Even though Sun City is a three-hour drive from Gaborone I had only heard about the place in movies such as Mr. Bones and Adam Sandlers movie Blended and it was such a thrill when Sun International extended an invite to take the media party on a tour dubbed #thewowtour. Bright and early on a Sunday morning we left Gabs city for the lost city where we were hosted for two nights at Sun City’s most sumptuous hotel, The Palace of the lost City.
Upon arrival scenes from the movies came to life and the grand structure that stood before us was surreal. The centerpiece of The Lost City, The Palace was luxurious in every facet of its fabulous architecture. We were told The Palace was based on the idea of a lost African Palace. The Lost City surrounds the Palace – a green scenery, streams, waterfalls and swimming pools. Within minutes our check in was completed and luggage delivered to the room by the friendly porters as we enjoyed a warm welcome by the hotel’s representatives who oversaw a well-oiled machine.
From the reception area, through the hallways and dining area the 335-room hotel which costed R400 million to build was adorned with mosaics, hand painted ceilings and each corner there was an exceptional work of art that enticed the eye. I could tell highly skilled artisans decorated the palace, serpentine vines, the leaves of the palm tree, the blossoms of the protea and the wild plum were immortalized in stone. Creatures like elephant, lion, kudu, monkeys, snakes and birds were depicted in mosaics, murals and carvings. These images were to be found on vaulted ceilings, pillars and balustrades; even on the flame-topped, 70-metre-high Kings Tower which rose above the palace like a beacon.
The spacious rooms were fitted with individually crafted furniture of the highest standard while service matched the quality of the building. I mean every evening housekeeping would pass by to prepare your bed for a good sleep, sprinkle flowers on a cushiony mat by the bedside and offer an evening snack. Talk about being treated like royalty.
The wow tour had officially begun as we were treated to dinner at Legend Restaurant later in the evening. The interior design stood out as it showcases memorabilia of celebrities who have stayed at Sun City over the years. In the 80s and 90s, Sun City played host to a cornucopia of entertainers and sportsmen and people flocked to the resort to play at the casino and see their heroes perform. It was this premise from which the idea for the exclusive restaurant was born. “It’s a large specialty grill house in which we showcase the artists and sports people who came through these hallowed halls,” said Raul de Lima, Group Executive and Food & Beverage Manager at Sun International. Everywhere you looked there were pictures of 80s and 90s stars including John Denver and the Beach Boys, Mariah Carey, Natalie Cole, Kenny Rogers, Gloria Gaynor among others. We finished off the night at another hotspot dubbed Vibes, a vibrant, retro-styled space to socialize and play from sunset to sun rise, an experience that took me right back to my young, wild and free days at varsity in Asia. Sun City Marketing Manager Andrew Irumba said Soho is where the sun never sets; where all night fun and action is a given. Vibes is a place created with millennials and the young at heart in mind it is where you go when your night is just getting started.
The next morning buffet breakfast was served at the Crystal Court with anything you could possibly crave for breakfast before we went to explore Sun City Convention Centre. After the site inspection I discovered that it is at this venue that the famous South African DJ Black Coffee tied the knot. We participated in team building exercises and a quadbike experience which I was not looking forward to because of a past accident. I faced my fears and the track was safer and there was assistance whenever it was needed. Another central and interesting feature was the Valley of Waves which is one of the most advanced water parks in the world that provides endless fun for water lovers.
To wrap up The Wow Tour, we were treated to a classy dinner at The Palace’s chic-classic restaurant Plume. We were taken on a tantalising six stage meal journey designed to entice all of the senses. The wines offered for pairing with each stage were carefully picked to compliment the explosion of textures, flavours and aromas of the food according to the chef. The Plume Textures menu is a set experience, starting with an Amuse Bouche, fittingly called “Camps Bay Holiday”. The first main course is olive poached salmon served with balsamic jelly, salmon confit, pea puree and crisp sweet potato scales. This provides an uplifting prelude to the second main course of succulent ribeye log, potato puree, rainbow root vegetables and “Turkish delights”. The invigorating meander of tastes and textures continues with decadent and strawberry, mango and salted chocolate before culminating with port and cheese.
The Palace for now will remain Southern Africa’s most luxurious best-known resort as its name has become synonymous with good living, excitement and fine entertainment.