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The Michelan­gelo Ho­tel Jo­han­nes­burg Dro­moland Cas­tle County Clare, Ire­land

WHERE IS IT? Lo­cated in the heart of up­scale Sand­ton, lit­er­ally around the cor­ner from the Gau­train sta­tion, the ho­tel over­looks Nel­son Man­dela Square with its gi­ant statue of the South African leader. In ad­di­tion to the ho­tel and its Michelan­gelo Tow­ers Mall, the square of­fers high-end re­tail shop­ping and restau­rants and is di­rectly con­nected to the Sand­ton City com­plex.

WHAT'S IT LIKE? The Michelan­gelo Ho­tel is part of the Legacy Ho­tels and Re­sorts group which has 28 four- and five-star ho­tels, re­sorts, casi­nos and lodges across the African con­ti­nent. The group has five de­vel­op­ments in the Jo­han­nes­burg sub­urb of Sand­ton, which has the nick­name“the rich­est square mile in Africa.”The ho­tel’s de­sign fea­tures a mul­ti­story open atrium with soar­ing arches clad in an abun­dance of stone and mar­ble. All in all, the im­pres­sion is grand, spa­cious and well-es­tab­lished. ROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES: The el­e­gant style in the pub­lic spa­ces ex­tends into the rooms as well. My deluxe room was a split-level af­fair with the splen­didly rest­ful king-size bed oc­cu­py­ing the up­per sleep­ing area and one step down, a sit­ting area that fea­tured a plush set­tee – also doze-wor­thy – and a com­mand­ing view of Man­dela’s statue and the busy square be­low. The mar­ble bath of­fered plenty of room for both a deep soak­ing tub and sep­a­rate rain­fall shower.

And it was the shower that taught me a les­son in the art of hos­pi­tal­ity. One morn­ing I dis­cov­ered there was no hot wa­ter com­ing from the shower. I didn’t call the desk right away but de­cided af­ter a short time to try again. This time I found the hot wa­ter had been fixed. Af­ter my shower, I no­ticed a note slipped un­der my door; it was from The Michelan­glo’s man­ager, apol­o­giz­ing for the

lapse in hot wa­ter ser­vice and ex­plain­ing what had oc­curred. Now I was im­pressed by how fast the hot wa­ter was fixed, but more im­pressed by the note. For me it was a lit­tle thing that gave the feel­ing my com­fort was truly their top pri­or­ity. RESTAU­RANTS AND

BARS: The Pic­colo Mondo restau­rant has a menu that com­bines tra­di­tional Ital­ian cui­sine and grilled dishes with a di­verse range of lo­cal dishes. Il Ritrovo lounge of­fers early morn­ing bites, all day snacks and an af­ter­noon high tea. Mean­while the sig­na­ture Il Ritrovo bar in the atrium serves up fa­vorite bev­er­ages in a so­phis­ti­cated piano bar at­mos­phere. LEISURE FA­CIL­I­TIES: In ad­di­tion to a well-equipped health and fit­ness cen­ter, and in­door heated pool, The Michelan­gelo Spa of­fers a com­plete menu of treat­ments from its sig­na­ture Tran­quil­ity Rit­ual to Swedish, deep tis­sue and aro­mather­apy mas­sage. BUSI­NESS AND MEET­ING FA­CIL­I­TIES: The ho­tel is con­nected via a sky­walk di­rectly to the 236,000-square-foot Sand­ton Con­ven­tion Cen­tre. As a re­sult The Michelan­gelo is one of Sand­ton’s top picks for busi­ness events and con­ven­tions. In ad­di­tion the ho­tel boasts con­fer­ence fa­cil­i­ties for up to 160 at­ten­dees sup­ported by a fully equipped busi­ness cen­ter. In­ter­net ac­cess is com­pli­men­tary.

VER­DICT: This ho­tel has a su­per-con­ve­nient busi­ness lo­ca­tion and a grand ele­gance and style. Still I got a homey sense of hos­pi­tal­ity that made me feel I was im­por­tant to every­one on the staff.

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