The Palace of the Lost City – Sun City, Northwest Province, South Africa

Opulent, Gargantuan, and Extravagant Beyond Imagination

In the middle of dry bushveld and surrounded by the ersatz glitz and Las Vegas glamour of the entertainment and resort complex called Sun City stands the regal Palace of the Lost City, on a scale that is almost inconceivable.

Not everyone agrees on what is the world’s finest hotel, but no one disagrees that this $190-million African fantasy extravaganza dazzles and astounds. A gambling casino, four hotels, two award-winning 18-hole golf courses, and a 136,000-acre game reserve were not enough to satisfy the young entrepreneur who created Sun City in 1979. He concocted a myth of a lost civ­ilization that would be anchored by the magni­ficent Palace Hotel, a pleasure dome supposedly built upon its ruins. The hotel’s attention to detail in architecture, service, and furnishings is mind-boggling. There are more than 300 rooms (for an extraordinary experience, book the King Suite); graceful reminders of African heritage and ethnic motifs greet visitors at every turn.

Fifty-five groomed acres of man-made jun­gle and rain forest are studded with convincing remnants of the legendary Lost City civilization. It’s one part Walt Disney, one part Xanadu, and jone part Cecil B. DeMille.

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