Whether you are staying at a hotel for a few days or just for a night, it’s good to know what your options are in terms of things to do at and around the hotel. How you access that information is up to the hotel but typically you will receive a welcome letter with a general overview or you can wander down to reception for a list, or maybe check out the website.
BON Hotels have gone all out in promoting their hotels as a destination – the website has dedicated pages for things to do and information about the area, and if you have a few minutes you can read their blog with useful travel tips and other interesting titbits. Their web-based mobile application, BONNY, also allows you to view all activities on site and in the surrounds – you can even order room service!
Dominic Ndlovu, General Manager at BON Hotel Midrand, located in the corporate hub between Johannesburg and Pretoria, within close proximity to Midrand Conference Centre and Galllagher Estate, says the hotel is well known for its tranquil setting and most of the guests relish the peace and quiet. “You would be forgiven for thinking that there is not much to do in the area but once you venture out of your room after a long day, take a dip or sip a cocktail at the pool, there is in fact plenty to do – from entertainment and sport, to food and wine, horses and hospitality and the theatre.”
- Take a tour
Take a day tour or the afternoon off and visit the Lory Park Zoo and Animal Sanctuary where visitors are able to experience animals up close and personal. You can see the big cats such as the Bengal Tiger, Cheetah, Lynx, Jaguar, Leopard, Lion, Puma and Siberian Tiger. There is also a large variety of birds and reptiles.
Mapatiza Underground Gemstone Mine Tours is a very popular attraction for locals and visitors and a great way to spend the afternoon and learn a bit too! You can explore the outside “mine-run” as well as check out the underground mine, its chambers and all. Best of all, you can shop too – might just find yourself going home with a gem.
- Get your heart racing
Kyalami racetrack is literally on your doorstep! Kyalami, which means “my home”, hosted the South African Grand Prix between 1967 and 1985 and now hosts a variety of domestic racing events. If you are not much of a spectator, you can test your own skills in various high-speed activities at Kyalami.
Gold Reef City is a great option for the family. The theme park offers the widest range of features and attractions to get your heart racing and the kids screaming. If you fancy a little gambling, the casino is where it’s all happening. On that note, Montecasino is also just 20km away for those looking for a blackjack table or a slot machine.
- Some serious shopping
BON Hotel Midrand is the perfect base for a good city shop! Sandton City is down the drag and only a few stops from the Midrand Gautrain Station. The Boulders, Carlswald and Sandridge are also great shopping centres and the much-anticipated Mall of Africa will be completed in 2016.
- Culture Vultures
For those looking for a bit of local culture, arts, theatre or live performances, you can pop over to The Barnyard Theatre at Kyalami – they always have great shows and you can really let your hair down, sing along and get your groove going.
- Golf fanatics
Gauteng is littered with top golf courses, but our picks for convenience are: Blue Valley Golf and Country Estate, Kyalami Golf Course and The Johannesburg Country Club in Woodmead. Didn’t bring any clubs? No problem, all these listed clubs hire out golf clubs – all you need to take is a good swing.
- Wine and Dine
You’ve got to try Shisa Nyama in Midrand – what a wonderful local experience! Shisa Nyama, which literally means “burn the meat” in isiZulu, is a buy-and-barbecue concept that started in South Africa’s townships and has taken off in Johannesburg.
If you feel like a great curry, Thava Indian Restaurant is the place to go, simply delicious! Another favourite Midrand spot is ‘Busy Corner’, one of the most lively Imbizos to date. This nickname is derived from the moment you hit the parking lot; you won’t be wondering why it’s called ‘Busy Corner’ for too long.
Other great tried-and-trusted restaurants in the area:
– News Café
– Taste of India
– Karoo Cattle and land
The list literally does go on and on, so next time you are in the area don’t stay in your room, poke your nose out and experience this buzzing metropolis that is Midrand.