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Furniture, chefs and water shipped into 5-star hotels for Brics big wigs

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his delegation stayed at the Westcliff Hotel.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his delegation stayed at the Westcliff Hotel.
Image: Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS

Johannesburg’s five star hotels played host to the world’s powerful leaders during the Brics summit this week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his delegation made the Westcliff Hotel their home. Waiters said the Russians guzzled craft beer after a long day at the Sandton Convention Centre, where the 10th annual Brics summit was held.

The Chinese took over the Michelangelo at the Sandton Mandela Square. President Xi Jinping is said to have brought his own furniture. 

"For the president, they brought their own furniture and took everything else out. They brought their own food. They used our restaurant but they have their own personal chefs and used our waiters," a staff member said.

Most of the heads of state are said to have shipped their own chefs, food and drinks.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stayed in the Rosebank Hyatt Hotel’s 190m² presidential suite. South African police set up body scanners at two entrances, and the only people allowed access to Erdogan were his Turkish catering and security teams.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had the run of the 246-room Palazzo at Montecasino, where the 168m² presidential suite costs at least R48,000 a night.

President Michel Temer of Brazil and his entourage stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton.

Read the full story in the Sunday Times .