Where: Kruger National Park.
Opening date: This December.
The Kruger National Park (KNP) will be adding a new accommodation offering to its already expansive list. Hailed as a unique luxury accommodation experience for travellers to the park, Kruger Shalati will open its doors this December.
The Afro-chic boutique hotel, created around a restored train, will pay tribute to the history of Kruger – a time when travellers arrived at the park by train.
The project incorporates the celebrated original old Selati railway bridge at Skukuza Camp, where the KNP’s first warden, James Stevenson-Hamilton, welcomed visitors nearly 100 years ago.
The train will offer 24 en suite rooms that can sleep up to 48 guests. Another seven rooms in adjacent Kruger Shalati Bridge House will accommodate 14 guests. The spacious rooms, considerably larger than the traditional train compartment-style room, will have sweeping views of the Sabie River.
It will be kitted out with the finest amenities to make a stay comfortable, and include bespoke fine dining and leisure activities.
Development Not Yet Named
Where: Tinley Manor, KZN North Coast.
A leading international brand will build a luxury resort at Tinley Manor, 60km north of Durban. The brand has around 60 resorts and this will be their first in South Africa
Located just 700m from the beach, the lodge will have 350 rooms and 50 villas.Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal and Tongaat Hulett Developments played a pivotal role in facilitating the project.
Executive head: commercial at Tongaat Hulett Developments Chris du Toit said the project had been in the pipeline for three years. “The resort will be close to the airport and beaches, and will have perfect weather all year long. We hope to start the two-year construction soon,” he said.
uMkhambathi Nature Reserve lodge and Villas
Where: Pondoland, Eastern Cape.
A R190-million five-star lodge and villas complex is in the pipeline for uMkhambathi Nature Reserve.
The project, hailed as a first for the South African tourism sector for its partnership between uMkhambathi Land Trust, Colin Bell of Mkhambathi Matters and Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, will begin in three months.
The lodge will offer 30 rooms and 10 villas with eight bedrooms each. Guests will enjoy nature-based leisure activities like guided hikes, mountain biking, game viewing and fishing. The developers will work closely with the local community to create one-of-a-kind cultural experiences for travellers.
Bell said the project would take 18 months to complete.
“This will be one of the first in South Africa to include communities, government and private sector. This will be an interesting recipe that other provinces will follow,” he said.
Hilton Garden Inn, Umhlanga Arch
Where: Umhlanga Rocks Drive, Umhlanga.
Four-star Hilton Garden Inn, Umhlanga Arch will open next year in uMhlanga. The 207-room hotel is the first Garden Inn property in South Africa.
With easy access to King Shaka International Airport, La Lucia Ridge, Durban and the Gateway Theatre of Shopping, the hotel is ideal for both business and leisure travellers.
Among the facilities are a business and fitness centre, an outdoor pool and a garden and lounge bar. John Greenleaf, the global head of Hilton Garden Inn, said the hotel would be tailored to meet the needs of the local market while still maintaining Hilton’s award-winning standards.
“We want guests to have a unique experience while still enjoying the core consistency that Hilton offers worldwide. The localisation will be reflected in the decor, the menu and the drink and retail space,” he said.