Sunnyside Park Hotel & Johannesburg Heritage Tours
Moonlight shimmers, autumn leaves dance while shadows and light illuminate the fine detail of an historical mansion. This may well sound like a description of an oil painting! Conversely… it is the reality of the refurbished Victorian Sunnyside Park Hotel, located in Parktown, Johannesburg.
In the late 1800’s it was household to Sir Alfred Milner, the British High Commissioner for South Africa. Its majestic historical presence touches us, reaching into our subconscious as James Rihlamfu, Duty Manager of Sunnyside Park Hotel guides us on a circuit of the grounds. I am with my colleague Alana Hedigan and neither of us are quite prepared for our journey through time…
With a slight nip we wind our way along a brick patterned walkway through well-pared gardens, speckled with original colossal oak trees towards the entrance of the hotel. Throughout we are greeted by the smiles of the hotel’s friendly staff portraying authentic old world charm.
Chris Schutte General Manager of Sunnyside Park Hotel says, “The staff have been part of this charm for decades and the true meaning of hospitality as it should be has become part of their DNA! They enjoy what they do; they understand their role in the hotel’s vision and mission which is to provide a warm and personal service through skilled and motivated employees”.
Stepping into the lounge a soft pan-pipe melody portraying the Titanic soundtrack harmonises the area, and the rich aroma of freshly brewed Caffé Tazza D’oro tantalises our tastes. This coupled by a restored grand piano, and furniture veiled in the finest of tapestry fabric, this certainly is a treat for our senses! Stepping through the splendid passageway lined with original glazed-lead glass windows, and chandeliers comprising adorning crystals and wrought-iron scrolls, we head towards the rooms…
With 154 rooms available in a selection of room types – ranging from standard rooms in the monument wing to deluxe spacious twin bedded rooms in the new gatehouse wing to exquisite poolside and garden suites. All rooms are fitted with luxury furnishings, stylish décor and a full range of amenities to ensure a comfortable stay.
The Milner’s restaurant situated within the hotel is a classy establishment serving quality cuisine. A fine selection of choices such as a Caesar salad with fresh grilled tiger prawns, grilled beef fillet with dauphinoise potato and sherry / shallot reduction and trio of chocolate gateaux with citrus salsa or strawberry panecotte with fresh berry compote. Alternatively, you can also enjoy a cold beer or take pleasure in their delicious pub fare, the Pound & Penny Pub with the option of sitting on an outside deck overlooking their gardens.
Sunnyside Park Hotel & Johannesburg Heritage Tours in Parktown:
One of the oldest suburbs of Johannesburg, Parktown is a heritage district, offering various walking and bus tours of its colourful history. One can enjoy walking back in time or in the steps of Herman Charles Bosman, or simply admire the city’s art deco. They are all fun tours that can be commenced or ended at the Sunnyside Park Hotel, and even in decay these buildings speak of an era before war broke out destroying so many illusions.
The Sunnyside Park Hotel is part of the Legacy Hotel Group, known for its collection of exclusive and luxury hotels, resorts and lodges. Schutte says, “Standards are set at our unit level and we encourage all guests to provide feedback during and following their stay. This is used to improve and measure our performance.” With all this said it is true that the Sunnyside Park Hotel combines the charm and grace of a bygone era with the amenities of the 21st century.
For Reservations contact Sunnyside Park Hotel
For more information regarding heritage tours contact Heritage Tours
Pics by Alana Hedigan