Cape Town - South Africa's stunning Sun City is one of the ultimate getaways for locals, an immaculate resort that offers family fun and even a venue for international films.
The resort in North West saw a R1 billion refurbishment in December 2016 and the opening of a new rope adventure park at the Valley of the Waves in November 2017.
The Lost City of Sun City and the Palace - a 350-roomed hotel at the resort's centre - provides a combination of luxury and adventure.
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Here are some fun facts about the resort that will have you put it at the top of your travel bucket-list.
'Most challenging and complex project'
Sol Kerzner said this was the most challenging and complex project he ever completed but no expense was spared to make his dreams a reality.
The entire Lost City project cost R800 million rand - every detail was hand-picked and designed. "The carpets that line the Palace floor were hand woven with u special design depicting a range of African wildlife while the mahogany table that sits centre stage in the entrance hall at the Palace alone cost R3.5 million," says the resort.
In addition to that, the chandelier hanging over Crystal Court features 5 000 Venetian rock crystals and every flat surface seems to be covered in marble – "5 650 square metres in total to be exact", says Sun City.
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A feat of engineering
According to Sun City, the entire Lost City project was completed in 28 months - which is rare for complex project of this nature. "In fact the architects were still drawing plans as building was happening," says the resort, adding that there were 5 000 workmen on site at the height of construction, in total 245 600 plans were printed during the build, and over 30 million bricks were laid during those two years.
Jungles, bridges, a water park, lakes, ponds and waterfalls were created. In 2012, Sun City also opened the largest permanent maze in the Southern Hemisphere which can be accessed via a 100 metre swing bridge and provides a new dimension to the Lost City.
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Work of art
The mosaic floor at the entrance of the Lost City’s the Palace, was hand-laid. A group of Swaziland women hand-stitched the tapestries that lie behind the check-in and concierge desks.
"It took the team painting the ceiling that adorns the central dome, a painstakingly 5 000 hours, completing it in a similar technique in what Michelangelo used to paint the Sistine Chapel," says Sun City.
Other impressive artistic features include the two statues at the entrance. "Danie de Jager’s life-size statue of the magnificent elephant Shawu has become synonymous with the Palace while the Cheetah Hunt is the work of art sure to take your breath away when you arrive at the hotel."
The resort says that Before de Jager even started work on the piece, he took hundreds of photos and hours of video footage, and even dissected the carcass of a cheetah and impala to better understand their muscle structure. Now that's paying attention to detail!
Experience the ride
"The Valley of the Waves was the largest combination of water park features built in a single project phase, anywhere in the world," boasts the resort.
The Temple of Courage, the water park’s centre piece, drops 17 metres and reaches speeds of up to 35km/h.
In 2016, two new rides were added as part the revamp to the resort – a plummeting body slide that reaches speeds of 65km/h and the a double-tube slide that sees you shooting up a vertical wall.
"After initial construction of the Lost City, all the water contained by the landscaped, entertainment and décor features as well as the swimming pools, totalled 23 million litres," says the resort. It should share some water with Cape Town...
SEE: Climb like a spider with Sun City's newest attraction
Light up your life
When the Palace was built, it was the first time in southern Africa that 1km of natural daylight neon lighting had been specially constructed.
"In another first, a computerised and electronic diming system with multiple lighting effects was installed, costing then in excess of R400 000," says the resort, adding that it has also hosted events such as Miss South Africa and Miss World pageants - which was first brought to Africa and Sun City in 1992.
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