I’ve always been a huge fan of Sun City. I spent many a family holiday there as a child and used to know every nook and cranny of the place. Going back is always a happy trip down memory lane for me and no matter which hotel I stay at, the resort never disappoints. A haven for families who want a safe space to enjoy quality time together, Sun City is a no-brainer when it comes to booking an affordable holiday within South Africa’s borders.
Of course, regular visitors will know that the much-loved resort has started to look a little different of late. Sun City has spent a considerable amount of time and money updating many parts of the resort. From exciting attractions at the Valley of The Waves to a new-look entertainment centre and even hotel upgrades, Sun City is constantly updating the resort to keep up with the demands of the modern holidaymaker.
As someone who knows the resort well, it’s been exciting to witness the changes over the last few years and while my family spent a week at Sun City every December holiday, revisiting an as an adult was even more interesting. While I used to spend the bulk of my time swimming at The Valley of the Waves and playing games in the arcade, my most recent visit to the resort gave me the opportunity to discover a whole new side of the resort that I’d never explored as a child.
Exploring Sun City as an adult is beyond fun. It’s truly an adults playground and I love that the resort offers so many options for different tastes all in one place. In one day, you can go from being dressed to the nines for high tea at the 5-star The Palace of the Lost City Hotel, to donning jeans and a T-shirt for a fun night out sipping on Castle quarts at the ultra laid-back Shebeen. Sun City offers the best of both worlds for adults looking to let their hair down and exploring the more grown up side of a holiday resort I loved so much as a child was a real treat!
Earlier this year, I spent a few days exploring all the new upgrades and old-favourites of Sun City, and after a thorough inspection, I must admit it’s still rather fabulous! So, from a Sun City veteran, here are 5 reasons you HAVE to visit the new-look Sun City.
1. There’s so much more for families to enjoy!
When it comes to finding affordable accommodation and entertainment for your whole family, Sun City has always come out tops. For our most recent visit, we stayed at Sun City’s new-look Cabanas hotel. The Cabanas has always been a firm favourite with families and the refurbishment has resulted in new contemporary styled rooms and refreshed décor at the Cabanas as well as the addition of free-standing chalet-style rooms. The new look and feel of The Cabanas is fun, colourful, and welcoming and offers the perfect backdrop for a carefree summer getaway.
I loved seeing the upgrades to the swimming pool area which now boasts stylish day beds for whiling away the hours with a good book and strong cocktail. The rooms have been remodelled as well. The boyfriend and I stayed in a standard twin room which was decorated in bright, funky colours with super comfortable twin-beds. Starting from R1,855 per room per night, the rooms are a cosy 26 square meters which is ideal for two people to use as a base for exploring the resort. The room can feel a little bit tight if you’re like me and have a tendency to overpack, in that case, I’d definitely recommend springing for the slightly pricier Standard Family Room which is 29 square meters and includes a sleeper couch.
Click here to explore the accommodation options at The Cabanas and book now.
2. Exciting new slides at the Valley of the Waves!
Sun City has also made extensive upgrades to the much-loved Valley of Waves. Many think of this exciting water park as the best reason to visit Sun City and now, it’s better than ever before! The remodel of the waterpark saw the addition of two new water slides, ‘Boomerang’ (or Ovango) and ‘Noble’s Descent’ as well as the addition of new shaded areas, and a new-look children’s water park area.
I got the chance to try out both new slides and there’s no doubt they are the best slides at the waterpark! I inspected both slides and after deciding that it looked the least menacing, I opted to try the 6-story Boomerang slide first. But, just a few short seconds after pushing myself off from the top I realised this wasn’t going to be just another fun tube slide. My giggling quickly turned to screams of terror as my tube plummeted off a steep cliff, hurtling me full speed ahead up an almost vertical wall 12 metres above the pool, before I was promptly spat back out towards the mouth of the slide and the relative safety of the pool below. Truth be told, I was white-knuckling it the entire way down but when it was all over my first thought was; “I want do that again!”
After two attempts at the Boomerang I decided it was time to pull myself towards myself and try the aqua loop slide, ‘Noble’s Descent’. While waiting in the queue for Boomerang I watched, shocked, as one-by-one a handful of people climbed inside the upright chamber of the scary-looking slide. I spent about 10 minutes psyching myself up before stepping inside the chamber. I crossed my arms across my heart and four seconds later the floor gave way underneath my feet, starting a heartstopping 17m plummet, nearly straight down. This incredible adrenalin rush sends riders sliding at 40 mph before being swept upwards into a near-vertical loop. G-forces pin riders as they slide up, over and then down before crashing into the splashdown lane. This intense vertical free-fall left me truly breathless, and I was shaking for a good 10 minutes afterwards. What a rush!
