Romantic comedy, Blended, starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, was partially filmed in South Africa and my daughter Matilda’s love for this movie and her desire to travel to the locations from the movie have led us to The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City in South Africa.
I have never arrived at a hotel before that has made my jaw drop and put a smile on my face at the same time. The Palace of the Lost City is spectacularly over the top in every way. It is awash with a sense of style that could be a movie set but is genuine and authentic in its attempt to impress you. Combined with the mesmerising architecture and décor are staff who laugh and sing through their day as they attend to your every whim.
As we approach the hotel over a small bridge we can see that between us and the entrance is ‘Cheetah Hunt’, the larger than life bronze sculpture depicting two cheetah pursing a small group of impala. It’s the first of many exclamations from Matilda, “It’s just like it is in the movie!” The sculpture is large and dramatic, fitting seamlessly in with the style of everything around it.
CHECK-IN & BEYOND
The check-in process is quick and easy with a broad counter and many staff to assist you. The check-in takes place under a 25 metre high ceiling dome painted with frescos of African wildlife while underfoot a marble floor flows towards the Crystal Court, the palatial dining area of the Palace of the Lost City.
Large parts of the hotel have atrium spaces that allow views across the various floors and out to the Sun City valley below. As we’re escorted to our room we pass by the atrium space where the statue of Africa’s most famous elephant, a massive bull called Shawu, commands your attention.
Our room overlooks a dense belt of jungle that can be explored using various paths but also brings with it a warning sign in our room to not leave our balcony doors open otherwise monkeys may ransack your room. The room is spacious, luxurious and includes excellent information about the facilities and attractions to be found in Sun City. There is plenty of room to unpack our bags, plenty of room to stretch our legs and a bathroom big enough for a teenager to declare, “This will do just nicely.”
Our buffet breakfast each day is held in the Crystal Court of the Palace of the Lost City and where many of the meal scenes in Blended were filmed and where comedian and actor Terry Crews performed much of the movies music.
For one of our lunches at a restaurant overlooking the Valley of Waves we meet some of the people who worked on the movie Blended and can be seen in several scenes. Over a monster pile of sticky ribs, Matilda is spellbound by a series of first-hand accounts from someone who actually appeared in her all-time favourite movie.
The next day we sit with the owner of the Sun City microbrewery to listen to his accounts of the cast and crew he met from the movie so while Matilda filled her boots with even more Blended stories I filled mine on delicious ciders and ales.
Sun City has food options in delicacy and price for everyone. From the Crystal Court High Tea at the Palace of the Lost City to the shopping mall food court there is something for everyone at any time of the day.
The Sun City Resort is a complete resort. It is absolutely and truly able to substantiate all claims of having something for everyone. It is infinitely explorable and enjoyable for all ages. It offers extreme adventure, a little adventure or no adventure if you just want to enjoy some poolside time, excellent shopping or world class golf.
Accommodation ranges from recently refurbished budget hotels to the top of the valley ultra-luxury experience of the Palace of the Lost City.
Matilda’s bucket list travel experience separated some movie fact from fiction. We stood on the spot where the ostrich riding scene was filmed but there is no ostrich riding activity available. We drove down the old airstrip where Drew Barrymore undertook her parasailing adventure, nearly missing a rhinoceros on her rapid descent but there is actually no parasailing available behind a four wheel drive.
Matilda discovered in South Africa that fact is greater than fiction. A vast and beautiful landscape filled with adventure, luxury, laughter and excitement that only the real world can create.
Sun City is located two hours drive from Johannesburg in the North West Province of South Africa and district of Bojanala and adjacent to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve.
South African Airways is the flag carrier airline for South Africa and flies regularly to Johannesburg’s O.R Tambo International Airport and from there it is a two and half hour drive to Sun City Resort.
For accommodation deals, seasonal packages and airport transfer prices to Sun City Resort, contact your local travel agent.
For more information visit www.suninternational.com