Durban is reintroducing itself to South African and international business and leisure tourists as the beautiful and vibrant beachfront destination it once was – following multi-million rand investment and intensive focus from the eThekwini Council.
“Durban is moving in the right direction,” says Kevin Page, Development Director of Tsogo Sun, a group that has contributed significantly to the revival of Durban’s Golden Mile. “Having a beachfront is a privilege that many cities around the world share; however, having an aesthetically pleasing and highly user-friendly and accommodating beachfront is something that needs to be worked on constantly by all stakeholders. That’s what we’re doing on Durban’s Golden Mile,” explains Page.
Tsogo Sun’s most recent investment into the aesthetics of Durban’s beachfront is the transformation of two of its iconic hotels into a massive 734-bedroom hotel complex, with facilities to suit every tourist’s needs – the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani.
In relation to the overall aesthetics of the Golden Mile, Tsogo Sun is projecting the elegance and magnitude of the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, which included brokering a deal with the Maluti Building in between the two properties to give it the same pristine look as the hotel, and has painted the entire complex a brilliant white, which will go some way to revitalising the iconic status of the Southern Sun brand on the beachfront.
“Architecturally, within the complex on the ground floor we’ve opened up both towers with new porte cocheres; and we’ve added The Grill Jicana restaurant and opened it up to the street with glazing so that people can see in, greatly enhancing the urban appeal of the ground floor and making the hotel alive to the street. We’ve also enhanced the pool deck and taken advantage of the elevation to add to the close experience of the sea.”
“Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani is quintessentially of Durban, of the sea, and of the Indian Ocean. We’re proud of that and we pay homage to it in the hotel – and to the people who contribute to the rich culture that this city enjoys,” comments Page.
Crowning the aesthetic appeal of the Maharani Tower is a dynamic lighting effect that has been installed in the external lift shaft, which has been dormant for many years. This multi-coloured moving light that runs the entire length of the lift shaft has brought it back to life, adding vibrancy to the hotel frontage and bringing a sense of upward movement to the building at night.
Other eye-catching Tsogo Sun properties that add appeal to Durban’s beachfront include the SunCoast Casino & Entertainment World, which has two hotels within the complex; the modern, art-deco styled Garden Court Marine Parade; and the appealing and beach-friendly Garden Court South Beach hotel.
“Our investment in the beachfront is designed to add to the experience that any tourist will have of the city – whether it’s enjoying the striking view of the Golden Mile; staying at one of the hotels; sipping a sundowner in the Panorama Pool Bar on the magnificent pool deck of the Elangeni Tower; using the comfortable and well-equipped conference or business facilities; and more – all the while enjoying a zone that is clean, safe, and well maintained,” says Page.
The Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani project has two further phases on the drawing boards, which include the addition of The Camelot Spa and the reopening of the top floor of the Maharani Tower as a multi-purpose event venue in Phase 2, as well as the complete refurbishment of all the rooms in the Elangeni Tower in Phase 3. The entire project represents an investment of R220 million and is being managed by the Tsogo Sun development team with assistance from a range of professionals, architects, interior designers and engineers.