Just under two weeks ago, I was on my way to Joburg for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Tickets booked on a whim, I was going to call Jozi “home” for three nights – without actually having a home, so to speak.
Not knowing the city well at all, my days were planned with the help of Google Maps and Uber – and, all I wanted was a safe space at night to rest my sore, well-heeled feet. Thankfully, Tsogo Sun came to my rescue and allowed me to make Montecasino my base for my fashion week adventure.
Night one was spent at SunSquare Montecasino – my first time experiencing the brand, I had expectations of it being functional, but not much more than that – a place for “people on the go“, but not somewhere you’d want to spend free time. So, I was very pleasantly surprised when I opened the door to my room. It was modern, quite beautiful and so much more than merely functional. Large windows overlooked Montecasino’s piazza and a water feature, with a queen-sized bed taking centre stage in the room itself.
A small desk made catching up on emails and doing some work during the day, while the open-plan bathroom made getting ready a breeze. Special note to be made of the great hairdryer and plug point that allowed me to use my hair straightener with the view of a mirror – it’s the small things. One point for future guests to be aware of – duvets are available on request, and rooms come standard with a blanket and sheet. This could be a seasonal practice, but it’s worth confirming when you check in.
After an early check-in, I made my way to their onsite restaurant, Aarya, for lunch. Run by Deena Naido, winner of Masterchef South Africa Season 1, I felt compelled to have a curry – and, the chilly Joburg weather wasn’t helping – so, I ordered their butter bean curry and a glass of red for lunch (together with the grilled halloumi to start, and crème brûlée to end). A generous portion arrived, too big as part of a three course meal, but perfect as a dish on its own, I tucked in, heartily. With a selection of sambals and rice on the side, it was just what I needed – considering I had been up since 03h45 that morning – before quickly heading back upstairs and falling asleep on my bed. The halloumi starter also deserves special mention – it was all about the cheese, so to speak – perfectly griddled and served with a delicious spicy pineapple relish.
Bleary-eyed, I faced the cold, Joburg morning with the help of two delicious cappuccinos, fresh fruit, yoghurt – and, fantastically light and crispy waffles. With a full breakfast buffet that included omelettes to order, as soon as I spotted the waffle iron, my decision was made for me. No regrets.
Thank you, SunSquare Montecasino for being my home for the night, and keeping me well-fed on my adventure.
Note: I spent the night as a guest of Tsogo Sun. All views and images are my own.