Hotel check: Hilton Sandton

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BACKGROUND

The Hilton Sandton is definitely no new kid on the block and needs no introduction as it is one of the most well-known business hotels in Johannesburg. The hotel has, however, refurbished its rooms on the second and third floors and, by the end of this month, will offer corporate travellers new de luxe suites, king and twin rooms.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

The hotel is perfectly suited to the businessman or woman who needs a room to sleep comfortably in while doing business in Sandton, or even other parts of Johannesburg. The room is well-lit and spacious enough to provide a comfortable work environment. It is divided into three different ‘zones’ for work, relaxation and sleep. It is very professionally decorated and features all the necessary small amenities.  While the hotel is marketed as catering for both leisure and corporate travellers, I think it tends to favour the corporate with its simplistic, sophisticated rooms.

The hotel itself is not perfect, but is still impressive. I found it odd that no one offered to help me with my luggage, and instead watched me juggle my laptop, suitcase, camera, coat and documents. I definitely think the staff could do with a refresher training course. I found the loud argument between the waitress and barman at the Faces bar inappropriate, and the dirty spoon and coffee mug on my table (ready for use) at the Tradewinds Restaurant off-putting. The food, however, was fantastic.

WHERE IS IT?

As mentioned before, this hotel is perfectly located for those doing business in this important business hub. It is located on Rivonia Road in Sandton, which is close to the top business offices, the convention centre, Sandton City shopping centre and the major highway exits. While it is within walking distance to many of the popular spots in the city, the hotel offers a convenient shuttle service.

ROOM FACILITIES

The hotel offers a total of 329 rooms including the Royal Suite, Terrace Suites, King Suites, King beds and Twin beds. The new rooms are 32m² and are equipped with high definition LG-LCD televisions featuring selected DStv channels, iron and ironing board facilities, automatic lights in the wardrobe, individual reading lights above the bed, security safe, and tea- and coffee-making facilities. The work desk in the room also has a cable available for high speed Internet access, which is not free of charge. The bathrooms offer separate shower and bath facilities and have a modern, sophisticated design. The bathroom amenities, supplied by Crabtree and Evelyn, enhance the experience. The king-sized beds with the crisp white linen, combined with dark curtains, ensure a good night’s sleep.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

The hotel’s Faces bar is clearly a popular meeting spot in Sandton. It has a unique design and offers a comfortable and relaxed environment. The Tradewinds Restaurant is open from 06h00 until 23h00 every night and offers a multi-cultural culinary experience, including African, Mediterranean and Japanese cuisine. For me the best feature of the hotel is the Sushi and Teppanyaki Bar. The food is delicious and the chef manages to hold the attention of every guest as he creatively prepares the meals. It is a must for anyone staying at the hotel.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES

The Hilton’s meeting and conference facilities can cater for any occasion. They range from a ballroom to the boardroom and are well-equipped. There are nine meeting rooms in total, all air-conditioned. There is also a business centre on site where guests can gain access to a computer and the Internet, which again is not free of charge.

LEISURE FACILITIES

Guests with a bit of time on their hands can pay the wellness centre and spa a visit. Here various spa treatments are offered by professionally trained therapists. If the weather outside is good, you could also unwind alongside the swimming pool, and sip on a drink served from the poolside bar.

VERDICT

The hotel serves its purpose. It offers a comfortable place to stay overnight and all the necessary facilities required. I do think there is a bit of work to be done in order to provide an unbeatable and memorable experience, especially in terms of training staff but, nevertheless, it is a hotel that is perfectly suited to the business traveller.

CONTACT

+27 (0) 11 322 1888, hilton.com

Chana Viljoen