Lords Bar

First Look: The Protea Hotel By Marriott Balalaika Sandton R2-Million Lords Bar Revamp

Get ready to step into a realm of timeless elegance and unparalleled charm as the Protea Hotel by Marriott Balalaika Sandton unveiled the exquisite transformation of its iconic Lords Bar at 20 Maude Street.


  • Lords Bar, known as the heritage bar of the hotel, holds significant historical importance, being one of the first bars in Sandton.
  • After an extensive R2-million renovation, Lords Bar celebrates its 74th year in a splendid new form, combining its illustrious heritage with contemporary sophistication.
  • It has witnessed key events in the early days of Sandton, including welcoming the first ladies’ bar, breaking the societal norms of the time.
  • Visit www.sandtontimes.co.za for more stories.


Situated in the heart of Sandton, opposite the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Protea Hotel by Marriott Balalaika Sandton is an upscale vintage country-style hotel offering a blend of heritage and modern comfort. The hotel is divided into two sections, the Balalaika, and the Crown Court, each boasting tranquil gardens with sparkling swimming pools, offering guests a unique poolside experience. The newly refreshed Lords Bar forms part of this historical Sandton stay!


Lords Bar
The Lords Bar has managed to stay true to its history whilst introducing an array of new textures, fabrics and menu items. Image: The Sandton Times

The grand reveal of Lords Bar remarkable transformation brought together key media and stakeholders, showcasing the bar’s rich history, enticing new food and beverage offerings, and bespoke changes to The Conservatory and Terrace space too.


Lords Bar
The Lords Bar now features an outside space too – ideal for the warmer Sandton summer nights ahead! Image: The Sandton Times

Interestingly, the land where the Lords Bar stands was once a unique tearoom that warmly received travelers into Sandton for trade. Rewind even further back, and the Balalaika Hotel became a popular spot for those wishing to rest overnight and recharge their horses on a trip between Johannesburg and Pretoria, at a time, where the now bustling suburbs of greater Sandton were merely wide-open spaces filled with bushveld and dirt roads.


It’s almost unthinkable that decades later, this popular countryside hotel is now at the heart of Africa’s richest square mile, surrounded by some of the largest corporate offices, five star hotels and upmarket restaurants. Yet the new look Lords Bar has kept many elements of its history, with walls covered in newspaper articles telling the story to date.


Lords Bar
An array of tempting cocktails and drinks await visitors wanting to taste a slice of Sandton history. Image: The Sandton Times

The focus of the Lords Bar renovation is to preserve and captivate the rich history of the bar while offering a revitalized food and beverage menu. The new menu features an array of delectable starters, including Pulled Lamb Tacos, Bao Bun, Cheesy Jalapeno Fries, and Chicken Strips. For mains, guests can indulge in the Chicken Platter, Seafood Platter, a selection of three Jaffel flavours, and Tapas, Corn Rib, Pickled Mushroom, Samosa, Sundried Tomato Dip, and Tortilla. And now, there’s even a Vape vending machine in the historical bar too!


Don’t miss the opportunity to order a bowl of Lords Bar morish hand fried crisps, made on-site by the Balalaika kitchen. These larger than life cut potato chips will have you coming back for more and are certainly part of the Lords Bar historical experience.


Lords Bar
Come for the drinks, stay for the chips! The Lords Bar legendary crips, handmade at the hotel, are the perfect serve to compliment any late night imbibing. Image: The Sandton Times

A large blue door with a bold golden lion knocker, welcomes patrons to this legendary space, modelled after the door at 10 Downing Street, official residence and office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Cheekily, the door is inscribed with the wording ‘First Lord of Consumption’.


Lords Bar
This soon to be popular door with Instagrammers is as bold as the new offering at Lords Bar in Sandton – a must visit when in town! Image: The Sandton Times

Connected to The Marc Shopping Centre, the hotel offers secure paid parking and easy access to Lords Bar for guests, and its prime location grants easy access to renowned attractions like Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, and the Sandton Gautrain Station.


Lords Bar
Aged to perfection – Lords Bar has kept much of its heritage and brought in a fresh feel for a new generation of Sandton ‘Lords and Ladies’. Image: The Sandton Times

The Protea Hotel by Marriott Balalaika Sandton is a popular blend of country charm and urban sophistication. With its rich history and warm ambiance, it promises an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking a true country escape within the bustling city of Sandton and a ‘slice of history’ experience.


So get ready to immerse yourself in the renowned Lords Bar and experience the hotel’s timeless allure and culinary delights in this newly revamped space.


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Sandton Times Correspondent

Curated content from The Sandton Times newsroom desks.


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