Nomad Africa Magazine - - Back Seat - Words: JA­NINE AVERY

Even af­ter 25 years, the Palace of the Lost City is no less glo­ri­ous than the day she was built. Boasting mar­ble floors, huge sculp­tured gran­ite col­umns and op­u­lent hand­crafted de­tails that ex­tend from the car­peted floors right up to the painted ceil­ings and across to the tapestries that drape the walls, she is a sight to be­hold. So when I was in­vited to spend a night in this gor­geous ho­tel in South Africa’s Sun City Re­sort, I jumped at the op­por­tu­nity.

ar­riv­ing at the Palace, the first thing that grabbed my at­ten­tion was the mag­nif­i­cent statue at her en­trance. Chee­tahs are sus­pended in ac­tion as they leap to catch jump­ing im­pala in mid-air. It’s an op­ti­cal il­lu­sion and mag­nif­i­cent piece of art by Danie De Jager who left no stone un­turned in its creation. He metic­u­lously stud­ied photographs, videos and even dis­sected the car­casses of chee­tahs and im­pala to ex­am­ine their mus­cle struc­ture be­fore cre­at­ing the piece. Once I had man­aged to draw my eyes away from the el­e­gance of the statue, I was greeted by the bowed heads of gi­ant sable and or­nately carved wooden doors that had to be the largest I had ever seen. The Palace is built to give the im­pres­sion that it was once the home of a stately King that ruled a long lost civil­i­sa­tion that lived in these parts and she does not dis­ap­point. Step in­side her grand en­trance hall and the ceil­ing is hand­painted, the in­tri­cate mo­saic floors hand laid and the colour­ful tapestries hand woven. How­ever, it was the palm-frond chan­de­lier that drew me through to the Crys­tal Court area. Sur­rounded by gi­gan­tic pil­lars and floor to sec­ond-storey glass doors, the grand din­ing area is a feat of en­gi­neer­ing. The chords of a grand pi­ano filled the space and im­me­di­ately trans­ported me to an­other world. With just one day in this epic lo­ca­tion, how­ever, I had no time to stop and en­joy the mu­sic be­fore I was off to ex­plore Sun City’s fa­mous Val­ley of the Waves. Hav­ing re­cently added two new mind­bog­gling slides to this amaz­ing water­park, the Val­ley of the Waves pro­vides an ad­ven­ture play­ground like no other. With an amaz­ing con­structed beach with rolling waves, a leisurely lazy river and a host of wa­ter slides, each one seem­ingly more ter­ri­fy­ing than the next, I en­joyed an af­ter­noon in the wa­ter, un­leash­ing the child within me! Af­ter try­ing to find my way out of the labyrinth that is the new Maze of the Lost City and indulging quite de­light­edly in the craft beer tast­ing that awaited me at the end, it was back to my op­u­lent abode at the Palace and a night well spent. In the morn­ing, a break­fast of kings awaited me and I strug­gled to choose from the elab­o­rate af­fair on of­fer. Roast, sushi, pan­cakes, waf­fles, cheeses, pas­tries, an omelette sta­tion and all the usual break­fast trim­mings were lined up be­fore me and I try as I did, I couldn’t taste it all. Happy as can be and as stuffed as a turkey on Thanks­giv­ing Day, I packed my things and bid farewell to the per­fec­tion that is the Palace – know­ing what it feels like to be Queen, even if just for one day!

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