Johannesburg's hot casino properties

28 Dec 2012

Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed hotels, gaming and entertainment Tsogo Sun’s casino properties Gold Reef City located in the south of Johannesburg and Montecasino in Fourways, are always good venues for entertainment and dining purposes in Johannesburg.

The Gold Reef City property is built just a short walk away from the original headgear of one of Johannesburg's oldest and most profitable mines making it a destination with a sense of self, defined according to its own terms.

Tsogo Sun’s first casino opened in Nelspruit in November 1997 and now has 14 casino properties including Silverstar to the West in Krugersdorp and others located in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, including the landmark Suncoast Casino on the beachfront in Durban.

Gold Reef City located in the suburb of Ormonde eight kilometres from the Johannesburg City Centre is well-known for its Theme Park, which offers a wide range of features and attractions to excite the whole family.

Whether you are young or old, I have found the Theme Park brings out the child in everyone - talk about high-speed entertainment while enjoying the city views.

Home to thrill rides, live shows, music and games, this is a wonderland of non-stop entertainment. 

With its rich heritage, expect to re-live Johannesburg’s incredible story by experiencing Jozi’s Story of Gold in this property.

It also offers a variety of restaurants, the Lyric and Globe Theatres which showcase famous Broadway Shows, musicals and comedy evenings as well as casino facilities for those who feel lucky but at the same time knowing when to stop gambling.

If you intend visiting this property and love comedy, be sure to catch The Cousin – Barry Hilton who will entertain guests at The Lyric Theatre with his show entitled: ‘Barry Hilton – Stand Up Chamelion.'

MasterChef SA winner Deena Naidoo opened his restaurant Aarya at SunSquare Hotel in Montecasino two months ago.

Whether you drive or take a taxi (conveniently located within the public transport route), after a hard night-out, there is no need to drive home - book yourself at one of the hotels located in the property, the Southern Sun Gold Reef City (rates from R1 250) and the Gold Reef City Theme Party Hotel (rates from R999 per night) located within the Theme Park precinct.  

The property also offers conferencing and team building facilities.

Gold Reef City recently won the ‘Best Place to take Out-of-Towners’ in the 2012/13 Leisure Options Readers Choice Awards. 

This follows on previous accolades including Leisure Options ‘Best Kid’s Party- Outdoors Venue’ (2010/11) and ‘Best Family Outing in Gauteng’ in The Star Readers’ Choice Awards (2010/11).

According to Mike Page, Gold Reef City general manager, it should come as no surprise that this property has won; with all that it offers, it is absolutely a must-visit and is considered to be one of Tsogo Sun’s premier entertainment destinations, and all the awards prove just that.

“Gold Reef City is more than just a precinct – it is a destination where imagination becomes reality. 

“It’s not about seeing and doing; it’s about experience and feeling,” says Page.

He explains that the property is built just a short walk away from the original headgear of one of Johannesburg's oldest and most profitable mines making it a destination with a sense of self, defined according to its own terms.

Gold Reef City balances history and heritage with an increasingly progressive way of life, embraces diverse cultural roots, and is surrounded by neighbourhoods that provide a mix of entertainment options, he says.

Meanwhile, located in the northern suburb of Fourways, is Montecasino, an award-winning property which opened in November 2000 and expanded in 2007.

Like its sister property in the south, Montecasino has won numerous awards since opening including the 2012/2013 The Star Reader's Choice Awards for Best Casino, 2012/2013 Leisure Options Readers Choice Awards for Best Entertainment Complex, 2011/2012 Leisure Options Readers Choice Awards for Best Place to Take Out of Towners.

The Montecasino Bird Gardens which opened in April 2001 has over 60 species of birds, reptiles and mammals from around the world.

Click here to see all the awards.

In December 2011, the property revealed that the average monthly footfall for the complex was 792 444.

The Montecasino property measures 380 000 square metres and the complex 85 000 square metres offering 5 238 parking bays.

It also offers entertainment for the whole family including casino facilities, various restaurants, bars and coffee shops, nightclubs and a comedy club, food court with fast food outlets, two theatres, The Teatro at Montecasino and the Pieter Toerien Theatre, child care facility, a 15 cinema Numetro complex, retail stores, Outdoor Piazza featuring Musical Fountains, three hotels including the Southern Sun Hotel located in The Pivot, SunSquare Hotel and the Palazzo Hotel, a five star-award winning property.

It has conference and events facilities and the Montecasino Bird Gardens, which opened in April 2001 and bird lovers are treated to Bird Shows daily at various times.

The garden has over 60 species of birds, reptiles and mammals from around the world.

Expect to feed the Lorikeets in the Lorikeet Aviary with specially prepared nectar and there is also a Cycad Garden with approximately 322 cycads – this is one the world’s largest private collections.

Perhaps a highlight for the year in this property among others was the opening of Aarya, MasterChef SA Deena Naidoo’s restaurant located at SunSquare hotel two months ago.

Whether you are young or old, I have found the Theme Park brings out the child in everyone - talk about high-speed entertainment while enjoying the city views.

If you have been to this hotel before, you will know that the former restaurant was called MondoVino Restaurant, where MasterChef judge Benny Masekwameng was executive chef.

You are not going to only love the food, you are likely to bump into Naidoo and get your very own autograph if you missed that signing round during the show.

The property has been totally revamped, giving it a fresh, vibrant feel - a true labour of love, which combines Naidoo’s passion for food at the same time celebrating the South African cultures.

The food is 'to die for', another reason why the restaurant which opened two months ago is fully booked until mid January 2013.

Naidoo, whose friendly smile will have you hooked on the food, explains that the colour palette chosen for the restaurant is inspired by the vibrant tints of spices, fresh citrus fruit, the colours of the calabash, and beautiful South African sunsets.

Passionate about interior design as much as he is about food, he says he loves old things and as such, the decor is not over the top, but it is such that one can sit back and truly enjoy the food at the same time being in a homely space.

The other noticeable thing about the newly designed restaurant is the space flow, which he says is very important; it is a simple yet functional kind of design.

While at Aarya, be sure to try Deena’s Butter Chicken, quite a hit with restaurant patrons.  – Denise Mhlanga

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