Issue 19
The Emperor's Clothes
Johannesburg's D'oreale Grande Hotel offers 5-star royal treatment on the airport's doorstep
By Jo Kromberg  ·  2015-11-06  ·   Source:


Luxurious D'oreale Grande Hotel at Emperors Palace

In the fable, the Emperor walks the streets of his kingdom, blissfully unaware of his naked state. Well, the deluxe five-star D'oreale Grande Hotel at the Emporers Palace in Johannesburg South Africa certainly is a vision of sartorial splendour. 

Similar in airport distance to the well-known Caesars resorts in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Lake Tahoe, the D'oreale Grande Hotel is situated a five-minute drive away from OR Tambo International and features 196 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, which provide the optimum in convenience and regal comfort. We are warmly welcomed by guest relations manager Analise and shown to our rooms by the charming and smiling porter who explains the hotel’s lay-out to us. The rooms and décor all have a Provençale look and feel and the furniture and fittings are all done in deep luxurious reds and hues of caramel with Persian carpets and freshly cut flowers everywhere. The rooms include Classic, Deluxe and Superior Rooms, as well as Executive Suites, Premier Suites, magnificent Presidential Suites and Special Assistance Rooms. Both smoking and non-smoking rooms are available. 



Place your bets at the casino


Fitted with state-of-the-art facilities, each room overlooks either the front gardens with their magnificent sculpture of Caesar the Conqueror, or the panoramic views across the landscaped Gardens of Vespasian. 

I especially like the fact that there is a considered note in the bathroom asking guests if they have perhaps forgotten their toiletries--in which case, you can call downstairs and they will bring you a toothbrush etc. The usual 5-star amenities like mini bar, gowns, tea and coffee and in-room safe applies and at about $150 per person per night including breakfast, its excellent value for money. Corporate and business travellers will enjoy unprecedented luxury accommodation in the Club Floor and Lounge. As one of the premium 5-star hotels in Johannesburg, guests will have exclusive access, concierge service, private check-in, exquisite room furnishings and a full service lounge with a meeting room, food and beverage service and free Wi-Fi access, to name just a few luxurious extras. 



Elegant conservatory-style Aurelia's Restaurant

After settling in, we explore the amazing Emporers Palace complex-- a veritable playground for young and old. Full access to the casino, dining and entertainment facilities at the resort is granted to all guests. It is part of the Peermont group of hotel casinos and at the casino you can enjoy cashless gaming combined with no queues or fuss. Players can choose from the widest range of slot game types and denominations from the world’s leading manufacturers, while table games include American Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Poker and Midi Punto Banco. Emperors Palace also offers luxurious accommodation in four unique hotels, a glorious health and beauty spa, a host of good restaurants, spectacular entertainment choices, world class conference facilities and impeccable service. A quick shower and some dress-up and we are ready for our combined dinner-and-a-show evening. The hotel has organised for us dine at a Greek restaurant called Platia and the food as well as the service is splendid. We both have the delectable tiropitia and meze plate, followed by their excellent and succulent "world-famous" souvlaki.   


Conference facilities at Emperors Palace Convention Centre


We then make our way to one of the many theatres to watch a musical show by one of South Africa’s most beloved and talent cabaret artists, Nataniel. The show is entitled After Animals  and it leaves both of us practically speechless--his quips and anecdotes are interspersed by world-class dancing, singing and original music. It is an incredibly thought-provoking piece about what we are doing to our planet.  

My friend decides on an early night while I try my luck in the casino and as it happens, it turns out to be my night! But winners know when to quit, so I crawl into my cosy bed, thankful for the blackout curtains and glorious silence which make for peaceful, restful sleep. The next morning I open the curtains on a rainy and dreadfully cold Johannesburg. Its breakfast time and this time we dine in the Aurelia restaurant, the hotel’s own.  

Overlooking the magnificent gardens and pool area of D'oreale Grande Hotel, the elegant conservatory-style Aurelia's Restaurant offers a world-class breakfast to suit almost every taste including Asian, Indian and Western. I even have sushi for breakfast! We feast on pancakes, waffles, cooked breakfast with salmon and scrambled eggs and all sorts of fruits and pastries.  

To digest all of this, we are treated to flotation therapy at the Octavia’s Sensorium Health and Beauty Spa in soothing warm water that gentle rotates you round in salt water with soft music and low lighting. A wonderful full-body massage follows from my therapist Rochelle, who it seems is more a spine expert than a massage therapist. It is indeed one of the best messages I have ever had.   

I will certainly be back to experience more of this royal treatment.  



Octavia's Sensorium Health and Beauty Spa


Getting there: 

Air China now flies to South Africa direct 

Air China has started its direct Beijing-Johannesburg nonstop service from October 29, 2015.   

Outbound flights operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with return services from Johannesburg offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Flights will departs from Beijing at 23:15 Beijing time, and arrive in Johannesburg at 07:35 local time on the following day. The inbound flight departs from Johannesburg at 11:50 local time and arrives in Beijing at 07:30 Beijing time.   

Air China said it would operate a Boeing 777-300ER on its first direct route to Africa and the first direct air link offered by a Chinese carrier between the Chinese mainland and South Africa. 

Photos: courtesy

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