Fourways’ Little Italy

I have many favorite places and I am always keen to talk about them, one at a time.

I have planned my hotel posts, starting with the two hotels in Sandton where we stayed during our staycation in December, for Christmas and Boxing Day, but I made a couple of changes. Instead, my first hotel post is on the Palazzo Hotel, although this was our last hotel for our staycation.

01 Palazzo - Front (1)
Palazzo Hotel’s front/main entrance

It is a known fact to many, and others who don’t know will easily see, that Montecasino is my favorite place. Why not? While I may still have a good supply of energy, I have to admit that it isn’t the same as ten years ago, so to drive a distance to enjoy or entertain myself is rather a mission. Montecasino is a mere five kilometers from home. If the city were a safer place, I could walk there, but it isn’t, despite being a suburb. I am also lazy and we park in a dedicated basement parking for the frequent guests (*wink*), so we have no parking issues even when the place is too busy. So yes, Montecasino is my local hangout. And yes, I still owe that post on the Bird Gardens. Eventually. 🙂

I go to the Palazzo for cocktails and dinner. It is a favorite meeting place. It was convenient for me when I worked at the Palazzo Towers. It helps that it is a gorgeous hotel. I had wanted to stay at the Palazzo Hotel, just to try it out, but being a 5 star hotel, it is not affordable. We would sometimes stay at Sun Square, also in the Montecasino complex, when we have no water or electricity, or for some other reason. We cannot do that with the Palazzo. Fortunately, the hotel group Tsogo Sun runs a promotion, SunBreaks, which makes the hotels affordable. We were not going away for Christmas holidays last year so I decided to book for our staycation at three of the hotels I have been waiting to try for several years. On the SunBreaks promotion, I paid ZAR1930 for two adults and a five-year old child. Hubby checked us in and he said that we were upgraded for free. We did have a fabulous room but I can’t tell you what it is. It’s 226.

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From the outside, up front, it looks like a small hotel. It is not a high rise like the Sandton Intercontinental. It has the look and feel of those magnificent Italian hotels, such as in the (old) movie, Chances Are (with the young RDJ). It’s not too daft to expect a handsome Italian to welcome you. But no, there was none of that. Ha-ha!

The hotel’s reception area is pretty standard for a 5 star hotel, I suppose. It is pretty enough. It is intimidating enough, if you don’t know better.

It is not The Palace of the Lost City but it has its charm, especially the staircase from the reception area to the restaurant downstairs. These are the same stairs you’d take to go to the pool.

02 Palazzo - Reception to Restaurant (1)

I really do like these stairway. I think it is quite romantic. I love the water feature in the middle where the stairs meet.

02 Palazzo - Reception to Restaurant (2)

On the picture above, where the chairs are is where we would normally sit for cocktails or sundowners. The Palazzo serves nuts, olives and cheeses with sundowners. There is a piano, and I do get lucky at times and I relax there with my drink, listening to good music.

03 Palazzo - Bar (1)

I had a cocktail while hubby attended to our check-in. The drinks are priced accordingly, for a 5 star establishment. Hubby joined us after taking our overnight bag to the room. We checked in on the 2nd of January. Christmas decorations were coming down.

Then, we walked past the bar area and the bathrooms for non-resident guests, towards our room.

It may not make sense but I thought it was just cool to have “double doors”, and by double I don’t mean just side by side. There was nothing between the two doorways but who cares, right?

Basically, the first door—double doors—leads to the passage to the second door—single door—that opens to the room.

05 Palazzo - Room (3)
The doorway that leads to the room 🙂 Taa-daa!

The room has a lot more than what we need for the night. Then again, there are probably less guests who stay for only one night. I would stay for longer. It just does not make sense to do that because my own house is around the corner. Granted that this bedroom is a few notches better than my room but the price for this grand room sends me back to my own bed without hesitation.

05 Palazzo - Room (6)

05 Palazzo - Room (7)

I am sure that the double doors to the bathroom area cannot be missed. It is The Palace of the Lost City all over again.

The bed is also awesome. It is not as high as the bed at One and Only but it is a pretty fantastic bed. It’s good enough for me, seeing that I am no princess. 🙂

Overall, the room is everything we needed and more. We normally don’t ask for an extra bed for our daughter as she loves sleeping with us. We don’t mind; the hotel offered, but we said it was not necessary. There are also rooms with two double beds instead.

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The coffee station has more than enough for us, except for milk. For some reason, the milk supply in hotel rooms is always minimal. Luckily, housekeeping (or even the concierge) is only a phone call away. These 5 star hotels do not make their guests wait for those additional things we need and ask for. The Nespresso machines in Tsogo Sun hotels are such a wonderful extra. Unused capsules do not go to waste as we have a machine at home, too. Yes, like Ross, from ‘Friends’, I take all the consumables home. We pay for them, after all.

08 Palazzo - Coffee Station (1)

Oh, these cookies were delicious. We are still looking for a store that retails them.

08 Palazzo - Coffee Station (2)

Time to relax… just pretending. There’s still so much to take pictures of. Ha-ha!

