Hotel check: Kalahari Sands Hotel & Casino

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Background

Sun International has hotel and gaming properties in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Swaziland, Namibia, Lesotho, Nigeria and more recently, Chile. However, August saw the group enter into an agreement with Minor International Public Company, which will take over a significant portion of Sun International’s African assets, including the Gaborone Sun (Botswana), Kalahari Sands (Namibia), Lesotho Sun and Maseru Sun (Lesotho), Royal Swazi and Ezulwini Sun (Swaziland), and Royal Livingstone and Zambezi Sun (Zambia). Sun International will continue to manage the casino operations and MINT will assume day-to-day management responsibility of all the hotel operations, except the one in Zambia.

Where Is It?

In the heart of the city, the hotel sits above the Gustav Voigts shopping centre, on Independence Avenue. It’s a good 30 to 45-minute drive from the airport, but the road is well-maintained and directions are simple. Park on level 4 for the hotel reception.

Room Facilities

There are 173 rooms split between Luxury King rooms, Luxury Twin rooms, Superior Luxury rooms, paraplegic rooms, Presidential suites and Luxury suites. My Superior Luxury room on the ninth floor was tastefully decorated, with all the features expected of a 4-star establishment – large flat-screen TV with a variety of satellite channels, writing desk with plenty of plug sockets to charge laptops and other electronics, air-conditioning, mini-bar fridge which can be stocked on request, and a tea-and-coffee station. Wi-Fi is available, but is not included in the price of the room. However, it is reasonably priced (500MB will set you back $5) and works well. The king-sized bed had a wonderfully firm mattress. The bathroom was spacious, with a separate shower and bathtub. Room service is available around the clock.

Restaurants & Bars

On the ground floor you’ll find Dunes Restaurant, the Oasis Bar and Lounge, and the Casino Bar. While you can get drinks and snacks at Oasis and the Casino bar, Dunes serves breakfast (between 06h00 and 09h30), lunch (between 12h30 and 14h30) and dinner (between 18h00 and 22h00), buffet style. You’ll find the usual suspects for breakfast – help yourself to a continental or full English breakfast, or a combination of the two – cereal, pastries, fruit, yoghurt, eggs, bacon and omelettes. I enjoyed an omelette and hashbrowns with a side of bacon and a cup of coffee. The dinner buffet offers up a pasta station, a fish station and a carvery, in addition to a salad bar, cold meats, cheese and crackers. I chose a few slices of roast beef with mushroom sauce and a large green salad, which I ate on the terrace overlooking Independence Avenue. The dessert station tempted me with a delicious milk tart, cheese cake and malva pudding. Unusual for a buffet, there was also a selection of ice creams.

Business & Meeting Facilities

There are a few choices at Kalahari Sands, with eight fully-equipped conference and meeting rooms that can accommodate everything from small private meetings to extravagant wedding receptions. All rooms come standard with data projector, TV, monitor, pointer torches, flip chart, partitioning board, pens and paper, public address system, and ISDN lines. Additional services include a photographer, florist, secretarial services, maintenance staff and a choice of menus. The business centre will take care of any office-type needs, such as printing.

Leisure Facilities

The rooftop – 15 floors above ground – provides an outdoor swimming pool with loungers and deck chairs for guests wishing to get some fresh air. This is also where the wellness centre is located. Here, guests can treat themselves to a massage, facial or manicure. There is also the Kalahari Sands Casino, located across from reception. On offer are 137 slot machines operated with smart cards, and 10 poker, roulette and blackjack tables.

Verdict

This hotel has everything you need for a corporate stay, in a central location that’s hard to beat. Staff are pleasant and helpful, the food is tasty and the beds comfy.

Kate Kennedy

Contact
Address: Gustav Voigts Centre, 129 Independence Avenue
Tel:
+264 61 280 0000
E: kalahari.reservations@suninternational.com
W: www.suninternational.com