Our Complete Review Of Sun City Resort For Families 2023
If you are wondering whether Sun City is a good place to take kids, you need to read our review of Sun City resort for families.
Sun City is popular with business travellers because of the convention centre, the casino and the golf course. But is Sun City good for families?
We stayed at The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City with kids at the end of a two-week South Africa trip. We had been on safari in the Kruger and wanted somewhere that the kids could let off steam before we flew home.
Overall, we were happy with our stay at Sun City and wanted to share the positives and negatives so you know what to expect.
Our review of Sun City includes information on the accommodation available for families as well as what there is to do there. We also give tips on where to eat.
Also, see the end of the post for our top tip on a secret spot for the BEST views of Sun City Resort.
This post contains affilite links. If you click on one and book something, we may earn a small commission but this is at no extra cost to you.
Review of Sun City Resort for families
First of all, Sun City is huge!
We had no idea before we went just how huge it was and how much there was to do there.
We had two days at Sun City but could have spent longer there and still would not have managed to do everything.
Before we get into our Sun City review for families, take a look at this map to try to get an idea of the size of the resort.
It may help you to decide which hotel is best for you if you haven’t yet decided.
If you can’t quite read it, click on the photo and it will take you to the Sun City Resort website where you can zoom in on it. You can also find the link here.
Where is Sun City Resort located?
Sun City is located in the North West Province of South Africa between the Elands River and the Pilanesberg.
It is about 140 km north west of Johannesburg. If you are coming from Johannesburg International Airport (Or Tambo), it will take about 2.5 hours by car.
Why is Sun City famous?
Sun City is just one of those places that has to be seen to be believed.
To us, it seemed like an African version of Disney. It is owned by Sun International who also own The Table Bay in Cape Town – one of the best options for family accommodation in Cape Town.
It was built in 1979 and has been hugely popular, particularly with families, ever since.
There is nothing like it in the whole of Africa – especially with the addition of The Palace of the Lost Kingdom in 1992.
The theme for this hotel was inspired by an ancient myth which tells of an African kingdom that was lost to the jungle.
It stands within an ancient volcanic crater that last erupted 1,200 million years ago. It is surrounded by mountains with the Pilanesberg National Park on its doorstep.
It truly is a unique destination in South Africa.
Best time to visit Sun City
In general, the best time to visit Sun City is between May and October when the weather is a bit cooler and drier.
These are the winter months but the weather is still pleasant. The only thing to note is that the evenings can get quite cool, especially in July and August.
The resort is far less busy during this time than during the summer months. The heat in the summer months can also be stifling.
You may not have a choice about when you visit if you have already decided on the rest of your holiday.
If you haven’t yet decided, you might want to read this post on the best time of year to visit the Kruger.
See also our guide to malaria free safaris in South Africa. Pilanesberg National Park (next door) and nearby Madikwe are both malaria free.
Of course, Pilanesberg on your doorstep is an easy option for a safari but if you want .
Not sure about taking a safari with kids? We have lots more information on family safaris which you might find helpful:
- Things you need to know about taking an African safari with kids
- What to take on safari with kids
- Where to stay in the Kruger with kids
- Where to stay in Timbavati Game Reserve with kids
- Review of Jackalberry Lodge in Thornybush Game Reserve
- Review of Thornybush Game Lodge
Family accommodation at Sun City Resort
There are four main hotels as well as the The Bush Bungalows in the Sun City Resort.
Each accommodation option offers something different. All of them have access to the Lost City – which includes the Valley of the Waves.
There is also free parking for all hotel guests.
The Palace of the Lost City
The Palace of the Lost City is the flagship hotel at Sun City. It is where you will find luxury accommodation amidst ancient ruins and lush jungle.
There is an onsite spa, 2 outdoor pools and 3 onsite restaurants.
We stayed in this hotel. Our review of the Palace of the Lost City is coming soon!
Family rooms: All superior luxury family rooms sleep 4. Rooms have been recently renovated. Some have better views than others.
Book your family room at The Palace of the Lost City on the following sites:
The Cabanas Hotel at Sun City Resort
The Cabanas is a 3-star family-friendly hotel at Sun City Resort.
Family rooms: All standard family rooms sleep 4. Some are lake facing.
Book your family room at The Cabanas Hotel on the following sites:
Sun City Hotel & Casino at Sun City Resort
Sun City Hotel is a 4-star hotel connected to the convention centre at Sun City. It is the most central hotel at Sun City, located on the edge of the Gary Player Golf Course and next to the Sun City Casino.
