A WEEKEND IN JOZI WITH TSOGO SUN
18 April 2017
Tsogo Sun, Southern Sun, Montecasino
If you’re a typical Cape Town girl like me, Johannesburg can sometimes feel like this distant land far far away. As embarrassing as this is to admit, this was my first “proper” time in Jozi. The last time I was in Jozi (read: the airport) I was catching a connecting flight to an incredible overseas holiday in Mauritius to celebrate the completion of my LLB degree. Anyway, I digress…
This time, I was going to experience Jozi in all its glory. During the first week of April, I made my way up for the STS photoshoot that took place in Fourways and Sandton. I will be writing an entirely different post on the shoot, so keep those eyeballs peeled.
I was lucky enough to secure a trade exchange with the incredible Tsogo Sun hotels for this trip. I flew up on the Friday and spent Friday night at the Southern Sun and Saturday night at Sun Square, which are both conveniently situated right next door each other in the incredible Montecasino Plaza (which, honestly makes one feel like you’re overseas somewhere exotic)!!
From the moment we arrived at Southern Sun, we were welcomed with friendly smiles which didn’t fade for our entire stay here. As you walk into Southern Sun, it is hard not to be impressed by the use of colour, the architecture and the grandeur of the space. From the beautiful lobby display, to the vast staircase that runs along the side of the lobby area, to the sounds of music in the pool area that greets you almost immediately, everything about Southern Sun is business with a side of pleasure.
Shortly upon arrival, we were shown to our incredible room on the 5th floor with views of the Terrance and pool area down below. The room was elegantly decorated and close attention to detail was evident in each corner of the room. Everything in the room had its place, yet everything flowed beautifully together. The bed is clearly visible from the bath, yet the bathroom is still private enough if one makes use of the adjoining sliding doors to separate the two rooms. The room was equipped with aircon (a must!), a mini bar, tea facilities, hairdryer, TV, and pretty much everything else you would need to feel comfortable during your stay.
On a personal level, I was very impressed with the way Southern Sun were fully committed to accommodating my dietary needs. On that Friday, I had to eat a chicken breast as one of my meals which I had forgotten to prep in Cape Town before we left for Jozi. When I phoned for room service and explained my request, I was told that it would not be a problem. A few minutes later, I received my meal, cooked to my exact “specs” and tastier than expected. This was majorly impressive, and definitely scored HUGE points with me.
Speaking of food, whilst I had an early call time on the Saturday morning, my traveling partner InstaEatsCapeTown got to sleep in and enjoy the incredible breakfast buffet which I sadly missed out on. This is was InstaEatsCapeTown had to say:
“Although I am not usually a fan of buffets this one felt different in the way in which it was personalised to your taste and allowed several options which catered for all types of people. Due to the fact that I was planning to eat several meals on the Saturday, I opted for a light and healthy breakfast of an omelette, a cup of tea, some fruit and rye toast and loved the fact that they allowed you to choose your omelette fillings and exactly how much of each filling you wanted before it was individually prepared to your specific request.”
On Sunday we were invited to dine at their incredible Punchinellos restaurant for their Sunday Buffet Lunch. I am usually not one for buffets but I found myself making an exception for this buffet which offered an impressive array of Italian and local cuisine to suit any diet and any type of diner. At Punchinellos, particular emphasis is placed on ensuring that each diner gets fantastic value for money with a huge offering at only R250.00 per person.
I was joined by InstaEatsCapeTown for this buffet lunch. We started off with a delicious fresh salad accompanied by an assortment of meat and cheese. We then moved on to our delicious main courses. Between the two of us, we dished up a plate of pork belly and veggies and beef stew and salad, before ending it off with a selection of yummy dessert treats from the dessert spread. We paired our buffet lunch with a famous Tsogo Sun double Gin and Tonic which washed everything down beautifully.
The service was amazing with plenty of friendly staff on hand to make sure we were properly looked after. The entertainment was world class with singer Nadya Mycroft belting out some serious vocals. All in all, our stay at Southern Sun was 10/10 and we cannot wait to visit again soon!
Tsogo Sun, Sun Square, Montecasino
On Saturday evening after a looooog 12 hours of shooting, I was happy to find that I was already checked in to my second hotel of the weekend stay, this being the funky and relaxed Tsogo Sun, Sun Square hotel right in the heart of the Montecasino Plaza. Now, everything about Sun Square screams hip and happening. It also happens to be home to MasterChef SA season 1 winner, Deena Naidoo’s incredible restaurant, “Aarya“. And what’s better than getting home after 12 hours of shooting and stepping foot into CHEAT MEAL CENTRAL??
The menu at Aarya is pretty extensive, with something to suit everyone’s taste. The restaurant is far from pretentious with Deena himself advocating for a more family-orientated, easy-going, relaxed atmosphere with heavy emphasis on good food, made right.
Because I was still coming off 14 days of heavy prep, with minimal calories, I didn’t want to shock my body with anything too rich. So I opted for the grilled salmon which was served on a bed of greens, roasted tomatoes and mash. My salmon was cooked to perfection and was just what my tummy needed. Our guest, Deen Schroeder, opted for Deena’s famous butter chicken but InstaEatsCapeTown was more adventurous, opting for “Deena’s Best” – a trio of curry. Why not try them all, right? This trio of curry is made up of Deena’s butter chicken, bean curry and prawn curry. I must say, I had to try a little and the Prawn curry was by far my absolute favourite! This is what InstaEatsCapeTown had to say about his experience:
“I have been a massive fan of Masterchef ever since I watched Deena Naidoo win the 1st season of the show. I have wanted to visit his restaurant for so long and I was ecstatic when I finally got the chance. The food and ambiance of the restaurant was exactly as I imagined it and Deena’s personality shone through each and every dish. The way in which the restaurant is positioned overlooking the kitchen area meant that we actually got to meet Deena and hear all about his food philosophy and the way in which he has created the restaurant and his dishes. The food was delicious, I had the trio of curries and each one brought a unique element to my dining experience and offered some fantastic flavours and tastes in each and every bite.”
After dinner, it was time to turn in to our beautiful room. Newly refurbished, the room boasted in cool charcoals and greens with a stunning queen sized bed, brand spanking new shower facilities, a mini bar, a writing desk for those on business and sophisticated art on the walls. The room was simple, yet elegant and comfortable. Whether you’re staying one night for business or three or four on holiday, the rooms are perfectly done to suit everyone’s needs.
On our last day in Jozi, we were treated to a delicious breakfast buffet at Deena’s restaurant. The breakfast was fresh and with an array of cereals, breads, fruits and hot meals, there was something to suit every guest. I opted for an omelette with peppers, mushroom and tomato which was prepared for me in front of my eyes. I followed that up with some fresh fruit and cold meats and washed that all down with a yummy cafe latte. Soon after, it was time to check out of Sun Square and say our final goodbyes. The hospitality at Sun Square was incredible and we really were made to feel very comfortable during our stay. All our requests were met with a smile and the staff were very helpful and friendly. The hotel itself has had a stunning face lift and the newly refurbished premises boast a far more upmarket vibe, one which will surely attract only the hippest clientele. This is one weekend stay I will truly remember.
Thank you so much to Tsogo Sun Southern Sun and Sun Square for the amazing hospitality, great food and absolute comfort throughout our stay. We loved every second of our time with you and cannot wait to book many more stays at many more Tsogo Sun hotels locally and around Africa, in the near future.
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