February? It mostly like May already, with that holiday feeling from just over a month ago long gone – and forgotten. I know others are feeling the same way so early in the year – resolutions have been broken, and we’re hustling hard and juggling balls (sometimes they feel like rocks), and not giving ourselves and our partners quality time.
There might not be time or capital to get away for a proper holiday, but second best has got to be a staycation (although there are several experts who say that frequent staycations could offer more value than an annual vacay). I love staycations – you don’t need to travel far, you don’t need to organise much, and you’re close enough to home to tend to the kids if need anything.
And so, on the weekend, we headed just 7.5km to the heart of Sandton, to the Radisson Blu Gautrain hotel, for a night that actually felt like a week.
The hotel is across the road from the Gautrain station, and from our huge bedroom windows, we could look out onto a vibrant Sandton with its energy, new buildings, and activity which provide incredible backdrops day and night.
The hotel ticks all the boxes one would expect from a five-star hotel: fantastic and friendly service, luxe accommodation (think big beds, a Nespresso coffee machine in the room, free wifi) and easy access to amenities and services such as room service, a gym (I had an enjoyable session on the treadmill and stair climber while looking out onto a great Sandton view), restaurant, pool and bar.
Its proximity to Sandton City (just a few minutes walk) means you can head there for some shopping, and I popped out to buy a book and some toiletries, before heading back to the hotel pool for some reading, drinking and eating, and best of all – quality chats with my husband (though the whiskey and vegetarian snack platter were close seconds!)
From drinks it was onto a divine dinner at Central One, and then heading to the ultimate indulgence for me – a hot bath, without any squeaky toys, a dog scratching to get in, or work deadlines to attend to. That night, my Fitbit clocked my longest sleep of 2018 – seven hours and 50 minutes – and it’s a sleep I’m still dreaming about (one can dream about sleep, right?)
After my morning gym session, I felt it befitting to put a dent in the huge breakfast buffet with just-squeezed orange juice (there’s a juice presser on the table), fresh bread and vegetarian sausages, which might not sound appealing, but were delicious, welcome, and unexpected (I generally only ever see bacon, sausages, eggs, baked beans and potatoes in the hot section).
While we got the overall staycation experience, there are ways to feel like you’re away from home and getting a good break without staying over. Each element of the Radisson Blu Gautrain counts as a break, recharge or reconnect – whether you have cocktails by the pool, a long breakfast, or a restaurant meal, you’ll likely feel refreshed, relaxed and indulged. It’s away from home (even for a few hours), not in a shopping centre, and in an environment that will make you feel you’re in February (or whatever month you’re actually in).
(PS: if you live in another city, Radisson Blu Gautrain obviously makes for a fantastic business or leisure hotel).
Have a look at these specials to see what’s on and coming up – R60 cocktails and a divine-looking Valentine’s dinner!
Hotel rates start from around R2000 a night (this is dependent on dates, so please don’t take this as a definite cost).
Photos: Hotel, and own