Situated at the heart of the Golden Mile in Sandton, Signature Lux Hotels is the first of its kind not only in Mzansi but on the entire African continent. This isn’t just a claim, it’s something that’s been proven thanks to what it offers. I recently had the chance to stay over at the hotel to get a true experience of the whole place which now begs the question, how was my stay and does this place live up to what it promises?
They say first impressions last and count the most, the same applies in this instance. My first impression of Lux Hotels was a favourable one, I was genuinely charmed by the place. It had a different feel to it with the high-tech savviness visible from the onset in the reception area. It was also interesting to observe the type of guests it hosts most of whom comprise of a young millennial crowd. Good thing I stuck around the reception area a little longer to observe all of this!
What about the rooms?
Working my way up to my allocated room, I was impressed with the interior aspects of the place from the hallways to the actual rooms. The rooms (which I’m guessing are all the same) are exciting, modern, creative, eco-friendly and innovative. You can’t help but be impressed by what you see when you first enter the room and being someone who appreciates something different that’s very well presented I was sold from the onset.
Delivering high-quality bedrooms with four-star finishes that cater for the connected age, the rooms come with exclusive services one of which include a fully integrated app that isn’t just a booking function. With it you can literally do many things allowing you to control your entire stay from your fingertips.
I was also able to enjoy free and uncapped Wi-Fi (the hotel claims to have individual Wi-Fi routers installed in each room) something most people (myself included) appreciate in this digital age. Part of the reason why there’s Wi-Fi is it enables one to take full advantage of the movie and music streaming services from the 40-inch Samsung Smart TV found in every room.
It’s also interesting to note that the hotel has made strides towards the reduction of their carbon footprint by installing a state of the art water purification system in every room that makes it safe to drink from the tap, eliminating the need for bottled water…quite cool isn’t it.
Strategically positioned for convenience
Signature Lux Hotels is situated strategically for your convenience with most places in the Sandton area within walking distance. Nelson Mandela Square is down the road and is literally 30 steps away, the Sandton Convention Centre is 300 steps away and it will take you approximately 230 steps to reach the Gautrain station.
More nifty features
As part of its overall offering, Lux Hotels also includes additional nifty features. One of these includes checking in remotely from any location with your cell phone doubling up as your room key, this is all possible after your first stay at the hotel. Another cool feature that’s offered is a 24-hour hassle free, self-service check-in kiosk with automated housekeeping included.
Something that caught my eye is the lack of a normal landline telephone, usually found in just about every hotel. What you are greeted with instead is a fully functioning smartphone that, in addition to much more, shows you interesting places to visit, offers internet surfing and comes complete with internal Wi-Fi calling to any network (I especially enjoyed this). For those who aren’t fans of walking, the built in “call-a-cab” service available on the same smartphone might be a vibe for you.
What about the food?
For someone who loves their food, this for me was something I was especially looking forward to. Located just outside Signature Lux Hotels, Sandton Aura Cafe is the perfect spot to experience authentic Portuguese cuisine and other café favourites that I had the chance to indulge in. No complaints here from me, the food was awesome with the service being even better…I was made to feel like a celebrity, my guess is the hotel had informed them that I was a special guest! I was genuinely surprised by this but very much welcomed it.
A few niggles
During my stay there were a few niggles that turned into little annoyances. Perhaps it had something to do with the weather or some sort of technicalities but for some reason I had trouble with the Wi-Fi connection throughout. I found myself having to check and reconnect the connection on my phone. The other annoyance came from attempting to watch the TV, needless to say I wasn’t able to due to the connection not being the best. This is a shame especially since I was looking forward to checking out the Smart TV offering the most.
Plans for expansion
Signature Lux Hotels has recently been acquired by ONOMO Hotels. The ONOMO Hotel Group, a 3* hotel platform, has 10 hotels across eight African countries. Focused primarily on the business traveller, it has been offering its clientele a unique, affordable guest experience by combining contemporary comfort and the art of African living since 2009. ONOMO, which prides itself on its state-of-the-art security and connectivity, is present in business capitals such as Dakar, Abidjan, Libreville, Bamako, Lomé, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Conakry and Kigali.
This is good news especially from an expansion point of view. The group had earlier announced plans to expand beyond the Sandton area with 4 other unique properties already purchased in Cape Town V&A Waterfront, Woodmead, Melrose Arch and Umhlanga.
To sum it all up
There’s no doubt that I had a good time during my short stay at the millennially and uniquely inspired Signature Lux Hotels. The few niggles I experienced weren’t enough to put me off completely. With all rooms competitively priced at R795 per night and a transit rate of R495, this place is perfect for all kinds of individuals including business travellers, backpackers and general individuals who just want to getaway.
It’s also interesting to note that the hotel has formed a partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust that sees them giving back R5 for each room night sold to protect the endangered wild life. If this is where hotel accommodation is heading towards then please sign me up! For someone who appreciates uniqueness, technology and the clever use of it, I enjoyed this experience…one that was unique and something that live long in my memory.
Special thanks to Signature Lux Hotels for the oh so cool experience, very classy.