Maybe it’s a late-onset mid year slump, maybe it’s just been a bit of a crazy year, but whatever it is, Dan and I needed some quality time with each other. We really didn’t have time to drive a few hours to our accommodation and so when the Raddison Blu Gautrain hotel asked if we would like to spend a night at their property, we jumped at the chance. A staycation in Johannesburg is exactly what we needed!
We kissed our little Aria goodbye and drove the quick 30 minutes to the Raddison Blu Gautrain hotel, situated a super convenient 55 steps (to be exact) from the Gautrain station in the heart of Sandton and a quick 15 minute stroll away from Sandton City shopping center.
We were greeted as we walked into the reception by really friendly staff. This is so important to me, as the client, as it really sets the tone for the stay. But as someone who has worked in the hospitality industry at a very large hotel, I know how hard it can be to keep a friendly face, so I really do appreciate the effort and do my best to be as friendly back. We made our dinner reservation and then headed up to our room.
The first thing that greeted us as we stepped into our corner business suite was the most delicious looking slice of red velvet cake, plus some other yummy goodies. But what was really so special was that the hotel staff had put pictures of Aria up in and around our room with little messages. Now, some may say this is slightly creepy but to me it really was such a lovely personal touch, and let’s be honest, my life is out there for everyone to see.
As I mentioned, we were staying a a gorgeous business suite. This comes with a separate lounge and dining area that can also double up as a work space. We had a lovely view over the Sandton city scape and the floor to ceiling windows made the room light, bright and airy (well, airy thanks to the aircon). There is a coffee station with a Nespresso machine as well as complimentary Nespresso capsules, hot chocolate, some teas as well as some still bottled water. Just next to the dining/work space area is a small but perfectly adequate lounge with a large flat screen television that can be adjusted depending on whether you want to watch TV in the lounge on the super comfy couch or from the bed.
The bedroom is simple but perfect. We had a king sized bed with gorgeous crisp white linen and huge fluffy pillows (if you’d prefer to have different pillows, housekeeping is more than happy to change them for you) that made taking an afternoon nap absolutely impossible to resist. After we had recharged, we decided to get changed and head down to the rooftop swimming pool and bar for one or two drinks before dinner.
The bar at the Raddison Blu Gautrain hotel is fab; it has a great cocktail menu (including mocktails) as well as a good selection of wines, spirits and beers. We ordered our drinks and then took a seat in the large outdoor area which boasts a sparkling pool as well as some gorgeous views of Sandton. We didn’t get a sunset that night but it was lovely to just sit, chill and watch the thunderstorm roll in.
Time for dinner! I had sampled a few of the meals before from Central One and they were all incredible so I was so excited for Dan to try their food as well. Central one is open to the public for a buffet breakfast as well as lunch and dinner plus you’ll be pleased to know that all of their ingredients are locally sourced. There is a wonderful ambience to the restaurant and the decor is just lovely. I particularly love the huge chairs along the massive windows overlooking Sandton.
The food did not disappoint! For starters Dan ordered the beef cappacio and I opted for the mushroom risotto, both were delicious and a great way to start our dinner. When it came time for mains, we both decided to go for a curry, Dan the Lamb Rogan Josh which he wolfed down happily while nodding his head (a great compliment coming from a Durban-ite) and I thouroughly enjoyed my prawn and chicken curry. They were both generous portions that we really battled to finish. Now for the best bit, dessert! The orange creme brulee that Dan picked looked magnificent, while my pavlova was perfectly lightweight and just sweet enough to put my sugar cravings to rest.
The service from the dinner staff at Central One is out of this world. They are just attentive enough to be helpful, but never irritating or intrusive. The meals came to our table quickly but there was still enough time between our courses for us to enjoy ourselves. Really, some of the best service we have had for a very long time.
What better way to end off a wonderful night than with a good ol’ soak in the tub? The bathroom in our suite were great; they had everything that we needed in terms of amenities (which were really lovely ones at that, I wish I could remember the brand!), bath and a separate shower. Plus, the lighting was great for doing my make up!
The next morning after a great nights sleep and a strong cup of Nespresso, we headed down for the buffet breakfast. There is a huge selection of dishes; local cold meats and cheeses, pastries, fruits and smoothies as well as some freshly squeezed orange juice. I particularly enjoyed the different selections of cheese and cold meats while Dan’s favourite was definitely the pastries. There is also a warm section but I did find that this was luke warm and not as tasty as the other food on offer.
Once our tummies were full and our bags were packed, it was time to check out and head on home. The whole check out process went as smoothly as the check in process which was great and just like that, we were back in our car, making the quick trip back to our kidlet and pooches.
Our night at the Radisson Blu Gautrain hotel was absolutely wonderful and something that I would recommend to everyone whether its for business or pleasure. The staff are brilliant and always ready and willing to help, the food is out of this world and the rooms are luxurious and the perfect place to regroup and rest. If you’d like to book your stay, simply head over to their website, from my experience it is well worth it.