TESTED BY Dan Booth
HOW MANY ROOMS? 242 rooms and suites
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Exceptional location, elegant rooms and a knack for handling the odd predicament with grace.
PRICE Internet rates for a queen room start at 3,800 ZAR ($301) prepaid.
CONTACT The Michelangelo Hotel, 135 West St, Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, South Africa, 2146; Phone 27 (0) 11 282 7000; legacyhotels.co.za
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.
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 multi-story 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.