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Travel

Now is the Best Time to #RediscoverSandton

The Sandton Tourism & Business Association, together with key Sandton stakeholders, hosted the first of a series of regular media walks in the precinct. This was to highlight some of the many developments and attractions in Sandton that have happened since the onset of lockdown over a year ago. The greater precinct has seen a steady increase of activity, and with business travel having slowed down, looks to boost its leisure offering.

Known to many as Africa’s richest square mile, Sandton is synonymous with business and finance, the arts and architecture, premium shopping and supercar spotting. It’s Africa’s ‘golden apple’, home to the JSE, the Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton City Shopping Centre and Nelson Mandela Square, the tallest skyscraper in Africa, The Leonardo, some of the finest 5-star hotels and dining destinations, as well as numerous parks and spaces to shape mind, body and spirit.

Hosted by the Sandton Tourism & Business Association and guided by the Founder & Managing Editor of The Sandton Times, Alexander Leibner, the tour looked to emphasize the many leisure attractions Sandton has to offer, from dining to hotel stays, spa treatments, shopping, entertainment, sightseeing and more! Alexander, who resides and works in the heart of Sandton, offered a first-hand account of the latest happenings in Sandton from a local’s perspective.

As South Africa moves into adjusted Level 2, members of the Sandton Tourism & Business Association continue their commitment to adhering to COVID-19 regulations and protocols, to ensure the highest possible safety standards whilst offering those visiting Sandton a memorable and relaxing experience.

THE CITY DRIVE-IN POWERED BY STER-KINEKOR AT SANDTON CITY
Located on Sandton City’s Rooftop Parking using the Sandton Drive Entrance, the 14-metre-wide screen is sure to be a hot favourite for movie goers, even when the temperatures drop. With a release line-up including blockbusters, fresh on the circuit, family, and kids’ entertainment along with cinema classics, there’s no excuse to not secure a spot!

Some all-time favourite snacks will be available, because what would the movies be without popcorn and a soft drink? And Drive-In goers are free to pack their favourite picnic hamper or pop into Sandton City to purchase a bite to eat from a wide variety of food outlets before the movie. Tickets are on sale until 31 July 2021, via Quicket.co.za

NELSON MANDELA SQUARE CLOCK
The monumental clock on Nelson Mandela Square is the the second largest clock in the Southern Hemisphere. The latest addition to the world-famous landmark, the almost half-a-ton timekeeper is not to be missed – a great photo opportunity along with a selfie of the Nelson Mandela statue, overlooking the square.

Nelson Mandela Square remains a firm favourite for those enjoying the warm winter afternoon sun outside, with a myriad of restaurants to choose from, including Hard Rock Café, Big Mouth and Tashas, whilst once the sun sets, there’s some delicious dining at Pappas, The Butcher Shop & Grill or why not try the latest Asian inspired addition to the square, TANG.

SUNDOWNERS WITH A VIEW
There is nothing quite like some whiskey or wine (and in this weather, a hot chocolate) on the Sandton Sun Hotel SAN Deck, overlooking the impressive Sandton skyline, with some of its iconic architecture. A great location for pre- or post-dinner drinks, the open-air setup is ideal for social distancing along with fire-pits and mushroom heaters to keep things toasty.

A ROUND OF RETAIL THERAPY
Some might have heard of the queues outside some of the Diamond Walk stores in Sandton City, but for those needing to get out of the house for a bit, Sandton City has around 15 new stores opening over the next few weeks, bringing a fresh new selection to firm favourites in Africa’s most notable shopping destination.

FEEL BULLISH IN SANDTON
Situated right outside the must-try Bull Run Restaurant, as part of the Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton, stands the beautifully sculpted Bull Run #BronzeBull. The bull weighs a crushing 1.2 tons of pure bronze and was created by sculptor Michael Canadas. Adjacent to the stock exchange, The Bull Run has always taken inspiration from the titans of finance, the ever-moving markets and economic energy that flows through Sandton. The bronze bull is thus perfectly situated not only for a great photo opportunity, but a symbol of strength, optimism, and hope.

