Surprise and Awe
Business travel should not just be about a friendly check-in, a comfortable bed, and falling asleep in front of the TV after a day of meetings. Ladies and gents, meet The Capital on the Park, the next generation in business travel, and a much-anguished business traveller’s dream-come-true.
Heading to The Capital on the Park, I already had a vision in-mind from a previous stay at Capital on Bath in Rosebank a couple of years ago. So imagine my surprise when I entered this new aptly named “business resort”. The huge lobby stretches away into the distance, seamlessly integrating into the open bar and restaurant at the other end, creating a feeling of wide open space with a large section bathed in natural light. The decor and subtle artificial lighting reinforces the openness. Even the flower arrangements are just that little bit extra. It results in a first impression that can be encapsulated simply as “wow”.
Professional & Efficient
Checking in is as seamless as it is warm and welcoming. A quick rundown of available amenities proves anything but, as the list is quite impressive. See the full detail at the bottom of the article. After a quick meet and greet with the on-duty managers, we decided to head upstairs to check out our apartment. Each staff member you pass in the hotel or lobby or hallway greets you warmly. This is a very nice touch. There are a few hotels I can think of that could take a page of out this book.
Our apartment looked out over the pool and terrace area, as well as neighbouring Mushroom Park. Hotel guests have easy access to the park, allowing you the enjoyment of a green space, a rare commodity in Sandton. While we enjoyed the view, we saw a number of people going for a walk in the park, or just sitting and enjoying the sun on a chilly winter’s day.
As is usual for us, we went about scouring the property to check out the amenities. Tall Dark & Handsome was impressed with the gym, which housed very new, very fancy equipment. Most of this was lost on me, as I’m not much for gyms. However, as a regular gymmer, TDH oooh’d and aaah’d over all that was available. The gym also features a nice big window allowing for some natural light. Personally, I was impressed with the gym ablutions and the blazing hot steam room, as elements that would be important to me.
A Comfortable Home Away from Home
When you enter the lobby, the door says “Welcome Home”. This is apt as the Capital truly does feel like a home away from home. Where else do you have a fully equipped kitchen available to cook your own meals, keep your own groceries, and wash your own clothes? You certainly don’t have to cook for yourself since Sandton City and loads of great restaurants are all just around the corner. Nevertheless, I consider this to be one of the most important and valuable features of the Capital Hotels & Apartments. Any regular business traveller will be able to tell you that some days, you just want to stay in and relax. If you’re not keen on cooking, you have the option of ordering room service or dining at their on-site restaurant, making life all the more simpler. You have the freedom to have it any way you want. Perfection!
As I’d previously stayed at a Capital and was aware of the self-catering element, we brought dinner ingredients so we could utilise and test the kitchen. I had no idea there was an amazing restaurant on-site, and we’ve promised Chef Ali that we’ll be back just to try her now-famous Napolitana sauce and home-made ice creams. More on that later. We popped all our groceries in the fridge and decided to enjoy some tea and coffee. Luckily our groceries included some fresh pastries from Cafe Patisse, to enjoy during our “tea time”. However, even this wasn’t necessary as the hotel features a small coffee shop at reception, which also offers light meals and pastries. And can I just say what a pleasure it is to find they have full-sized mugs in the room! It’s a personal gripe of mine when hotels give you tiny cups. Surely most of us want a big steaming cup of coffee or tea, especially in winter!
We’d spent a lot of time running around all over the hotel, checking out the details and getting photos. So by the time the sun was starting to set, we were ready to get dinner going. We’d bought some of our lovely Wesgrow Bikini potatoes, as we’d decided it would be a steak and potato night. Simple, yet delicious.
Cooking dinner on your trip is as easy as cooking dinner at home. The kitchen is fully equipped and you’ll find all you need to whip up a gorgeous meal. If that’s not in your plans, pop something simple and easy in the microwave. I wasn’t kidding. You really can have it any way you like.
As we’re often running around in our daily lives, it was a nice change of pace for us to cook a meal together. While we were busy, the sun set on another perfect Jo’burg winter’s day. In no time at all, dinner was sorted. Soon, we were kicking back on the couch in front of the TV, getting cosy. We don’t own a television so we were happy to sit back and veg a bit. The apartments feature incredible block-out curtains which ensure no light pollution disturbs your sleep. The same goes for noise. Though we enjoyed keeping the balcony door open as the sun set, as soon as the night came on, so did the cold. When we closed the window and the balcony door, the apartment was beautifully quiet. The apartment was also well insulated against the cold. Coming from our very ‘airy and fresh’ cottage in Melville, this was an added bonus we were not even expecting, having brought the usual truckload of coats and socks that we’re used to layering on at home.
