the world, I’m happy to say that this would have to be one of the best buffet breakfasts I have ever experienced! The spread is incredibly generous and absolutely every nationality is catered to, as a way of accommodating the diverse range of guests who travel from around the world to stay here.
If you have time during your stay, be sure to book a table for High Tea in the afternoon as the surrounds themselves are reason enough to be here, let alone the sweet treats!
If you plan to visit Sun City in South Africa, I’d highly recommend splurging to stay at The Palace of the Lost City. If the hotel itself is outside of your budget, there are some great alternative options around Sun City. Be sure not to miss a game drive inside Pilanesberg National Park, the Walking with Rhinos encounter, dinner at Plume, and an in-room massage – bliss!