Royal Elephant Hotel and Conference Centre, Pretoria

" When life gives you lemons, make lemonade is a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. Lemons suggest sourness or difficulty in life; making lemonade is turning them into something positive or desirable". Or in this instance, use them in a beverage of your choice.




This was to be my base when I was recently in Pretoria for an extended work stay. When looking for accommodation, there were two criteria that I required. 1] The accommodation had to be easily accessible from the Ben Schoeman Highway. and 2] It needed to be close to the Voortrekker Monument amphitheatre, which is where I was going to be working.

The Royal Elephant Hotel was easily accessible via the Lyttelton off-ramp from the highway. I have driven past that turn-off many times on trips to and from Johannesburg to Pretoria, but now I know where it leads.

It was also 12 minutes from where I was going to be working. Amazingly, I wonder why more people from Johannesburg don’t visit this city on the weekend…or even as a mid-week break.




Having just returned from a trip to Morocco, I felt right at home when I stepped in the reception area of The Royal Elephant.

The decor in this hotel and conference venue is a reflection of the kind of decor that can be found in Morocco & North Africa.

Vibrant colours, a multitude of cushions as well as iconic light fittings are part of the charm this venue has to offer.

The check-in staff were most helpful and had even made certain that my room was ready for me at 11h00 when I arrived, instead of 14h00.

This allowed me to relax before heading off to rehearsals in the latter part of the afternoon and evening.




For those who might have to wait, then this seating area in reception will enable guests to believe that they are further North than they actually are.

This seating took me back to the courtyards of several of the roads that we stayed at while in Casablanca, Marrakech and a couple of other cities during a recent coach tour of Morocco.

Usually, if I stay in a themed hotel, I have to believe that what I experience at the hotel is based on fact and not based on the ideas and perceptions of contractors and interior designers.

In this instance, I could easily identify with the theme, and I was enthralled by the many details that the owners had added to make the experience special.

The only thing missing was a camel in the parking lot!




In the magnificent lobby, it was this enormous lamp that attracted my attention.

It took up most of the space above the lobby and was a fitting introduction to this themed hotel and conference centre.




In Morocco, hanging lanterns are seen as a sign of upper-class status, as many lanterns are seen at the entranceways of palaces and mansions.

In your home, hanging lamps like these are ideal for people with children (as they won’t be able to knock or tip these over) and for ambient lighting in a dining area or foyer.




Probably the first time my walk from the elevator to my room was a short corridor of about 10 steps. (This is the closest I have ever been in almost 20 years of travelling).

Usually, my room is the furthest away and the walk there enables me to achieve most of my daily step count.

In this case, it was not so, and even the stairway to the ground floor was only a short distance.




Important colours in Morocco:

GREEN: The deep green of the Date Palm tree crown is a vibrant colour of life popping out from the dry, red Moroccan soils.

GOLD: The golden hues of the Sahara Desert inspire awe and wonder, symbolising resilience and strength.

BLUE: The endless blue Moroccan skies are said to help retain peace and tranquillity.




My luxury accommodation was complete with vibrant soft furnishings and colourful carpet. Not a white wall or neutral colour to be seen.




I have a question about bedside lamps.

I understand that interior designers are looking at the aesthetics of a room as a whole, but surely these can be practical as well as decorative?

In this case, it was more of the latter and less of the former, which is why I carry a head torch in my travel bag. But I suppose that most reading is now done on an electronic device that has a built-in light, making bedside lamps almost obsolete.




A seating area that I was not able to make use of as I was not in the room long enough. Behind the curtain is an intimate balcony that I was able to enjoy a beverage on when I returned from work late at night. Again, having had a similar experience in Morocco, I could almost hear the noise of the marketplace and smell the aroma of a variety of food and incense.




This bath was unexpected. But it was most welcome after being on my feet all day, to just lie back and let the stresses and strains of the rehearsals just wash away. I did look for some bath salts, but there were none to be found…something more to be added to my personal travel bag perhaps? But then again, not many bathrooms have baths any longer.




More wall lights, a hairdryer as well as a mirror and a double basin. What more could a guest want?




And an enormous shower space, which had seating on both sides that could accommodate an entire football team! Because of this vastness, a second showerhead could have been a possibility. There is no door and that means that it felt like I was stepping into an outdoor shower rather than a cramped cubicle that is often the case given space constraints.




My time at the Royal Elephant Hotel and Conference Centre will continue as there is more of the hotel that I want to share with potential guests or delegates…




What does the Royal Elephant offer? Click on the logo above to find out.




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