Main image: Radisson Blu Hotel Umhlanga – Photo Credit Tumi Pakkie African News Agency ANA
Rezidor, one of the most dynamic hotel companies worldwide and part of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, opened the first phase of the R4,5-billion Oceans Umhlanga mega-development in Umhlanga, near Durban, in June. It is the Radisson Hotel Group’s entry into its fourth South African city. This opening brings the group’s portfolio in one of its key African markets, South Africa, to 14 hotels in operation and two under development.
The Radisson Blu Hotel, spearheaded by KwaZulu-Natal moguls Vivian Reddy and Rob Alexander, is a 28-storey, five-star hotel that boasts 206 hotel rooms, 95 suites, a 36 000m² mall and about 500 apartments.
Completing the business triangle
“We are delighted to launch our core brand, Radisson Blu, in the Durban area and complete the business triangle with Cape Town and Johannesburg. The presence in South Africa’s three major cities further strengthens our position in the country and on the continent. Africa is our biggest growth market where we, on average, sign a hotel every 37 days and open a hotel every 60 days,” said Wolfgang M Neumann, president and chief executive officer of Rezidor. The group’s total portfolio comprises 67 hotels, with almost 15 000 rooms in operation or under development.
“Radisson Blu is Europe’s largest upper-upscale brand and Africa’s fastest growing brand, with the largest pipeline of hotel rooms under development on the continent. The signing in Durban solidifies the brand’s pole position and supports our long-term strategy to establish Radisson Blu as the leading upper-upscale offer on the continent,” added Elie Younes, executive vice-president and chief development officer of Rezidor.
An urban resort
The Radisson Blu Hotel Durban Umhlanga is designed as an urban resort within the Oceans Umhlanga Mall – a 90 000m² high-end complex that will also include luxury apartments and a luxury shopping mall with some of the world’s leading brands. The site is one of the best in Durban – sloping down from the city towards the famous beaches.
Besides 207 rooms and suites with Radisson Blu signature services such as free high-speed Internet, the hotel will also offer an all-day-dining restaurant, a lobby bar and coffee shop, a rooftop outdoor bar and terrace, and a business class lounge. The meeting and events area will be almost 1 200m², and a spa, gym and outdoor pool will complement the facilities. The 28th floor of the hotel will have two of largest presidential suites in the province at 600m² each, overlooking Durban’s Umhlanga Rocks.
The hotel also offers eight state-of-the-art meeting facilities, with the ballroom accommodating 600 guests in cinema style. Guests can host weddings at the venue, but you may have to book two years in advance.
“The sleek, glazed facade of the hotel will offer some of the finest views in Durban, and we have taken pains to ensure that every room has access to this view,” said Vivian Reddy, development company chairman of Oceans Umhlanga. “The public areas have been designed to create a new social hub for the town. High ceilings will enhance the luxury of the hotel, as will the signature pool terrace, spa and one of the largest banqueting halls in the city,” he added. The hotel will employ 26 000 people once the project has been completed