In-city weekend getaway: Southern Sun Hyde Park

By 12:11

Weddings seem so glamorous when you’re not the one getting married. For the ones getting married, it is stressful. I’m constantly stressed about money and wondering whether everything will run smoothly. I have arguments with my family to keep them in check. My in-laws to-be are no better and I have to walk a fine line between having my wedding my way and being the respectful daughter-in-law. The worst part, though, was realising that my fiancé and I were upsetting each other during the emotional process of combining two separate small apartments into one.

We needed a break from all the wedding stress and the hotel stay I won from Deelish Life ‘n Style couldn’t have come at a better time. We spent the weekend at the luxurious Southern Sun Hyde Park hotel. 
I know what you’re thinking – that the hotel is about 20km away from where I live but the great thing about that is that I get to have a weekend getaway without travel time eating into my weekend and without the costs of flights added to my getaway costs.

Hyde Park is the epitome of upmarket. You feel it from the moment you walk into the hotel reception to the quality of the rooms. Their 4 star grading means enjoying that upmarket-feel without the price tag of a 5 star hotel.

The Southern Sun Hyde Park is situated on the same premises as Hyde Park corner. The sundeck overlooks the lush green surrounding suburbs and is renowned for being the bar with one of the best views in Johannesburg. When I was single, I loved coming to the bar after work on a Friday. It still has that same vibe I used to come for with a wonderful view of the setting sun. On a quieter night, it feels quite comfortable cosy-ing up on a couch with a cocktail.

Our room was spacious. I could have spent all weekend in that room without feeling claustrophobic. The room overlooked the Jan Smuts-William Nicol intersection and while we could hear the hum of the traffic, it was surprisingly a nice background sound to compliment the view. We also had a room right at the corner of the floor so we weren’t bothered by other guests or hotel staff.

I loved the bathroom! If I could, I would copy-paste it into my fiancé’s apartment. I loved the tiling, the walls, the rain showerhead and even the wall mounted toilet. Most importantly, I loved the clean feeling in the bathroom. I hate when I feel like a hotel room hasn’t been properly cleaned.

 The only downside of this hotel is that it doesn’t have a spa. It has one of the best bars in town, an extremely popular restaurant and a gym with a view but no pamper station. But...that’s what Hyde Park Corner is for. Sorbet is in the centre and you can book a massage there. Or for some couple time, you can get a manicure at their nail bar.

The hotel’s restaurant is Bice, a popular Italian restaurant. A tip for hotel guests: book a table on weekends. It gets insanely busy on Friday and Saturday nights and we were unable to get a table. After an hour wait, we were accommodated which was great but by then they had already run out of their specials. That wait was totally worth it, though.

Service was superb. The waitrons were chatty and ever so helpful regardless of how late we kept them up until or how early they had to serve us breakfast. I don’t quite see that level of friendliness in any of the hotels I previously stayed in so I loved the friendly atmosphere. Given that a lot of business travellers frequent this hotel, it’s not surprising that the world thinks that Saffers are a friendly bunch.

Despite us only being seated at 21:30, we had a lovely lady assist us by picking out the perfect bottle of wine to complement both our meal choices and our palettes. I must say that she did an excellent job. In fact, next time I go to Bice, I won’t even bother reading through the wine list. This lady would pick the right one a lot faster.

With Bice being an Italian restaurant, I loved that there were three risotto dishes on the menu. I never had risotto before so I liked the variety. I chose a seafood risotto and I was not disappointed. Despite being pasta, it was rather light. The chefs somehow had baby mussels and baby clams in there which made scooping up a forkful so easy.

The fiancé tried the spaghetti ala vodka which was fresh pasta served with prawns. Again the prawns were cut up into tiny pieces making eating so easy because you only needed a fork.That’s how pasta is supposed to be eaten. Really, who has time to be cutting up prawns into bite sized pieces or de-shelling them when you’re eating spaghetti? Because the pasta was fresh, the meal was light yet filling. The uneven-ness of the spaghetti and the thickness meant the pasta had a much better grasp of the sauce. The portion sizes were just perfect - none of those obese-American-sized portions that most restaurants are in to.

For dessert, I really wanted a soufflé – just to check whether the souffles the fiancé and I make are right. We realised for R15 more, we could get chocolate mouse and brownies so obviously we went with this really sweet chocolate dessert plate. The soufflé was ridiculously light with a delicious chocolate sauce oozing from it. It was the best item on the plate. The brownies are the standard ones which left me wishing there was a scoop of ice-cream to cut the richness. The mouse was sweet and light. The soufflé just caught my eye but they have a page full of other desserts to choose from if sweet and chocolate isn’t your thing.

Breakfasts are my favourite meals at larnie hotels. I love the variety. You can never re-create the variety at home and even breakfast joints don’t lay everything out as nicely. I am not much of a bacon and egg kinda girl so I loved everything else they had on offer like the extensive fruit, yogurt and the variety of syrups and compotes to go with it. The hot breakfast has your usual English breakfast options but with so much more – the lamb sausage was my favourite item. After all that food, I hardly had any space to attack the bread table with all the cold meats and cheese.

My weekend getaway ended with me feeling well-fed, relaxed and de-stressed. If, like me, you feel like you need a little getaway, consider Southern Sun Hyde Park. You will not be disappointed.  

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