One Night In Sandton at Signature Lux
I was recently invited to the pre-launch event for the opening of the Signature Lux Hotel in Sandton. The invitation to stay over for one night was in no way related to my influence in the travel space – I have absolutely none. My best guess as to why the invite was extended to me probably has something to do with all the actual lifestyle and travel bloggers not being able to rearrange their plans at such short notice. Me? I had no plans and thought to myself: #TreatYo’self
I invited a friend of mine and following an early Friday finish at work, I went home to pack an overnight bag and set off to Signature Lux. In true lifestyle blogger fashion I ditched my usual sneakers and graphic tee combo for a fit which was more esteemed. Wearing jeans that are probably too tight for me and a teardrop crowned hat that I acquired at the height of the hats trend, I looked the part.
Initially, we struggled to locate the hotel as Google Maps did not take us directly to the hotels entrance. In all honesty, it was probably more human error than anything as I thought the pathway which the GPS told me the hotel was on was a private street for pedestrians or those heading to the regal 5-star Michelangelo. Signature Lux is nestled in prime property between The Michelangelo, Nelson Mandela Square, and the Gautrain station. The hotel claims to be situated 30 steps from Nelson Mandela. Naturally, the travel influencer in me had to verify this. I counted 26 steps to the northeast entrance of the Square. I capitalised on my stay at the hotel by scheduling a meeting the following morning for a potential investment opportunity. Unfortunately, the opportunity turned out to be more like an expensive stokvel and I wasn’t financially ready to pretend I was an investor. One pretense at a time is more than enough for me.
Keeping with the theme of money, I was honestly surprised to find out that an overnight stay at the hotel cost R 795 per night. That’s around five times less than the cost of an overnight stay with their next-door neighbours at The Michelangelo. After further inspection, it turns out that it is the cheapest hotel in the vicinity according to Google. In a distorted alternative universe where I’d live in Cape Town and actually be a successful investor, this would be the perfect hotel for my business trips in Sandton. (Note: I do eventually plan to stop pretending to be an investor in order to actually become a somewhat successful one, so the distortion in this alternative reality is due to me living in Cape Town. I will never live in Cape Town by choice.)
Aesthetically, Signature Lux cloaks it’s 3.5-star rating. The interior of the foyer is clean and grand with a high ceiling with ornate chandeliers draping from the ceiling. The furnishing in the foyer is modern along with modern wall finishings contrasted by gold wallpaper. The foyer is not clustered with oversized and priced antique furniture and there is enough negative space to feel comfortable and relaxed. In the foyer, I felt there was a good balance between the luxuries, necessities, and comfort as I didn’t feel the disgust of entering the dodgy motel in the Identity film nor did I feel the anxiety of entering a glass antique store where you pay for what you break.
It was welcoming and the warmth extended to the rooms. After inserting a card into a unit of the wall, you’re greeted with an inviting room with blue mood lighting. There is a princely bed with enticing feathered pillows, a neat workspace, and an ample amount of wall sockets. My travel blogger portrayal had cracks in it as I had forgotten to pack a twin plug adaptor. Packing an outlet adaptor is probably a commandment in the first chapter of the travel bloggers handbook. My gig was quickly unraveling as I brainstormed the options I had to solve this issue when I eventually found that the wall sockets also had USB slots which rendered even charger adaptors unnecessary. Delight as my gig continued.
The only signs which signaled the lack of a 5-star rating from the Tourism Grading Council were the petite size of the rooms and the lack of cupboard space. However, thinking back on the times I previously stayed in hotels, I could not recall a time I used the cupboard preferring to rather live out of my suitcase. The is also in line with the hotels’ promotion as lock-up-and-go space built with millennials in mind. Where Signature Lux lacks in cupboard space and room size, they make up for it in connectivity.
The hotel has a connected system which allows you to control your entire stay at the hotel using an app. There is also no telephone in the room as the app give access to internal Wi-Fi calling along with automated housekeeping, a built in call-a-cab service, and flight schedules. Furthermore, following your first stay after all your details have been captured you can use the app for self-service check-in at anytime from anywhere in the world. Connectivity is further galvanised with smart TVs in each room where you can take advantage of pre-loaded streaming services. This is all made possible with a WiFi router in each room allowing every guest access to an uncapped 100Mbps internet line. An absolute dream for any travel blogger. Unfortunately, the saddest part of my stay was that I did not get the chance to experiment with connectivity as the system was not ready at the time of the pre-opening.
Any sadness from having to use my own data was quickly drowned by what was my favourite part of the stay at Signature Lux: Aura. Aura is the hotels’ restaurant where festivities took place through the evening. I recall approaching the bar to order my first drink wallet on hand but it turned out it was an open bar. The drinks flowed and there was also catering provided to all those in entertainment. In character, I obviously took overhead shots of all the snacks which were served. Being that I live in Johannesburg and don’t need a hotel when in the city, Aura is the primary reason I’ll be returning to Signature Lux. It provides a great atmosphere for sundowners after work.
In an age where climate change is a concern, the hotel is also an eco-friendly establishment. Outside on the wall, there is a mammoth mural featuring two lions by the internationally acclaimed street artists, Faith47. The commitment to sustainability is not just a surface dressing for Instagram as the not just for a surface dressing as the hotel is also in partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust where R5 gets donated to the organisation for each room booked. Signature Lux also boasts a state of the art water purification system which the hotel claims to make the water safe for drinking from the tap. Again, my travel influencer sense tingled and I had to verify this. I gulped 2 tactical glasses of water at the end of the night and I woke up the following morning to tell the story with no hangover or waterborne illnesses.