3. Enjoy a cold one at the gastropub!
If you love craft beer and delicious grub then you’ll surely want to pop into the oh-so-popular The Brew Monkey gastropub. With spectacular views of the Valley of the Waves, this self-serve-style eatery and drinking hole offers a decidedly rustic microbrewery feel for those looking for a cold one and a place to get out of the sun for a bit.
The menu boasts a selection of hunger-busting bar tins, light meals, gourmet burgers and snack boards as well as a selection of hand-picked craft and local beers. There are 11 beers available on tap including the likes of Castle, Castle Lite, Hansa, Carling Black Label, Castle Milk Stout, Peroni, Black Jack Lager, Striped Horse Pilsner, CBC Amber Weiss, Citizen American Amber Ale and Savanna Dry.
4. Enjoy entertainment at its best at Sun Central
Completely remodelled in 2016, the new-look Sun City entertainment and conference arena, Sun Central is the place to be when the sun goes down. While the entertainment centre has always been the centre of fun at Sun City the new look and feel brings this entertainment hub straight into the modern era.
Boasting a suite of new family experiences including a revamped kid’s arcade, bowling alley, food court, popular eateries, and more, Sun Central offers hours of fun for the whole family. This area used to be very dark and outdated but now it’s light and fresh and oh-so-modern. Walking into Sun Central for the first time I couldn’t believe the difference — old school no-name take-away joints and eateries have been replaced with a trendy RocoMamas burger joint, Spur restaurant, book shop & cafe, as well as a variety of well-known takeaway spots like Fishaways and Steers. Even the shops have been updated and visitors can now shop at the likes of Billabong, Havaianas, and more.
Another great addition is the South African Hall of Fame honouring South Africa’s outstanding sportspeople and performing artists. The interactive exhibit will offer visitors the chance to race against super-fast Springbok Sevens star, Seabelo Senatla or world record holder, Wayde van Niekerk on an indoor 20-metre track; take a swing for victory at the golf simulator; or head to the Samsung virtual reality area for various virtual reality experiences that will put you straight into the game.
5. Have a blast at the Soho Hotel
Regular visitors to Sun City will also know that it was high time the ‘Main Hotel’ got a makeover. After a rather extensive upgrade, the hotel was unveiled as the ultra-modern Soho hotel. Repositioned as the resort’s ‘always on’ party zone, this spot is an adult’s playground of note.
Encapsulating the essence of the renowned Soho destinations located in London and New York, which are known for their eclectic vibe and non-stop action. The Soho hotel boasts an exclusive dance venue, Encore, the chic and contemporary bar and comedy club, Vibes, the glamorous Legends restaurant and the revamped Sun Prive and Prive Salon. Of course, the famous Sun City Casino still lives on at this hotel and the space is now the centre of late-night fun for anyone looking for a good time.
We enjoyed an incredible evening at Legends on our first night at the resort and were treated to a fantastic show by a local musician while we dinned. Our food was truly exceptional, and we had the best time grooving out to the performer on stage who entertained us with much-loved classic songs from a bygone era mixed in with modern chart-topping hits. The great thing about Legends is it is both an upmarket restaurant and a trendy nightspot. After dinner guests can keep the good times rolling by heading to the dance floor or grabbing a seat the bar for a nightcap.
Book your Sun City adventure now
Returning to Sun City as an adult was such a special experience. We spent 4 nights at this incredible resort and it definitely left us wanting more. As always I was left in awe of just how much there is to do at Sun City. Over the 4 days we were there we enjoyed a magical high tea at The Palace, a relaxing spa day at Gary Player Health Spa, fun-filled days at The Valley of the Waves, thrilling nights at the Soho casino, and we even indulged our inner children with a few hours at the arcade.
But, even with all the exploring we did, we didn’t even scratch the surface of the number of activities available for guests at Sun City. If you’re keen on a family holiday, a break with your significant other, or even a getaway with friends, you can’t go wrong with this incredible African resort.
For more information about Sun City visit the Sun International website or say Hi to Sun City SA on Facebook. Follow the links to find out more about accommodation options at Sun City and the long list of exciting activities at Sun City.