One of the oldest and largest hotels in Sandton, with 330 rooms, has been surrounded by disruptive construction for over seven years.

First the shopping complex adjoining it had to be emptied, demolished and then the building of a much bigger shopping complex and high-rise offices began.

Built as a country hotel in 1949 before Sandton existed, it is now in the centre of South Africa’s financial district with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange across the road. Only three storeys high, the hotel’s design means that when you are in the gardens you are generally not aware of the office towers that surround it.

This week the construction ends.  The adjoining Maude & Rivonia Centre is finally complete and the The Protea by Marriott Balalaika’s own R20 million (€1.3 million) improvements are also in place.

Central to this is the new Bull Run restaurant, set to become an iconic landmark when a giant 3.5m bronze bull is installed in the street outside later this month.