Spread over 1500 hectares with four hotels, a casino and golf course, Suncity is South Africa's premier holiday resort. It offers myriad entertainment, relaxation and activity options to suit almost everyone.
The four hotels are Cascades Hotel, The Suncity Hotel, The Cabanas and The Palace of the Lost City, where Natalie Gruzlewski visited, and was quite overwhelmed.
There are scattered sandstone remnants of ancient cities all around southern Africa. Once the hearts of trading empires built on gold and ivory, The Palace of the Lost City was inspired by those empires.
It's in an ancient volcanic crater in the Pilanesberg Mountains north of Johannesburg. It's next to the Pilanesberg National Park and Game Reserve.
The 338 room property is one of the world's most extraordinary hotels with a fairytale palace residence as its centrepiece. Everything oozes regal opulence exquisite mosaics, frescoes and hand-painted ceilings depicting South Africa's wildlife and culture. Rooms have ensuites, entrance foyers and butler stations. Suites have two bedrooms, saunas and Jacuzzis.
The entrance foyer rises to a lofty painted ceiling three-storeys above a life-sized model of Shawu, the elephant guarding the courtyard leading off Elephant Walk.
The hotel has a 25 hectare botanical garden with cascading waterfalls and pools.
The Grand Pool is huge. It's intricately decorated with mosaics and sculptures. Light lunches, buffets, snacks and cocktails are served under shady pavilions.
Overnight visitors have access to the Valley of the Waves, South Africa's most advanced waterpark. A large lagoon dominates the scene with a wave machine capable of generating 1.8 metre waves every 90 seconds. It has five flume rides, and from the Temple of Courage, swimmers drop 17 metres down a shute and under a bridge before splashing into a small pool. For the less adventurous, there is a Lazy River.
In keeping with the whole concept, restaurants serve exquisite cuisine. The Villa del Palazzo overlooks the pool and specialises in North Italian a la carte dinners. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at Crystal Court are light and delicious and influenced by the cuisine of South Africa. There are two beautiful bars perfect for pre-dinner drinks or a nightcap. The Tusk Bar has three imposing arches in the form of elephant tusks and the Palm Court Lounge offers service reminiscent of the colonial period.
Suncity, a two- hour drive from Johannesburg.
Rooms at the Palace of the Lost City start at $850 a night. Breakfast is included.
Emirates has flights to Johannesburg from:
- Perth $1879
- Melbourne & Adelaide $1933
- Sydney $1952
- Brisbane $1955
For further information
Tel: 1300 303 777
The Palace of the Lost City
Tel: 1800 107 012
Visas: No visa is required for Australian passport holders.
Electricity:220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. Most plugs have three round pins.
Time zone: GMT + 2 hours.
Telephone code: +27.