Palace of the Lost City

First Look: The Palace Of The Lost City 30th Anniversary Refresh

The iconic Palace of the Lost City, the legendary 5-star hotel crowning the Sun City resort has undergone a full refurbishment of all of its 326 rooms, 16 suites and African Suite with décor bringing a contemporary African stay to life.


  • The design process began more than two years ago with the visualisation of the rooms’ new look and feel.
  • The refurbishment was rolled out by interior architectural design specialists David Muirhead and Associates.
  • Other additions to the Palace of the Lost City include the Royal Spa, Royal Salon and a new Gym.
  • Visit for more stories.


Since its opening over 30-years ago, The Palace of the Lost City has been home to dreamers and thrill-seekers, celebrities and heads of state as well as guests from all around the world seeking to experience all this South African icon has to offer.

As The Palace of the Lost City is an iconic destination, it was essential that we kept the hotel’s integrity, and the vision of its founder, Sol Kerzner, intact, while being sensitive to the brand’s history. Our job was to capture its essence – the fantasy of a lost African city, and evolve it. It was of paramount importance to us as a design company to ensure the longevity of this spectacular international landmark hotel.

// Partner at David Muirhead and Associates, David Muirhead


While the pandemic caused delays, local manufacture of new furniture items has been happening for the past year, although décor elements were retained and reimagined in line with Sun International’s sustainability goal to reduce its carbon footprint and environmental impact.

Fashion and trends have changed since the hotel opened in 1992. Back then, bedrooms were not as important a focus as they are now.

// Partner at David Muirhead and Associates, David Muirhead


Palace of the Lost City
A Versace wallpaper cocoons the room in warm golden tones, setting a relaxed mood. Image: The Palace of the Lost City

The African luxury themed bedrooms are mostly bespoke, with carpets, upholstery and curtains designed especially for The Palace.

We changed the colour of the original carpets to a blue-green tone, but kept the same pattern. We have used FibreGuard fabrics for scatter cushions on the bed, sofas and curtains, which are eco-friendly, recyclable and have no harmful chemicals used in their manufacture. They are also child-friendly, with stain free technology. We used luxury African lifestyle brand, Ardmore Design for the accent cushion on the bed.

// Partner at David Muirhead and Associates, David Muirhead


Palace of the Lost City
Certain pieces of artwork have been reused, and the horned accent tables are also from the original design. Image: Th Palace of the Lost City

The original bedside lamps have been recovered while the original armoire TV cabinet had its height reduced so that it doesn’t overpower the room. The two-poster bed is one of the original hand-carved pieces, as is the dining room table.


Palace of the Lost City
The mahogany tea and coffee station. Image: The Palace of the Lost City

A mahogany tea and coffee station has been added to the room, developed and designed locally along with standing lamps which provide the feel of an African sculpture and add a luxurious ambience to the mood of the room.

Palace of the Lost City
The original mirrors above the bathroom vanity have been retained. Image: The Palace of the Lost City

The bathrooms have been rebuilt in rainforest green marble, with new diagonally-patterned porcelain tiles on the floor calling out a synergy with the bedroom. A new timber vanity and new sanitary ware and accessories in brushed bronze by Kohler complete the look, along with new artwork by local artists Jenny Mallon and Sue Martin.

The new look had to appeal to a broad South African market as well as the international market, so the positive feedback was encouraging.

// Partner at David Muirhead and Associates, David Muirhead


Turning the design changes into a practical reality took a team of 215 people on site including a construction team, painters, a quantity surveyor, contractor, project manager, air conditioning experts and an IT team.


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Sandton Times Correspondent

Sandton Times Correspondent

Curated content from The Sandton Times newsroom desks.


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