I did run down one more time before bedtime just to go check out their über sexy Veuve Clicquot outdoor bar and the blue-lit pools. Not even the cold could deter me. This has got to be a brilliant venue for a launch or party, especially on a warm summer’s night.
My favourite thing about hotel stays has got to be the opportunity to spend the night in a king-size bed. Is there anything quite as luxurious as wonderfully clean, crisp sheets covered in massive, downy duvets and all that space to just disappear in? One unexpected downside of the room being impervious to the weather (and, I suppose a draft) is that there is not a lot of air movement in the apartment. You do have the option of switching on the air-conditioning, which is available in both the bedroom and the main space. The upside of course is that you’re not freezing. Just goes to show what good insulation can achieve.
Breakfast & Business
It’s hard for us to wake up at a reasonable hour on most days, never mind days when you’re lounging in a king size. So as usual, we were a bit late to move our lazy behinds from the comfort zone. Also, have I mentioned the black-out curtains?! They are amaze! You’d have no idea the sun was blazing away outside, and you’d soon be missing out on breakfast. I suppose you can always arrange a wake-up call if you want to be certain you don’t miss that critical meeting. Even better! Arrange the meeting as breakfast right where you are. Travel time: just as long as it takes you to go down to the ground floor.
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. Well, actually brunch is my favourite, and that’s about when we arrived for breakfast. Luckily, we did have until 10! So many pastries, breads (most of which are baked daily on-site), fruit and cheese to choose from. A whole array of muesli and breakfast cereals. They even create their own jams. After some cheese (obviously!) and gorgeous rye, I went to see what protein-filled delights could be freshly made for me. I had an amazing omelette, whipped up in no time at all. Tall Dark & Handsome enjoyed his favourite morning croissant (with cheese, obviously!) and then headed for the buffet. He is a big fan of scrambled eggs.
It was around this time we found Chef Ali again and got to chatting to her properly. Chef Alison Kiewiet van Eeden embodies everything I love to come across in the restaurant business: someone who is enthusiastic, imaginative, energetic, and excited about food and her team. The best part? As Chef Ali puts it, “If I’m not happy with anything I can buy in, then we’re just rather going to make it ourselves here.” Since starting at the Capital just over six months ago, she has put her convictions where her mouth is. The Capital on the Park kitchen team makes their own artisanal bread, jams & preserves, biltong, ice cream, sorbet, frozen yoghurt, and pasta (including spaghetti!). As she says, “and this is just all so we know where it’s coming from, and the flavours are better.” There you have it! A chef that really cares where the ingredients in your food is coming from, and whether it really is the best available. The “can we do it better?” attitude is an essential element of a winning kitchen.
Picture of Chef Ali was supplied!
Though it doesn’t make much sense for a Jo’burg local to stay at The Capital on the Park, those travelling to Jozi for any number of reasons, whether for business or leisure, will find it to be a fantastic option. Superbly located in the Sandton “Golden Mile”; close to the Gautrain station; wonderful amenities and facilities, which will leave you wanting for nothing; all the frills of a hotel stay plus many of the added bonuses of self-catering and home-based comforts; and security and convenience. The Capital on the Park is also an excellent venue for functions and conferences. I would definitely recommend it for your Jozi stay, as a great all-in-one, everything-you-need choice.
The Capital On The Park – Fast Facts
The Capital On The Park has everything a corporate traveller needs – under one skyline. Here’s all you need to know about Sandton’s first purpose-built business resort that offers suites, apartments and penthouses for short-, medium-, or long-term stays in the heart of Africa’s most exciting business district.
Hotel and Apartment Facilities
- 175 standard rooms, 5 studio apartments, 125 one-and two-bedroom apartments
- Self-catering apartments and penthouses, with on-site dining for convenience
- Conference facilities for up to 500 delegates
- Four multi-functional executive boardrooms
- Casual pool deck meals, scrumptious breakfast buffet, 101 On The Park restaurant (coming soon), and 24 hour room service will satisfy any foodie
- Grab & Go deli for easy dining or quick on the go meals
- Convenience store for your essentials
- Coffee shop
- Sophisticated Champagne bar
- Main social bar that serves anything from cocktails to award winning wines
Health and Fitness
- Virtual indoor golf
- Fitness centre with state-of-the-art equipment
- Suspension pod for hanging yoga and other events
- Luxurious spa on site
- Spa bath, lap pool, sauna, steam room
- Private access into Mushroom Park for morning runs
The Capital Promise
- Concierge service
- Kid’s Planet to keep the kids entertained over the weekend
- DSTV with 40 channels
- 24-hour reception
- Daily cleaning services
- Free uncapped high-speed Wi-Fi
- Valet service
- Complimentary secure parking
- Complimentary laundry service in apartments
- High-speed uncapped Wi-Fi
- Block out curtains
- International plug points
- Work desks and laptop safes