Judge me if you will but I’ve always been a huge fan of Sun City. I spent many a family holiday there as a child (which means I know almost every nook and cranny of the place) so, going back is always a happy trip down memory lane. Sure, many people think the holiday resort is pure cheese but when you think about it, Sun City is little bit like the Spur of holiday resorts … and I mean that as a compliment. It’s reasonably priced, you always know what to expect when you visit, AND it’s a haven for families who want a safe space to enjoy quality time together. Of course, regular visitors will know that the much-loved resort has started to look a little dated of late. Which is why when Sun City invited me to come through and check out the R1-Billion upgrade I jumped at the chance to see what they’d done. And, after a thorough inspection, I must admit it’s all rather fabulous! So, from a Sun City veteran, here are 5 reasons you HAVE to visit the new Sun City.

1. There’s so much more for families to enjoy!

new-look Cabanas

The new-look Cabanas family rooms.

When it comes to finding affordable accommodation and entertainment for your whole family, Sun City has always come out tops. And now, after a rather extensive makeover Sun City has announced a new-look Cabanas and Sun Vacation Club apartments. The Cabanas has always been a firm favourite with families and the refurbishment resulted in new contemporary styled rooms and refreshed decor at the Cabanas as well as the addition of free-standing chalet-style rooms. As for the Vacation Club, the popular accommodation option now offers three swimming pools, children’s jungle gyms, a grocery shop, a walkway to the Valley of the Waves; mini golf; a putting green, a Magic Company, and brand-new Spur and Ocean Basket restaurants!

2. Exciting new slides at the Valley of the Waves!

 Boomerang slide

The Boomerang slide at The Valley of the Waves.

Part of the extensive Sun City upgrade is the much-loved Valley of Waves. Many think of this exciting water park as the best reason to visit Sun City and now, after the make-over, it’s better than ever before! The make-over sees the addition of two new slides, ‘Boomerang’ (or Ovango) and ‘Noble’s Descent’. I got the chance to try out both new slides and there’s no doubt they are the best slides at the waterpark! I inspected both slides and after deciding that it looked the least menacing, I opted to try the 6-story Boomerang slide first. But, just a few short seconds after pushing myself off from the top I realised this wasn’t going to be just another fun tube slide. My giggling quickly turned to screams of terror as my tube plummeted off a steep cliff, hurtling me full speed ahead up an almost vertical wall 12 metres above the pool, before I was promptly spat back out towards the mouth of the slide and the relative safety of the pool below. Truth be told, I was white knuckling it the entire way down but when it was all over my first thought was; “I want do that again!” And, so I did!

Noble’s Descent

A peek at the bottom of Noble’s Descent.

After two attempts at the Boomerang I decided it was time to pull myself towards myself and try  ‘Noble’s Descent’. While waiting in the queue for Boomerang I watched, shocked, as one-by-one a handful of people climbed inside the upright chamber of the scary-looking slide. I spent about 10 minutes psyching myself up before stepping inside the chamber. I crossed my arms across my heart and four seconds later the floor gave way underneath my feet, starting a heartstopping 17m plummet, nearly straight down. This incredible adrenalin rush sends riders sliding at 40 mph before being swept upwards into a near-vertical loop. G-forces pin riders as they slide up, over and then down before crashing into the splashdown lane. This intense vertical free-fall left me truly breathless and I was shaking for a good 10 minutes afterwards. What a rush!

3. Enjoy a cold one at the new gastro-pub!

The Brew Monkey

The Brew Monkey gastro pub.

If you love craft beer and delicious grub then you’ll surely want to pop into the new, and oh-so-popular gastro-pub, The Brew Monkey. With spectacular views of the Valley of the Waves, this new eatery and drinking hole offers a decidedly rustic microbrewery feel for those looking for a cold one and a place to get out of the sun for a bit. The menu boasts a selection of hunger-busting bar tins, light meals, gourmet burgers and snack boards as well as a selection of handpicked craft and local beers. There are 11 beers available on tap including Castle, Castle Lite, Hansa, Carling Black Label, Castle Milk Stout, Peroni, Black Jack Lager, Striped Horse Pilsner, CBC Amber Weiss, Citizen American Amber Ale and Savanna Dry.

4. Enjoy entertainment at its best at the new Sun Central

Sun Central

The Sun Central entertainment hub.

One of the newest makeovers to be revealed is the new-look Sun City entertainment and conference arena, Sun Central. While the entertainment centre has always been the centre of fun at Sun City the new look and feel brings this entertainment hub straight into the modern era. Boasting a suite of new family experiences including a revamped kid’s arcade, bowling alley, food court, eateries, and more, Sun Central is now a place where you’ll want to spend your nights, and even your days at Sun City. This area used to be very dark and oh-so-80s but now it’s light and fresh and oh-so-modern. Walking into Sun Central for the first time I couldn’t believe the difference – old school no-name take-away joints and eateries have been replaced with a trendy RocoMamas burger joint, Spur, book shop & cafe, as well as a variety of well-known takeaway spots like Fishaways and Steers. Even the shops have been updated and visitors can now shop at the likes of Billabong, Havaianas, and more. Another great addition is the South African Hall of Fame honouring South Africa’s outstanding sportspeople and performing artists. The interactive exhibit will offer visitors the chance to race against super fast Springbok Sevens star, Seabelo Senatla or world record holder, Wayde van Niekerk on an indoor 20 metre track; take a swing for victory at the golf simulator; or head to the Samsung virtual reality area for various virtual reality experiences that will put you straight into the game.

5. Have a blast at the new Soho Hotel

Soho hotel

The new Soho hotel at Sun City.

Regular visitors to Sun City will also know that it was high time the ‘Main Hotel’ got a makeover. And now, after a rather extensive upgrade, Sun City has unveiled the new Soho hotel which has been repositioned as the resort’s ‘always on’ party zone. Encapsulating the essence of the renowned Soho destinations located in London and New York which are known for their eclectic vibe and non-stop action. Soho hotel boasts an exclusive new dance venue, Encore, the chic and contemporary bar and comedy club, Vibes, the glamorous new Legends restaurant and the revamped Sun Prive and Prive Salon. Of course, the famous Sun City Casino still lives on at this hotel and the space is now the centre of late-night fun for anyone looking for a good time.

For more information about Sun City visit the Sun International website or say Hi to Sun City SA on Facebook. Follow the links to find out more about the Sun City Vacation Club apartments, Sun City accommodation options, and activities at Sun City