I wasn’t sure what to expect. A mini Sun City perhaps? Not quite as I soon discovered. Silverstar covers an area measuring 40 hectares and borders a natural conservancy. It has been designed to blend in with its natural surroundings. The result is a tastefully designed development which moulds seamlessly into the Magaliesberg backdrop.
Silverstar’s hotel features just 38 rooms, a fact which ensures attention to detail. The rooms are contemporary and comfortable and finished predominantly in a pleasing if unusual combination of black, white and red tones. I personally loved the bathroom’s large white stone bath tub and the view over Silverstar’s musical ‘Fountain Spectacular’, lake and boardwalk. Interestingly, the fountain is the second largest of its kind in the world. Later that evening my partner and I caught part of the fountain’s eye catching show.
Soon after checking in, we made our way to a specially demarcated area in the casino parking lot to climb aboard Silverstar’s ‘Sky Dining’ table. Sky Dining table is no ordinary culinary affair. Breakfast, lunch, cocktails and a full course dinner are all served at the table but that’s where any ‘usual’ dining similarities end. Said meals are all enjoyed at 50 metres off the ground which is hoisted to this height by a crane.
I am not one for heights and prior to ‘take-off’ I spied the single cable attached to the crane with incredulity. The 22 odd guests were informed that it had been designed according to German safety standards and that we would be perfectly safe. Sufficiently trussed up in our race-car like seats, the crane proceeded to lift the table into the air with nary a squeak. Around 30 metres I started getting twitchy. By the time the table got to 50 metres I had stopped looking down.
The bar tenders/ waiters positioned in the centre of table started serving delicious cocktail snacks and drinks without batting an eye. In an attempt to calm my nerves I ordered a large glass of wine which in retrospect wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done. You see, for all their brilliance, the designers behind the Sky Dining concept forgot to include toilets in the design.
It was a mild spring night and the sun started to set. I had just begun to relax and enjoy the beautiful view over the Johannesburg skyline despite a rapidly filling bladder when the table began to spin. “Why is the table spinning? Is it supposed to do that? ” I asked. Apparently staff on the ground had been instructed “to change the view” I was told. I was quite happy with the view I had thanks very much but decided to stay silent on the matter and take another large gulp of wine instead. The wine, a blossoming night sky and an uncomfortable bladder soon took my mind off the spinning.
Sky Dining takes place in 35 countries and has been rated by Forbes magazine as one of the most unusual restaurant concepts in the world. I agree with this sentiment and I’m glad I can tick it off my bucket list. As much as I enjoyed it I was admittedly relieved in more ways than one to get back on the ground though.
Next on the ‘to do’ list was a spot of gambling. It would prove to be an eye opening experience for my partner and I who have never really indulged in this pastime. Before we entered the gaming area we agreed on a modest amount of spending money and decided that once it was spent we’d walk away.
Clearly we were in the minority in terms of this ‘rule’. We tried our luck at the roulette tables where we placed one or two chips on the table at a time. We watched with amazement as other gamblers happily stacked teetering piles of chips on nearly every number and won simply because they had covered all bets. One gambler played two tables at once! It was definitely an experience for the memory books. Happily we walked away with slightly more than what we started out with which was a bonus in my books.
The evening was rounded off with a mouth-watering meal and delectable cocktails at Silverstar’s F-TV restaurant. The next morning we were treated to an equally delicious breakfast in bed. We left Silverstar later in the day relaxed, sated and happy for having had a ‘not the usual’ weekend away.