05 Palazzo - Room (16)

This room has a balcony! Yes, a balcony. It is tiny but it is a balcony. From out there, you can listen to the conversation of the guests at the table in the balcony from the bar area. Ha-ha! This was a nice change from the Sandton hotels where we stayed. Then again, I would not want a balcony in our rooms there. I would have jelly legs standing outside, so I wouldn’t go out and it would be a waste. However, unlike our room at The Palace of the Lost City, this room is not on the ground floor so it does not lead to a garden. The garden is just a floor down though.

Whereas Sandton Sun Towers has the better room than Sandton Intercontinental but the latter has the better bathroom than the former (the rooms where we stayed, anyway), our room at the Palazzo had both a lovely room and a cool bathroom.

The bathroom is really marvelous. There were little things that gave it character. The soap box is an example. I would have liked one for home. No, I did not take it home; only the things in it. I did not take the bathrobes home, too. Those are not consumables. The bathroom supplies are more than sufficient. In the shower is a bath and shower gel, with the shampoo and conditioner, and the bath has a foam bath and a bath salt.

I’d love to have this bathroom at home, but my house isn’t big enough for this. Maybe my next home… when I win the lottery… depending on how many people win with me. I might have bigger and better and/or more (quantity) of the exact same.

It is not only the hotel’s interior that’s charming; the outside is also beautiful. The Palazzo’s pool isn’t as enchanting as The Palace’s pool but it is quite terrific. The view of the hotel from the pool area is a sight to behold.

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The water feature extending from the outside restaurant area to the steps to the pool has fishes, which the children find delightful. Some adults also watch the fishes, I have seen.

The pool area is definitely Instagram-material. In fact, I did post several pictures on Instagram on the day.

10 Palazzo - Pool (1)

10 Palazzo - Pool (2)

10 Palazzo - Pool (3)

We had a beautiful sunshiny day and it was warm enough for me to brave the water. I get cold pretty quickly and I can’t swim really. Still, I had quite a lot of fun.

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The poolside has Mangwanani Spa, so guests can have a relaxing massage. We did not have time for it, but maybe next time. We did have our late lunch there, which wasn’t the best experience because of the bees. They always want to share your food. I ended up taking my delicious chicken salad to the room where I devoured it, in peace.

How can the Palazzo Hotel not be a favorite hotel? An added bonus is its location: in Montecasino. There is even an exclusive, dedicated pathway from the hotel to one of the entrances of the casino building, the one closest to the Bird Gardens. I know, I know… Montecasino Bird Garden post… And if walking isn’t for you, the hotel has a golf cart that ferries guests to the entertainment complex. This is best when there is a bit of rain.

The hotel’s restaurant, Medeo, is great as well; for dinner, lunch and breakfast. We’ve had dinner here a few times and my favorite is their salmon. So, if you don’t want to stress yourself choosing among the many restaurants in Montecasino, better stay put and have your lunch or dinner in the hotel. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to get my lazy arse out of bed early to get to breakfast. We ticked the items we wanted for breakfast and we left the menu outside our door before 3am. At 8:30am, room service brought our breakfast kind of in bed… by the bed. 🙂 It was perfect!

I am not a breakfast person but I always love my fruits. I am also crazy about pastries, so although my stomach wasn’t ready for anything other than fruits, I couldn’t ignore the pastries. They were yummy!

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We don’t get this breakfast at home. This was a real treat that I hope I’ll have again soon.

15 Palazzo - Breakfast in-room (9)

We left the hotel happy… for our 5km drive back home. We probably drove back to Montecasino later. After all, like I said, it’s my favorite place. 🙂

The Palazzo Hotel is a Tsogo Sun hotel. It is located on Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways, off William Nicol, easily accessible from the N1 highway.

Bookings can be made online or by telephone: +27 11 461 9744 | 0861 44 77 44

To contact Palazzo directly, call: +27 11 510 3000

From the official website of Tsogo Sun/Palazzo Hotel:

The award-winning Palazzo hotel in Johannesburg is located within the precinct of the Montecasino Entertainment Complex. Our luxury hotel is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and romantic hotels in South Africa, with an enviable reputation for elegant opulence.

The enchantment of its Tuscan-inspired architecture, reflected in the luxurious accommodation and spectacular gardens, is one of the reasons the Palazzo hotel has been a World Luxury Hotels Award winner for six consecutive years, and a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner in 2015.

The Palazzo offers its guests luxury accommodation, attentive service, and the very best in superior amenities. The hotel has recently seen the completion of an extensive refurbishment, and with 246 rooms, beautiful surrounds, and convenient location, the Palazzo is an ideal Johannesburg destination. For business executives as well as leisure guests, the Palazzo offers something extra special.

A number of services and amenities are on offer, including complimentary WiFi, a fully equipped fitness centre, convenient business centre, the Mangwanani Boutique Spa, an outdoor pool and so much more. Your experience at the Palazzo will be further enhanced by fine dining and superb service on offer at its restaurant.

12 thoughts on “Fourways’ Little Italy

  1. Wow, that is such a nice hotel! Totally luxurious and the room is so big, looks like it can accommodate an entire family of six haha! That breakfast though is my favorite picture because it looks wonderful. Glad you had a fun time Anne =)

    Liked by 1 person

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