The pristine white façade of the 6-storey Hotel Sky, in the heart of Sandton, radiates a quiet, contemporary sophistication. Enter through the frameless glass revolving door, however, and the most delightful explosion of colour, texture and whimsy shatters your initial impression.
The juxtaposition of traditional opulence – in the form of crystal chandeliers and expansive marble floors – and the futuristic – in the form of a robot concierge and the bank of self-service check-in stations – works because disruption is what this new hotel is all about.
Embracing Different in Sandton
Founder Paul Kelley says: “For many people, visiting hotels has lost its charm. A hotel is a hotel is a hotel. One hotel is virtually indistinguishable from the next. And the home-away-from-home concept is not what people want anymore. They want better-than-home. From the outset we decided to overshoot on that score.”
He goes on to say that there are basically three things that the modern traveller demands:
Freedom, flexibility and connectivity. “At Hotel Sky Sandton guests experience freedom and flexibility in so many ways. You have the freedom to check-in without any human interaction if you choose to do so. Either through the mobile app or the self-service check-in. And the ethos of flexibility underpins everything from event-planning to dining and entertainment.”
“It’s around connectivity that we went a little overboard though,” says Kelley. “Considering that many of our guests have high-speed uncapped fibre connections at home, we knew that we needed to make the connection super-fast and super-stable. And that led to us putting systems in place to prevent downtime due to power outages. The notion that we could do so much more with that super-fast, super-stable connection – like live-streaming events and conferences – led to world-class tech throughout the hotel.
In fact, it was during one of these tech-geek-brainstorm sessions that we stumbled upon the name of the hotel. One of us said: ‘the sky is the limit’.”
Hotel Sky Tech
Of course, the most visible and undoubtedly the most talked-about tech in the building is the AI-driven humanoid robots. They act as concierges and assist with delivering room service and luggage. These snappily-dressed “ladies” can tell you more about things you can do in and around the hotel. They will even strike a pose with you if you ask to take a selfie!
The self-playing Yamaha grand piano gracing the Galileo Piano Lounge is another technological marvel. It expertly plays any song on its extensive playlist.
It also works with screens where recorded concerts stream while the piano follows the artist’s fingers over the keys. This feature is particularly special considering that live events aren’t really on the cards right now.
Hotel Sky Facilities
Amazing tech is not all that Hotel Sky Sandton has to offer. The 453 rooms and 13 conference, meeting and entertainment venues supply surprise after surprise.
An occasional pop of hot pink snakeskin wallpaper contrasts with animal print, bright florals and bold African geometrics to deliver a vibrant, modern and undeniably “Rainbow Nation” feel that is very far from the neutral palette we usually see at city hotels.
The rooms, while small, are beautifully appointed with top quality finishes and attention to detail that is clearly guest-centric.
“There is so much to do in and around the hotel that guests don’t really spend much time in their rooms,” says General Manager Herman Brits. “But, for when they do, we’ve got 300-thread count linen and free uncapped high-speed internet with app-controlled smart TVs, so guests can stream to their hearts’ content. And then, if they get peckish, they can order room service via the Hotel Sky app and a robot will deliver food to their room!”
“Something else that is quite unique is the fact that guests can enjoy unlimited quality bean-to-cup coffee with multiple coffee stations on every floor.”
Enjoy elegant dining and burlesque or dinner-cirque entertainment at Eclipse on the sixth floor, or an interactive live cooking experience at Equinox on the first floor, or tapas at the Pool Terrace, or cocktails and snacks at the Galileo Piano Lounge. The quality and variety of the food will not disappoint.
Whether you are travelling to Johannesburg for business or pleasure, the location of Hotel Sky has to be the final clincher – located as it is just a block away from the Sandton Convention Centre, Nelson Mandela Square and the Sandton Gautrain Station.
Visit www.hotelsky.co.za for more information or to book your stay.