Located a mere 30 minutes drive from Sandton, and in what can only be described as a lush and beautiful setting – stepping in to The Royal Elephant Hotel & Conference Centre in Centurion will make you feel like you have literally stepped in to a Moroccan or North African palace.

I say palace, as the spaces are vast and still beautifully appointed with the most ornate and opulent finishings – yet still carries a tasteful and elegant theme.

Located on the banks of the Hennops River in Centurion, The Royal Elephant exemplifies peace, luxury and is combined with exceptional, discreetly personalised attention to detail.

The foyer of the hotel is the pivotal (and focal point) with a variety of passageways running off of it – leading to lifts, lounges and the restaurant, as well as the rooms. The large hanging light is stunning, and I really felt that I could not do it justice with my phone camera – and that’s an S9, so it’s saying a lot, that light is huge. My attempt below…

The Royal Elephant boasts a huge variety of offerings, from not only accommodation and dining, but also conference and function facilities, beautiful for weddings too, may I add, as well as a Mangwanani Spa onsite – book early, it gets full!

There are 40 rooms on site, including a Royal Presidential Suite and all the rooms and suites are individually decorated using traditional Moroccan & North-African furnishings and antiques, as well as unique pieces from distinguished Southern African artists and artisans.

Our luxury junior suite comfortably accommodated both myself and my sister who was travelling with me, and loads of space to spare. Rooms can either have twin beds, or a queen size bead for couples and a massive full bathroom with bath and shower, hair dryer (yay!) and air-conditioning, balcony and a comfortable couch.

Room service is available for all rooms until 22h00. Room service is not included in the rate and tray charges are applicable – however I can promise you, you will want to eat downstairs!

Start off with a drink either al fresco by the pool, or if the weather is a bit chilly, on the comfy couches in the Oasis Residents Bar or in the Royal Lounge – which would make you feel like you had slipped back in time to colonial India – amazing artifacts and even an almost life size wooden elephant in the corner to take piccies with.

Dinner in the Zagora Grill Room is quite the experience, from the personal escort from the bar to your table, to the service and of course the food. The Zagora Grill serves a delicious fusion of North-African and international cuisine, and our taste buds were tingling from all the yummy smells permeating the air!

I settled on a Cream of Butternut and Apple soup that was flavoursome, and a tasty Red Chicken Curry that got my warmth levels up! Others at the table enjoyed a delicious Broccoli soup, Lamb Shank and a Brinjal pasta.

We turned in early after a busy day, and slept very peacefully in our giant suite! Breakfast the following morning was once again served in the Zagora grill and the buffet was extensive, from cold meats and cheeses to copious amounts of smoked salmon and a lovely array of home baked goodies!

We ordered one of my faves off the warm menu – Eggs Benedict, mine with ham and my sisters with spinach and feta, both were tasty.

Sadly we had to head home, and loaded the car with our possessions regretfully, I could certainly have stayed another night in this oasis of calm. I hope to return again soon!

A: Bondev Park, Willem Botha St & Wierda Road, Eldo Meadows, Centurion
T: 012 658 8000
W: www.royalelephant.co.za

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