Timing for the opening of one of South Africa’s most loved holiday destinations, hits three birds with one stone. September is spring in South Africa, it is also tourism month and a time that South Africans celebrate heritage month. Sun City Resort has been under complete lockdown for five months, a first since it opened its doors in 1979. The team is more than ready to welcome local guests into their fantasy world, under strict COVID-19 protocols.
Where to Stay
The resort will be opened in phases to ease into the new normal for travelling during a pandemic. Several hotels such as The Palace of the Lost City and Soho Hotel will be open, as well as the Sun Vacation Club (the resort’s time sharing facility).The resort has spared no effort into ensuring their patrons’ safety from entering the gate to checking into your room; sanitising stations, temperature checks and sealed rooms are now part of their 5 star service. When you open the seal you walk into a room that has been completely sanitised, with items such as teas, glasses, toiletries and the remote all sealed.
Scenes around the resort have changed during the break and the winner in this regard will be the kids and those young at heart. The resort has opened the country’s first outdoor bounce area, to keep the children entertained whilst the valley of the waves remains closed. Along with putt-putt, a golf course for adults and the spa, the resort has ticked the boxes for a much needed family vacation. A trip to Sun City wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Soho Casino. Here, contactless screening, plastic films between slots and at the roulette table are noticeable safety features. Staff is not allowed to touch any of the tables or chips without sanitising first.
For starters only a certain number of people will be allowed in all dining facilities daily. Self-service and food that is pre-packaged has become the order of the day. For hot foods, only the chefs at those stations are allowed to touch the food. The resort has made it so that contact has been limited to a minimum. Cutlery and condiments are packaged ahead of time and left at tables. Staff is required to wear masks and face shields whilst interacting with holiday makers. The kitchen has undergone the most changes to ensure that it is ready to take on the added pressures of COVID-19. Staff has been limited to a minimum and on a rotational basis. The kitchen area has been divided into sections to avoid staff interactions. Chef Rocco from The Palace restaurant explains that going forward “staff coming in and out of the kitchen need to sanitise. Every half hour surfaces are sanitised. And every night deep cleaning takes places.”
The Palace maintains its 5-star service by protecting staff and guests starting from the valet, where your keys are sanitised when dropping off your vehicle, to in-room service, where waiter and butler Tumelo Maoba, (who carries a sanitiser in his jacket), says the way they do things has changed, but feels confident that everyone remains protected. Despite that everyone is wearing masks, one still feels the sense of warmth and big smiles from everyone. Shuttles have also been kitted with contactless sanitisers.
Overall Sun City is ready for business and guests need not worry about COVID-19 because strict measures are in place and ready to go. The resort has put in place special packages for guests to enjoy the premium experience at reduced rates and is working with provincial tourism bodies to make the trip there more enjoyable for all.
See the latest specials here.