A view from The Leonardo in Sandton. Image supplied.
A view from The Leonardo in Sandton. Image supplied.

Enjoy the festive season safely at The Leonardo these holidays

By Karishma Dipa Time of article published Dec 12, 2020

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Imagine starting your morning this festive season on the balcony of The Leonardo while sipping on a cup of coffee brewed on a state-of-the-art Nespresso while enjoying a 360 degree view of the city of gold.

As you step back into your bedroom, the temperature is set at your exact preference and you spend a part of the morning deciding whether to soak in a luxurious bath tub or to have calming and refreshing shower.

Instead of enduring the monotony of your usual morning routine, your next decision can be whether to use the apartment’s kitchen kitted with world-class appliances to prepare breakfast or to rather treat yourself with a meal from the premises’s Leo’s Lounge and Deli.

Whatever the decision you make, you are guaranteed a break from a traumatic year brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

With The Leonardo’s management intent on observing all possible coronavirus protocols, the rest of the day’s proceedings can bring a much-needed and safe distraction from cancelled travel plans as a result of global health crisis and the stress of this festive season spent at home instead.

While The Leonardo, which is located in the heart of Sandton might not have been your destination of choice these holidays, Robert Hodson, the chief operating officer of Legacy Hotels & Resorts which owns the premises, believes its proximity, widespread amenities and dedication to Covid-19 protocols will allure guests this festive season.

Aurum Stairs

He conceded that while their occupancy is not at the level it usually is at this time of the year, they are still in a unique position to offer guests a much needed escape from the trauma which 2020 inflicted upon the country and the rest of the world.

“Business is picking up nicely, but gradually,” Hodson explained. “Our signature restaurant Aurum is doing well and clients have also started returning to The Leonardo Spa.

“Some of our tenants have moved into their office spaces, while most of our residents have moved into their apartments.”

Hodson added that while limitations on international travel have affected their operations, this will not stop them from providing the best stay they can to those who are able to spend time there these holidays.

“‘We are in the market to ensure that guests that are travelling, including South Africans, have a true uncompromised and safe experience.”

While the appeal of The Leonardo, which is the tallest building in South Africa and the second highest in Africa, is acclaimed for its exquisite 360 degrees views of Johannesburg, Hodson believes that's it commitment to Covid-19 protocols is what will give guests peace of mind as infection rates in the country continues to climb.

“Covid-19 has decimated our industry but we are here for those who are preparing for a ‘Holistay’ in the city and that all health and safety protocols are in place.”

The Saturday Star spent a night at the multi-functional hotel and private residence this week and can testify that coronavirus preventative measures are being observed at every stage of a guest’s stay.

It begins at arrival with access only permitted once all health checks are approved by the security guards situated at the premises's parking lots.

This process is repeated at reception with constant reminders of social distancing, the importance of hand washing and the use of face masks posted on signs throughout the building.

There are also hand sanitisers situated throughout the building as well as in each room.

Each section of the hotel, private residence, office space and conferencing site also requires several health checks, including the completion of questionnaires and temperature checks.

While many of The Leonardo’s amenities are open to the public, they are also subjected to all Covid-19 protocols.

Access to the rooms is also restricted to guests only, with the threat of contracting the virus by touching elevator buttons and other public spaces somewhat eliminated by the scores of cleaning staff who are constantly wiping down surfaces throughout The Leonardo.

With all the safety protocols adhered to, the only thing left for guests to do is to enjoy the nation’s tallest building’s widespread amenities which are suited for a variety of lifestyles.

With the tagline of The Leonardo being advertised as A beacon of hope in Africa’s richest square mile, as well as Live, work and play amongst the hustle and bustle of Sandton, the premises invites guests to create their own version of reality while they enjoy their premises.

Their taste buds can be appeased by indulging in the finest of dining at The Leonardo’s Aurum restaurant.

The name directly translates to gold from Latin origin and this is evident in the captivating decor of a massive gold cloud structure erected under the roof of the restaurant.

It promises foodies a timeless and unique culinary experience with its youthful kitchen staff who are committed to sustainability and responsible sourcing.

There are a variety of meal options, with The Saturday Star impressed by the calamari starter, chicken breast, corn and sweet potato main ensemble and the restaurant's signature gold themed version of a magnum ice cream.

Aurum Dessert, Magnum and Vegan

Aurum, which is situated on the seventh floor of the premises, also overlooks a giant heated lap pool.

This is ideal for those looking for activities to keep their children entertained these holidays as lifeguards can keep an eye on the youngsters while the adults enjoy yet another view of the city from Aurum or the day beds.

Image: supplied.

During the school year, The Leonardo also has a private preschool for children between the ages of 18 months and 5 years to thrive in the highly personalised and nurturing Montessori pre-school environment.

But for the holidays, there are babysitting services to give parents a well deserved break as they enjoy the site’s other amenities.

This includes a day spa on the same floor which offers a host of treatments such as massages, facials, manicures and pedicures and hair treatments.

There is also a multi-functional gym on the seventh floor to ensure you keep your body in shape during the festive season.

There are also chauffeur services if you want to explore the city, as well as housekeeping, laundry and concierge services to give guests the full hotel experience.

But if it's private quality time with your loved ones you are seeking, The Leonardo’s apartments are big enough to fit the entire family.

It comes with a state-of-the-art stove, oven, microwave and fridge as well as fully stocked cutlery, crockery, tupperware and even baking equipment.

The rooms each have their own dining and lounging areas which overlooks Johannesburg from different angles.

Leonardo 3 bedroom apartment. Image: supplied.

But if you want to expand your cultural horizons this festive season, The Leonardo also offers an art tour for people of all ages.

Hodson explained that art is a significant part of The Leonardo, with striking pieces made from various materials such as plastic, metal, wool, material, scaffolding, carpeting and even wood strategically places at various parts of the building with the intention of evoking a particular mood at each area of the building.

The Leonardo pays homage to local artwork with the majority of the pieces made by South African artists such as Mbongeni Buthelezi, Damien Grievas, Fatima Moosa, Stone Mabunda and Lerato Motau.

Leonardo Artwork Fusion Mbongeni Buthelezi. Image: supplied.

While the 55 floor building is packed with luxurious and widespread amenities and activities, it also has an additional roof-top space which has potentially been earmarked as a sky bar to open in early 2021.

While it is not yet open to the public, The Saturday Star enjoyed sundowners from the site which feels like it is situated in the sky and promises to be one of the major rooftop city sites in the near future.

While The Leonardo is widely acclaimed as one of Johannesburg’s premium hotel destinations, it also houses residents on a permanent basis.

The building features eight luxury penthouse suites crowned by the three level, 360 degrees view Leonardo Suite which is the definition of opulent sophistication, luxury lifestyle living and one of the most sought-after collectors’ items and home in Africa.

But whether you are living at The Leonardo permanently or temporarily, it might be worthwhile to take a break there this festive season.

The Saturday Star

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