COURTYARD HOTEL SANDTON
Courtyard Hotel Sandton is located in the heart of Sandton’s financial district. It’s 69 well-appointed units are perfect for those guests who prefer the independence of self-catering for some meals, particularly in these times. The hotel is an oasis of warmth and charm, offering guests luxurious peace that will make them forget for a moment that they are in the middle of a busy city. Business and leisure travellers alike will enjoy the ‘home away from home’ ambience, while not missing out on any conveniences.

DISCOVERY HEALTH VACCINATION CENTER
With 30 full-time vaccinators and over 100 support staff, the heart of Sandton has been transformed into a fully accredited vaccination site as part of South Africa’s national COVID-19 vaccination program at 1 Discovery Place (1DP). Delivering around 2,500 vaccinations per day, the current phase is open to people over the age of 60-years and healthcare workers. As of the of May 2021, over 12 000 people have been vaccinated at the site, under the care of and supervision of a full clinical team.

DELI’S, DELIGHTS AND DECADENCE
Sandton has seen a series of artisan and unique eateries pop up over the past 12-months, from popular brunch spot Pablo’s at the Mint Hotel in Katherine Street to the growing Italian deli at the Sandhurst Shell Garage, TiAmo Deli, run by brothers Matthew and Christopher Amoretti.

Delicatessen Cremalat has opened a small outlet in Sandton’s Acorn Lane, whilst Morningside Shopping Centre plays host to a weekend market, featuring homemade treats and eats alongside handcrafted goods. From coffee shops, where coffee aficionado’s sit alongside work-from-anywhere entrepreneurs, to eateries satisfying any cold weather cravings, Sandton has it all.

MINI SHARING PREMIERS IN SANDTON
MINI South Africa launches MINI Sharing this June in Sandton, with the first all-electric MINI Cooper SE. Based at BlackBrick in Sandton, a “vertical village” on the centrally-located Fredman Drive, the service will be available exclusively to residents of BlackBrick, and members of the BlackBrick Club. This pilot programme ushers in a new area of ‘ride-sharing’ and electric mobility on Sandton’s roads.

PAMPERING FOR BODY AND SOUL AT RADISSON BLU HOTEL SANDTON
The Radisson Blu Sandton welcomed its brand-new spa facility called ‘The View’ by 27Pinkx, just in time for those lazy winter days where a little pampering is called for. Boasting an array of refreshed facilities, the spa includes a Halogen Salt Therapy room with sodium chloride generator, a dry sauna and heated Roman bath with a 180-degree view of the city. For those ready to go all-out, the newly launched winter menu at the Radisson Blu Vivace restaurant features an array of decadent comfort foods!

HOTEL SKY AT NIGHT – VISITORS DELIGHT
One of the latest additions to the Sandton hospitality offering, Hotel Sky on the corner of West and Maude Street, has combined attractive ‘staycation’ packages with world-class entertainment, by the likes of Jesse Clegg, Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels, David Kau, Ross of Prime Circle as well as their regular dine and show at Eclipse Restaurant, which sees trapeze artists performing an array of different feats, over dinner.

A JOURNEY THROUGH ART AT THE LEONARDO
Some might have already discovered the hippest cocktail spot for a sundowner and gourmet Pizza at OctoBar, whilst others have indulged in some art-on-a-plate at AURUM Restaurant, one of Sandton’s most popular dining destinations. Yet there is another side to The Leonardo that some might not have taken time to study. Powered by the four worldly elements: earth, wind, water and fire, The Leonardo’s art installations can be viewed during a one-hour guided tour in small groups, twice per week, offering visitors an in-depth understanding of some of the beautiful pieces adorning floors, walls and ceilings of this landmark building.

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