03 May Pretoria hotel is a home away from home
Menlyn Maine in Pretoria seems to be a hit one month after its opening.
Menlyn Park is Pretoria’s new work-leisure hotspot, but it was missing a piece of its puzzle until recently – March 15 to be precise, when The Capital Menlyn Maine hotel opened.
The Capital Menlyn Maine is a 200-room ‘apartment hotel’ ideally located in the multi-billion rand 315 000sqm Menlyn Maine precinct, Africa’s first mixed-use green city, and for that reason alone, it is a good choice if you’re in Tshwane working or playing.
The first thing you notice when you walk into one of its funkily-decorated rooms is that there’s a spacious kitchenette in the suite, equipped with a spanking new dishwasher and washing machine.
That’s because this is no ordinary hotel, but an ‘apartment hotel’, a place you can book into for weeks, or months if you like, with your entire family.
In other words, ‘apartment hotels’ combine a hotel with self-catering residential apartment. They are one of the fastest growing sectors in hotel accommodation in the world, comprising about 9% of hotel accommodation worldwide and only about 2% in South Africa, with The Capital Hotel Group commanding about 75% of the local industry.
Capital Hotel Group MD Marc Wachsberger says his is currently the fastest growing hotel chain in South Africa, in “direct response to ever increasing demand for the apartment-hotel style accommodation”. The Capital hotels boast an average occupancy rate of 80%, which is well above the 55% average occupancy rate for local hotels, he says.
Being adjoined by walkways to the Menlyn Maine, an outdoorsy, pedestrian-friendly shopping centre built around a piazza with great restaurants like Tashas, Turn n Tender and Soy, The Capital Menlyn Maine has a European city feel. And it’s refreshing to not have to get in the car to go anywhere.
Gaming is the big drawcard here, however, as the brand new Sun International Time Square casino is directly across the road. In fact, if you draw open your curtains in a north-facing room, you can see the criss-cross of blue neon lights covering the casino facade, inviting you to come and take your chances.
Time Square is the second largest casino in South Africa, home to 2000 slot machines and 60 game tables, and it also features 18 new restaurants and bars, each with a different concept, to diversify the visitor’s experience.
On the upper level are two famous chef eateries, being Forti Grill & Bar created by Fortunato Mazzone, and Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar. The next phase of the casino project includes a state-of-the-art arena with 8,500 seats, to be completed in November and will be followed by phase three, next year with the Maslow Time Square hotel.
Shopping is another popular activity in Menlyn, as aside from Menlyn Maine with its 50 handpicked retailers, the nearby Menlyn Park Mall boasts over 500 shops, including international brands like Zara, Hamleys toy store and H&M clothing.
Gym bunnies are also catered for, as Menlyn Maine also houses Pretoria’s first
Virgin Classic gym, while kids can spend hours in the Bounce trampoline park, or at the movies in Menlyn Park Mall. As to the suites of The Capital Menlyn Maine, they are pretty much all you need … kitchenette, good-sized lounge with TV, WiFi, comfortable bedroom with a great bed. And for once, there is more than enough space in the bathroom for him and her. There is even a wash basket in there, with room to do ironing.
The reception is more like a concierge service, so extended stayers can call reception to make a doctor or dentist appointment, for instance, or arrange for a baby sitter, laundry/cleaning service, daily newspaper delivery, or a taxi. You can also organise extras like a baby cot, towels or more cutlery and crockery.
There’s a gym at The Capital Menlyn Maine, and a bar on the first floor adjacent the swimming pool. For spa treatments, it’s just a short walk to Spa de la Veille in Menlyn Maine.
There’s also a conference hub for 300 delegates, so it’s also an ideal place for business meetings.
Suffice to say, if you’re in Pretoria for a month or longer, The Capital Menlyn Maine is an ideal place to set up home, as the only time you’ll need your car is when you need to visit clients or hit the N1 highway to somewhere else.
Prices vary with specials, but a standard room is upwards of R1320 per night. The longer you stay, the less the nightly rate. Visit https://thecapital.co.za/hotels/pretoria/menlyn-maine