Family rooms: There are luxury family rooms and superior luxury family rooms sleeping 4.
Book your family room at The Sun City Hotel on the following sites:
The Cascades Hotel at Sun City Resort
The Cascades Hotel is a 5-star family-friendly hotel in the Sun City Resort.
Family rooms: Luxury family rooms and Superior luxury family rooms all sleep 4.
Book your family room at The Cascades Hotel on the following sites:
Bush Bungalows at Sun City Resort
The Bush Bungalows are the more affordable accommodation at Sun City.
See more information on the Bush Bungalows at the Sun City Resort here.
Book your family-friendly Bush Bungalow on the following sites:
Family-friendly restaurants at Sun City Resort
There are lots of restaurants within the hotels but we didn’t try them (apart from breakfast at The Palace of the Lost City which was incredible).
We had seen dubious reviews of the hotel restaurants and, to be honest, they are quite expensive.
The good news is that there are lots of places to eat at Sun City.
Each day we had an incredible breakfast and then went to Sun Central for lunch and dinner.
There are nearly 40 bars and restaurants to choose from in Sun City so you are bound to find something. Find out more about the Sun City bars and restaurants here.
What is there to do at Sun City for kids?
There are so many things to do at Sun City for kids. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the map of the resort at the beginning of the post to see where everything is.
A lot of the activities can be booked at the Welcome Centre.
Here are just a few of the child-friendly activities at Sun City:
Valley of the Waves – the Valley of the Waves is included if you stay in any of the Sun City hotels. It is a fabulous waterpark with lots of water slides of varying levels. The main attraction being the beach pool with wave machine which creates an enormous wave every few minutes.
Best time to visit here is at the beginning and end of the day. We were one of the first ones there in the morning and then came back later in the afternoon and were the last ones there.
Just watch out for the monkeys who like to steal food.
Maze of The Lost City – the Maze of the Lost City is actually surprisingly hard but thoroughly entertaining. Accessed from the Entertainment Centre via a 100m rope bridge.
There’s a bar at the end where you can have a well-earned drink. In case you have a couple of alcoholic drinks, there is a quick exit so you don’t have to worry about finding your way back out afterwards!
Kamp Kwena – Kamp Kwena is a kids’ club located at the Cabanas Hotel and offers a whole range of fun activities for kids aged 1 – 12.
Pilanesberg safari – there are a variety of safari tours you can book at Sun City.
Sun Central – The Entertainment Centre is a great place to head with the kids. As well as a cinema, indoor soft play and escape room there is a huge selection of shops and restaurants.
What we liked about Sun City with kids
We loved the Valley of the Waves and that we could go as many times as we liked during our stay.
We liked that there are shuttle buses to take you to various parts of the resort so you don’t have to drive.
We liked the huge grounds. The jungle area especially is great for the kids to explore.
We liked that there was always something to do.
The breakfast at The Palace of the Lost City was out of this world. There was so much choice and the quality was amazing.
What we didn’t like about Sun City with kids
Whilst we really enjoyed our stay at Sun City, there were a few things that needed improving considering the Palace of the Lost City in particular is a 5-star hotel.
The housekeeping staff at The Palace of the Lost Kingdom weren’t always on the ball. Our sofabed wasn’t made up and it took several calls and a long wait until someone came, at which point the kids were exhausted.
The concierge wasn’t knowledgeable about hotel closures. They randomly shut the maze for a corporate event and front desk weren’t aware of this when we asked about visiting so we wasted a trip.
The waiting staff in the Crystal Court at the Palace were a bit slow during breakfast service. It took a while to get anyone’s attention.
The lifeguards in charge of giving out the inflatable rings at The Valley of the Waves were not really keen on giving them out for some reason. During peak times, there was a shortage of them and you had to go an ask for one to be inflated.
So – is Sun City worth it?
Overall, Sun City is the perfect family destination where there’s something for the whole family.
As promised, the best view of the Sun City Resort can be had from the King Tower at The Palace of the Lost City.
To access it, you need to take the lift to the 9th floor and then climb the remaining steps.
When we visited, staff were just setting the scene for a romantic meal for someone, including laying rose petals up the steps. After we left, the clsoed the area for further visits that evening.
It would be best to check with concierge when would be a good time to visit.
For us, sunset was the best time but sunrise over the Pilanesberg is also spectacular.
We hope you have found our review of Sun City resort for families helpful. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop us an email.
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