Did you know that you can STAY & SLEEP in the Gold Reef City theme park? Nope! Neither did I!
There is a hotel, beautifully decorated with tales of yesteryears, nestled perfectly between the East and West sides of the park, right across from the ‘Old Sweet Shop’. Blink and you miss it – the Hotel is themed perfectly with its surroundings, you don’t notice it until you look for it! I took a peak inside and was stunned at the décor… as you step through the door, you’re taken back in time. It truly is wonderful to see Hotels like that! (History Nerd Alert!)
A few weeks after our visit to the park, we were invited back to stay in the Hotel (note – the Hotel CASINO side of the area, not the Hotel inside the park). I have only been to the casino side twice before, and only for very brief moments. So, naturally, I was very excited to explore the area!
The check-in was great – mimicking the Park Hotel, the Casino Hotel had huge blown up images of the Golden Era in Johannesburg, when Simmonds street was nothing more than a dirt road and Joubert Park was a fabulous afternoon tea venue. I appreciate seeing history outside of museums, it becomes a little more human I think?
The room was lovely – ‘old fashioned’ and tastefully decorated. We had a good view of the park from our balcony, and I wondered what came before as the balcony area just outside our fenced off line was massive. I am glad that the Casino Hotel has not ‘modernised’ it’s furnishings or bathrooms. It would completely detract from the mood they wish to set with the entire concept of Gold Reef City.
Strolling the casino floor, I felt like I was in a Vegas Movie. Not sure why Gold Reef Casino specifically gives that vibe, but the other casinos I have been to have not. It was cool. It was a little manky. It stank of money and a hint of cigars. It was old, but rich. You could tell there is history there.
I liked the showcasing of old school gambling machines and arcade games, and I can totally see families spending weekends or Friday nights there. The circle enclosing the actual Casino floor had a multitude of activities for families (movies, bowling, arcades, restaurants, etc) and I think it is a great spot for families to visit (hey, we do live in Johannesburg, right?). Would absolutely recommend going.
Pray and Slay,