BACKGROUND: The Capital Hotels & Apartments is a South African group offering a selection of ‘hybrid’ hotels with standard rooms and fully-serviced luxury apartments. It has five properties in the Sandton business node in Johannesburg, with its latest addition The Capital on the Park that opened recently. It also has one property in each of Cape Town, Umhlanga (north of Durban), and the Johannesburg node of Rosebank. The Menlyn Maine property opened in 2017.
WHERE IS IT? The property is situated in the Menlyn Maine precinct, which in the last year has also seen the opening of Sun International’s Time Square casino, hotel and entertainment centre. The Capital Menlyn Maine is adjacent to a host of restaurants, shops, and a fitness centre. The N1 highway that links Pretoria and Johannesburg is two kilometres away, and O.R. Tambo International Airport is approximately half an hour’s drive away.
ROOM FACILITIES: The property offers 72 standard rooms (28m2), 60 executive rooms (30m2), six disability-friendly rooms (35m2), 61 one-bedroom apartments (60m2), 61 two-bedroom apartments (85m2), 16 three-bedroom apartments (113m2), two two-bedroom penthouses (185m2), and two three-bedroom penthouses (213m2). I was accommodated in one of the one-bedroom apartments, which was made up of a bedroom and living area with kitchen. The bedroom had a king-size bed, large flatscreen TV with satellite channels, ample cupboard space, work desk, safe and bathroom en-suite with double vanity and separate bath and shower. I liked the large rain shower, whilst the bed was comfortable and the bedroom decently-sized, with a view of the Menlyn Maine precinct. There was construction on the go in close proximity, but the double-glazed windows meant the noise was kept to a minimum. The space was finished off with a small lounge/TV area and kitchen with a selection of high-end appliances, including a fridge with ice machine, washing machine, tumble dryer and stove. Altogether, a comfortable and inviting space for a medium to long stay.
RESTAURANTS & BARS: The hotel makes use of the Koi Restaurant on the ground floor, adjacent to reception, as its in-house dining facility, and this is where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Breakfast is from 06h30 and this is the only meal I had at the hotel. I enjoyed the wide selection of fresh pastries, fruit and yoghurt, and decided to opt out of the hot breakfast options, of which there were a few. Most importantly – and arguably the standout feature – an on-site barista serving up a variety of high quality coffee, which, I’m sure, a lot of on-the-go executives will appreciate. Lunch is served between 12h30 and 14h00, and dinner between 18h30 and 22h00. There’s also 24-hour in-room dining.
BUSINESS & MEETING FACILITIES: The Capital Menlyn Maine has eight meeting venue options, all kitted out with state-of-the-art facilities, and with an overall capacity of 400. It claims to be suitable to hosting car launches, business seminars, training workshops, full-on conferences, executive planning, team-building and weddings. There’s also the option of using the Crescent, which is an outdoor events area at the pool deck, one floor up and overlooking the Menlyn Maine square. A purpose-built Nomadic tent is available in this area. There is also complimentary unlimited high-speed internet access throughout the property and secure parking.
LEISURE FACILITIES: The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and deck area, overlooking the square, and also offers access to a spa and fitness centre with indoor heated pool at the nearby Virgin Active. The adjacent Menlyn Maine green precinct mall has eight high-end restaurants and three supermarkets, as well as over 75 stores to choose from. If you like your gambling, the Time Square Casino is across the road from the hotel, and that complex also offers a host of restaurants. The adjacent mall also has a pharmacy, a liquor outlet, high-end retail stores, a book store, and a Starbucks coffee shop – all within walking distance.
VERDICT: Fantastic option for the business traveller, particularly if you’re on a long stay or need to be in close proximity to Menlyn or surrounding areas in Pretoria. An interesting option and variation on the standard hotel room.