South Africa 2004

Pretora & the Hotel 224

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In Pretoria, we stayed at the the Hotel 224, ever so creatively named after the total number of rooms at the hotel. The 224 is nothing short of a classic in Pretoria. It's located just outside of downtown, in Arcadia, and from the top floor of this 15-story building you have a great view of Pretoria, from the Voortrekker Monument in the distance, to the Union Building and downtown.

The 224 is family-owned and operated and the clientele is a very diverse cross-section of South Africans and foreigners, from business travellers to backpackers. It's a very live-and-let-live sort of place, and yet it is also saturated by Afrikaner culture. You start the day with a "hearty" breakfast of fried eggs, fried chicken liver, fish sticks, fried potatos, beans, and - you guessed it - chicken nuggets. And all day Radio Jacaranda's 80s pop is piped into the lounge, the bar and the patio - wall-to-wall Abba, Rod Steward, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Kim Wilde, Cat Stevens ... if you can stand it!

Venning Park in Arcadia