Hotels in and around the Sandton suburb
Sandton is Johannesburg's most significant and well known area, notable for its commercial and financial abundance. In addition to a number of banks and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Sandton is also home to Africa's biggest convention centres. Such are the homes, businesses and architecture of this chic area that is has been dubbed “Africa's richest square mile”.
Because of its proliferation of impressive shopping centres, tourist attractions and activities, Sandton has become a popular attraction in its own rights. It is situated within the heart of Johannesburg, making it easily accessible and a convenient hub from which to branch out during your stay in South Africa.
While Sandton may not always have been the commercial and industrial hub it now is, it was almost always a cosmopolitan, sophisticated area. Approximately a century ago, sizeable estates were situated amongst horse trails and occupied by South Africa's elites. The farmers were wealthy and the homes opulent for that era. Gradually, it began to undergo development and growth and the farms were replaced first by residential neighbourhoods and then by large homes and booming businesses. It was officially established in July of 1969. At this time, Alec Tweedale was named the mayor of this little town.
It was only in 1994 that Sandton's separate municipality become integrated with Johannesburg's to form a suburb rather than a separate entity.
However, it was tens of thousands of years ago that ancient man first inhabited this area. Their existence is made evident by the iron- and stone-age implements that remain in fossilised forms, as well as by rock paintings and human remains.
Sandton is a bustling neighbourhood, with a myriad attractions within its relatively small borders. This means that tourists can access many exciting sights and activities on foot. However, should you decide to hire a private vehicle, satellite navigation is essential for navigating the whole of Johannesburg.
Johannesburg enjoys the facility of the OR Tambo International Airport. This is just over 20 kilometres from the city centre, which takes about 40 minutes by car (depending on traffic). This airport is the main access point from which travellers from all over the world depart to explore other areas of South Africa and its surrounds.
It is not wise to make use of the minibus taxis. Busses and trains are not widely used by the locals, and are restricted to certain areas of the city.
Sandton is famous for its many world-class shopping centres and restaurants. These guarantee a full itinerary for any keen shopaholic.
MonteCasino is one of Sandton's prime attractions. Situated in the heart of Fourways, this entertainment Mecca is brimming with gaming, retail and leisure facilities catering to all profiles, needs and desires. This centre oozes Tuscan charm in its architecture and décor, while the restaurants, hotels and shops inside are world class. The casino is home to 1700 slot machines and 70 gaming tables, while the 5-star hotel, The Palazzo MonteCasino, has fantastic conference facilities and luxurious suites. Children will further delight in the MonteCasino Bird Gardens, home to numerous birds and animals.
Nelson Mandela Square is popular, not only for its giant bronze statue of South Africa's former President, but also for its proximity to Sandton City's premium shopping districts, the closest of which is Sandton City Shopping Centre. The statue weighs an impressive 2.5 tons, and the shoes are 1 metre long! It was donated to commemorate the first decade of South African democracy. This square is surrounded by restaurants, shops and office parks, as well as the Sandton Convention Centre and several hotels.
Gauteng summers are hot, reaching about 30 degrees Celsius during the day, with afternoon thunderstorms both cooling and impressing the residents in their electric displays. Even summer nights are warm, averaging about 18 to 20 degrees. Winters are chilly at about 15 degrees Celsius during the day. Summer is between December and February (although the heat extends until about May) and winters are between June and August.
Health requirements depend greatly on the other areas that the visitors to Sandton will be visiting. Since this is an urban metropolis, there are few health threats within its boundaries. It is advised, however, that visitors to South Africa consult a travel clinic before their arrival to ascertain what travel health requirements there are.
Sun damage is prevalent all over the world. Because SA is particularly hot and sunny, it is especially important. Apply a high-factor sunscreen to face, neck, shoulders, arms and legs. In addition, wear a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing. Sunscreen should be reapplied during the course of the day.
Bring your prescriptions for spectacles and medication so that you can restock at a local pharmacy without having to consult with a doctor. Ensure that your tetanus shots are up-to-date as some areas are fraught with litter, including broken glass, cans and metal.
Be very careful of walking around any city centre after dark. Do not ever venture out alone, and do not carry large amounts of cash or photographic equipment on your person, regardless of the time of day.
Never leave any of your belongings, or your children, unattended and do not accept help from strangers, especially if it requires handing over your bank cards, photographic equipment, etc…
Never pick up hitch hikers and do not stop at accident scenes to assist. If necessary call 082 911 for help.
Situated in the heart of Sandton, Johannesburg, this privately owned premier hotel is the distinctively superior choice. For the discerning guest, who seeks premier quality and elegance, the Balalaika Sandton Hotel is the perfect choice, lending its distinctive atmosphere of luxurious tranquillity to the hectic schedule of business people and tourists alike.