Hotel check: City Lodge Morningside

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Background

The City Lodge Hotel Group runs a chain of separately branded hotels throughout South Africa, compromising 1-star Road Lodges, 2-star Town Lodges, 3-star City Lodges and 4-star Courtyard Hotels. The group has also recently announced its first foray into the rest of Africa, through the development of a 106-room Town Lodge in Gaborone, Botswana, which is expected to open in December.

Where Is It?

The hotel is opposite Morningside Clinic, a few minutes’ drive from Village Walk Shopping Centre, Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square. It’s also in close proximity to the M1 highway and approximately a 30-minute drive from O.R. Tambo International Airport, depending on traffic. If you’re using the Gautrain, the closest station is in Sandton, two kilometres away. Sandton itself is a business hub, as well as full of restaurant and bar offerings, both inside the Sandton City and Village Walk complexes, and outside those establishments.

Room Facilities

The hotel has 160 air-conditioned rooms, with double or twin beds and a sleeper couch. The hotel recently underwent a refurbishment, adding burgundy, grey and black hues, which has added to the feeling of sophistication. For every 50 rooms, there is one room designed to meet the special needs of the physically disabled. As with all City Lodges, there are standard features, such as flat-screen TV (with selected satellite channels), tea/coffee-making facilities, electronic safe large enough to accommodate a laptop, and a desk with extra lighting and plug points. The bathroom comes complete with a separate bath and shower. My bathroom was a little small, but it was well-designed with an interesting feature – a remote-operated sliding door next to the bath, which served as a privacy partition to the bedroom when closed, and created the illusion of space when opened. The hotel also offers a same-day laundry service, a shoe-cleaning service, vending machines for those late night snack cravings and complimentary Wi-Fi in the restaurant and all rooms. A word of caution – I felt the rooms weren’t soundproof, as noise filtered through from outside.

Restaurant & Bar  

The hotel has a fully-stocked bar and a restaurant that serves a full breakfast from 07h00-10h00, followed by light meals and coffee until 22h00. I wasn’t that impressed with the service at breakfast time, which I felt could have been more attentive and a bit warmer. My omelette was also on the runny side.

Meeting & Business Facilities

The hotel offers a boardroom that can seat up to 12 delegates. The room boasts all the equipment needed to facilitate a successful meeting, including flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, telephonic-communication devices and overhead projector. Sandwiches or a light lunch and tea/coffee can also be arranged at the front desk. Delegates are provided with notepads, pens, juice, water and mints throughout the meeting. There is also free and secure parking on the premises.

Leisure & Fitness

There is a modest fitness centre, with three machines and a couple of weights. A nice feature of the hotel is the swimming pool area, which almost leads on from the restaurant. It’s a beautiful, clean and leafy area, with deck chairs for some fun and relaxation in the sun, or an early morning aquatic workout.

Verdict

The hotel does not come with high-end touches, but it provides the basics, with a great location, if you need to be in the Sandton area for business. I do feel, though, that this City Lodge could take a closer look at its service.

Contact

Address: 1 Hill Rd, Corner of Rivonia Rd, Morningside, Sandton, +27 11 884 9500, citylodge.co.za

Melissa Douma