I should have called a meter taxi to Cape Town International Airport as I usually do when I have an early flight. My flight to Johannesburg was at 10.25am and I figured with the MyCiTi bus stop outside my flat in Gardens, the bus would get me to the airport with plenty of time to spare.
I should’ve taken the traffic lights and stop streets along the way into account, and also the transfer from the Civic Centre to the airport. I nearly missed an amazing weekend, but I made it through the stressful trip because my flight was delayed. All the tension fell away once we were cruising on the R556 from Johannesburg to Sun City.
Touted as South Africa’s premium destination in the North West, it’s a resort with hotels and entertainment attractions for adults and kids. It’s a small world of its own, ideal for game-viewing, water sports and golf.
We were events management and promotions company espAfrika’s guests for the Royal Escape Experience at the Palace of the Lost City. No expense was spared. We spent the weekend indulging in fun activities such as a safari drive, a pool party, networking soirées, an extravagant gala dinner and poolside pamper sessions.
Sunny days were for sipping delicious cocktails while nights were spent feasting on gourmet food and enjoying entertainment by top DJs and live acts.
In between there were shows by Wear South African, a movement supporting local fashion brands.
Following the success of the inaugural event last winter hosted by media personality Bonang Matheba, the host this year was singer and radio presenter Unathi Msengana.
The event is aimed at pleasure seekers looking for the extraordinary and ultimate in luxury getaways without having to go far.
“Having identified a gap in the market for an experience that can appeal to both high-net-worth individuals and corporates looking to entertain special clients, and one that can deliver on this sector’s high expectations, we tested the market reaction in 2016,” espAfrika acting chief executive Khalid Abdulla said after the event.
“We were pleased with the result, as were our guests, many of whom pledged support for the 2017 event. The benchmark was set high in 2016, and the creative team have spent the past few months evolving the concept and developing the offering. I believe it will be even more spectacular.”
One of the attractive aspects of the Royal Escape Experience is its all-inclusive budget.
The ticket price comes with a sparkly bracelet that identifies you as a special guest, giving you access to all designated areas and five-star service.
The emphasis of the getaway is to take you away from the mundane and the stress of work to timeout and relaxation.
Within the sanctuary of the Lost Palace and surrounds, guests have the freedom to decide what they want to do and when.
Here are some of my weekend highlights:
1. The Royal Mokete Dinner at the Botsalanong Boma. The open-air banqueting venue made for the perfect outdoor dinner experience. Drinks flowed while we enjoyed braai meat and side dishes of starch and salads. Entertainment included a live performance and a fashion show by Wear SA and streetwear brand Magents.
2. The Queen’s Pool Party: At the Palace pool deck, the dress theme was all-white. We spent the afternoon around the pool sipping cocktails. Several WearSA brands showcased their latest collections and apparel. Also on offer were express spa treatments as guests listened to live music by the En Fuego salsa band.
3. The Royal Banquet: The glamorous affair at the King’s Ballroom was a glitzy black-tie-and-red-carpet affair. This was the weekend finale. On offer were several drinks stations which included a champagne bar. The Johannesburg Festival Orchestra serenaded us during our three-course meal. We danced the night away at the Kool out Lounge vibing to Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels.
*To book your Royal Escape Experience, go to http://escapemusicexperience.com/