New Durban Point Waterfront hotels on track for 2010

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Construction is progressing well on the two new hotels in the Durban Point Waterfront mixed-use development - The Docklands Hotel and The Anchorage Hotel. The Docklands Hotel is scheduled to open in May 2010 in time for the World Cup.

This section of Durban is currently undergoing a massive transformation, from a previously dilapidated precinct into a multi-billion Rand investment.

Alan Vels, MD of Signature Life Hotels, says of the development: "It was a natural progression to have hospitality developments in this re-generation precinct, as a number of nearby attractions and the beaches lend themselves to attracting both leisure and business tourists."

"The entire node has developed to include a grand mix of business and residential in the area, which offers the further creation of entertainment areas within hotels. Also, with some inner city hotels downsizing and downgrading, there was a need for new business hotels on the Durban beachfront area," he adds.

The four-star Docklands Hotel has 81 rooms, a restaurant and four conference rooms seating a total of 400 people. The hotel, valued at R110-million, is urban, trendy and modern and boasts views over the Indian Ocean and harbour.

The R60-million Anchorage Hotel, which is part of the Life Hotels brand, has 63 rooms, a restaurant and a conference room which seats 400 people. It is set to open in the latter part of 2010.

The hotels are expected to draw local and international guests and together can accommodate 304 guests in rooms and 600 in the conference and banqueting suites.

"The hotels have very interesting contemporary designs with unique dining and meeting facilities and compare to hotels and business spaces one would find in Canary Wharf in London," explains Vels.

"Our vision for these hotels is for them to become the leading city business hotels in Durban, recognised for world class accommodation and meeting spaces."

Colin Sher, sales and marketing manager for Durban Point Development Company (DPDC) and MD of Broll Property Group KwaZulu-Natal, adds: "The Durban Point Waterfront is one of South Africa's most significant and exciting property development and investment projects and the addition of these world-class hotels is evidence of this."

A major draw card of the Durban Point Waterfront is its proximity to places of interest and its prime location, says Logi Naidoo, acting chairman of the DPDC and deputy mayor of Ethekwini Municipality.

"Durban Point Waterfront is adjacent the R735-million U'Shaka Marine Theme Park, which is a major tourist attraction. With easy access to the beachfront and Indian Ocean, as well as being within a 10km radius of the Moses Mabhida stadium, the Durban Point Waterfront is a leading location for the influx of visitors expected over the next few months."

The area is also accessible via a range of transportation modes, which include pedestrian, road, rail and sea. This allows for more accessible local, national and international connections.

In excess of R1.8-billion has already been spent on development at the Durban Point Waterfront, with the final investment figure estimated in the region of R6-billion. This includes a 44 000sqm entertainment and lifestyle shopping centre.

Phase One of the development is underway, with its different elements in various stages of completion, planning and construction.

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