05 Apr 2012
SunSquare is one of the Southern Sun hotels in the Montecasino complex. These are The Palazzo and Southern Sun Montecasino.
The 179 room property opens onto the Montecasino Outdoor Piazza, a venue that caters for a variety of outdoor activities and events.
Unlike the over the top design seen in many hotels across South Africa, SunSquare offers an exciting new concept and lifestyle hotel.
The most striking feature of the hotel is the informal dress code – jeans and T-shirts, which immediately allows one to feel relaxed and ready to indulge in the funky rooms.
General manager Jacques Heath describes the property as a funky, vibrant, hip and happening hotel located in Fourways north of Johannesburg.
Southern Sun says the property offers a different aspect of hotel living, it is not boring, but rather, it is a happening hotel for happening people.
All you need is an attitude and the willingness to be funky to truly experience what this Fourways gem, located within the same complex as the four and five star hotels, has to offer.
Managers in hotels are often dressed in suits, which may be intimidating for some people at times.
Heath is just as funky as the property itself. Make no mistake, he runs a tight ship because to remain the preferred property destination, especially in Montecasino and Fourways where guests are spoilt for choice, is hard work.
When asked what makes him the right person for the job, he says his constant drive for service excellence – and this involves crafting magic memories for all guests.
Checking in at the funky rooms
He says the 179 rooms are designed for the trendy traveller who seeks a cosmopolitan experience.
The rooms are by definition, square in design and each room has en suite shower, wireless internet connection, television and a work desk.
It also offers physically challenged guests a chance to live out the stylish funky life in one of the special rooms.
The 23 square metre double rooms are priced at R1 325 per person including breakfast.
However, explains Heath, prices depend on when one books. For example, he says they get a lot of special bookings and events from guests coming from all over Gauteng and other areas.
Keeping in touch with its funky design, the hotel offers guests a special rate when they book for a show at one of the three theatres at Montecasino.
As with property buying or renting, he urges guests to shop around for when these special packages are running to fully maximise their stay at SunSquare.
He says the hotel’s location is a major draw card for many guests as it has easy access to the NI Highway, Sandton CBD and security is great at the complex.
During weekdays, the hotel guests are mainly business people and on weekends, the leisure market takes over.
Heath says they experience high occupancy levels from Monday to Thursdays with busy months from February to November annually.
Expect the boys and girls in jeans and T-shirts to welcome you with a drink and complimentary snacks, after all, funky living at this hotel is about being laid back and totally chilled.
Hotel management hosts cocktail parties every Wednesday evening where guests get a chance to sample a few of the best wines in the hotel’s cellar.
After dinner, do not expect mints to take home or to your bed, rather if you have a sweet tooth, cupcakes complete the dining experience. Good food is strongly encouraged, says Heath.
Why stay at the SunSquare property?
Heath points out every person employed at the hotel works as part of a team of dynamic young South Africans whose aim is to please and entice guests in everything they do.
“We operate seamlessly as a team, each department contributing towards creating magical, funky memories.”
SunSquare has won the Gold Status with Heritage 2011 Award, 2010 Rosetta Award for Excellence 2011, Diners Club Platinum Wine List Award 2010 & 2011 and Gold Status for Organisational Resilince Status 2010.
Awards are great ways of acknowledging effort and recognising achievement and results are achieved with focused and aligned goals achieved through teamwork, says Heath.
SunSquare is also going green as part of the Southern Sun hotels’ initiative to reduce carbon footprints.
The hotel has installed heat pumps, which have led to reduction of electricity consumption.
Continued education of its staff and guests on all things green, participating in all the events on the energy saving calendar, reducing energy usage during peak demand and continually increasing recycling contributions are some of the ways in which the hotel is going green.
Dining and wining
For a gastronomical experience, MondoVino Restaurant offers a contemporary Italian inspired cuisine, live cooking demonstrations and outdoor dining serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The open plan kitchen allows guests to experience the unique concept of live cooking where their meals are prepared to their taste by executive chef, Benny Masekwameng.
His culinary skills have led him to being chosen as one of three judges of MasterChefs SA reality television programme.
Masekwameng was lured into the art of preparing and cooking food by his mother who supplied meals to construction workers in Alexandra Township in Johannesburg as an additional income.
His signature dish and must-have while visiting SunSquare is Pasta Allo Scoglio, a mixed seafood dish in tomato based sauce served with pasta and drizzled with pesto.
He says guests can expect only freshly made dishes ranging from pasta, seafood, grills and the chefs’ famous Josper chicken with a distinct smokey flavour.
If like me, you believe life is too short to drink cheap wine, the MondoVino Bar offering an extensive of South African wine collections is the best place to be at.
MondoVino Restaurant won the Platinum Award in the 2011 Diners Club Winelist Awards.
The unrivalled pairing of food and wine is the responsibility of sommelier, Brilliant Mathelumusa, who won the hotly contested South African Best Wine Steward Award in the 2011 Diners Club stand alone category recognising emerging young talent in wine service.
Heath adds that with all that the property has to offer, guests are guaranteed to walk away with unforgettable memories of the funkiest hotel in Fourways.- Denise Mhlanga
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