Pretoria’s Menlyn Maine
Photo: © SOUTH AFRICA TOURISM
MENLYN MAINE, SOUTH AFRICA’S first green community, resides in the eastern suburbs of Pretoria, which is part of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality with almost 3 million residents.
Pretoria, one of South Africa’s three capitals, houses the executive branch of government, and while many visitors drive the 35 miles from Johannesburg, they also arrive on the Gautrain, Africa’s first high-speed train.
Menlyn Maine’s 33-acre project started in 2006 and includes pricey residential buildings, shops and offices, restaurants and hotels, a casino and entertainment complex, and green space with pedestrian and biking trails. It’s one of the most prosperous and fastest-growing areas in the country, doing so in an environmentally sensitive way.
“The stunning new neighborhood is not only well-situated, it also offers businesses and their employees easy access to a host of world-class facilities while providing a most attractive and convenient environment in which to work,” says Retha Schutte, regional executive, Pam Golding Properties.
Menlyn Maine is dubbed “Pretoria’s Sandton,” after the posh area near Johannesburg. “Unlike Sandton, however, Menlyn Maine has been carefully purpose-designed by renowned architects and town planners to be the ideal urban space,” says Schutte.
Central Square opened in 2016 with exclusive restaurants and cafés, boutiques, wellness centers and art galleries, all part of the $674 million Sun International Time Square Urban Entertainment complex. The Time Square Casino opened last year, offering 2,000 slots and 60-plus tables, part of a 107,000-square-foot gaming facility and 8,000-seat, multipurpose arena.
Wellness centers include Spa de la Veille, a high-end day spa; and Virgin Active, offering classes, indoor/outdoor pools, saunas, steam rooms and state-of-the-art equipment. From comfortable lounges with WiFi to health food cafés, Virgin Active designed amenities so guests will “not only like coming to the gym, but will love it.”
The Capital Menlyn Maine opened last year a short walk from Central Square. The 138-room property offers comfortable executive accommodations, an outdoor pool, spa, conference center, restaurant and rooftop event center, and makes a good base for exploring nearby nature reserves.
The $160 million, 26-story residential/retail Menlyn Link project near Central Square, slated to open in 2019, will offer a rooftop swimming pool and tennis court.
Seven miles from Menlyn Maine, near downtown Pretoria, Ca Ira Wellness Retreat offers a peaceful stay in seven en suite rooms and includes a spa and wellness center with a gym.