Africa Destinations Hotel Review South Africa

Checking In: The Palace of the Lost City

hotel at the background with grass covering it everywhere

Funny story: I didn’t know anything about The Palace of the Lost City until I posted a photo on Instagram and my friends were like, “That’s where Blended was shot!!!”

Obviously, I also had no idea about Adam Sandler’s new movie with Drew Barrymore (I’m a big fan of them both though).

I can see why they chose to feature this hotel for their movie. Located an hour’s away from Pilanesburg Game Reserve, the Palace of the Lost City will show you what luxurious living is like in South Africa.

You’ll be greeted by the friendliest staff in one of their newly minted lobbies.

Trust me, you’ll be gaping at the hand painted ceiling that bares a great similarity to the Game Reserve.

We went here right after going on the Game Drive and prepared for three days of full-on relaxation with the hotel’s great amenities, rooms, and beyond.

big bulbs as chandelier at the palace of the lost city

elephant tusks as details in the palace of the lost city

The Palace of the Lost City:

As one of the four hotels inside the Sun City compound, this has got to be the coolest one. Since I’m a pretty big fan of architecture, I took probably a thousand shots of their interior alone! Because this is dedicated to the great big elephant, Shamu – they wanted to pay tribute to him by having all their pillars like elephant husks and their ceilings designed to display the beauty of African art.

photo of a maze in sun city at johannesburg

center photo of a bridge leading to somewhere in the middle of a forest

What are the activities over at Sun City?

Unfortunately, we only had a day or two where we weren’t obligated to stay with the tour group. I decided that there was only one activity worth trying: The Maze of the Lost City!

I love getting lost in these mazes and trying to solve a puzzle along the way.

So, in the afternoon I decided to try my hand at it. You’d have to cross over a long hanging bridge to get there and then find a way to reach the top (literally) of the maze to be free.

If that isn’t your thing – Sun City has other amenities like shows, bars, and swimming pools you can visit during your stay.

galaxy of waves at sun city in south africa during sunset

The Valley of the Waves

Outside of the complex:

If we’re being honest here, the best activities are those outside of the Sun City complex. You have another game reserve, the lion’s den, riding a chopper to overlook the entire complex, and so much more.

Since I mostly stayed inside since majority of it was under construction, I got to go on small adventures like finding the Palace of the Lost City’s secret garden and exit which will lead you to the Galaxy of the Waves.

I also got a chance to try African beer here and can now honestly say how great their wine is (their beer, not so much). And because of my friends, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could have met Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.

Ya know, if I came two years earlier.

swimming pool with ruins at their reflection

backyard shot at the palace of the lost city


There’s so much history for one hotel. Plus, the amenities are distinctly African and even the music being played while in the dining hall.

Personally, I enjoyed my stay at the hotel alongside our tour group but I really believe three days is enough to explore the entire Sun City complex. Especially when they’re undergoing reservations and you have no idea if you’d like the activities outside.

girl raising her hands while laughing and saying i dont know what i'm doing

Over to you:

Would you stay at this hotel?

Or would you rather watch Blended (2013) instead?

Tell me in the comments below!

You can book a room at the Palace of the Lost City with Agoda. I was not a partner or is this post sponsored. All photos and opinions are mine.

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  • This is a bit funny to me because I was staying at a nearby resort just after they were filming it. Our guide in the parks had actually met Adam Sandler one night. It’s crazy to think about!

    • Kiara Mijares

      No way?! That’s so cool, Karlie! I’m super jealous!

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