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BEVERLY HILLS REVAMP (article first published : 2003-12-30)

The legendary Beverly Hills Hotel, one of Umhlanga’s most well-known landmarks, has recently completed a R7-million revamp of the foyer, lobby, restaurant and top terrace in the second phase of a three-part refurbishment programme.

Built in 1964, this was Southern Sun’s first hotel and offers the epitome of style and grace, with glorious views of the Indian Ocean and unspoilt beaches.

To ensure that the hotel continues to surpass global standards of hospitality and meet the changing needs of today’s guest, the hotel has undergone a number of changes under the watchful eye of the management team: General Manager, Mike Jackson, and Deputy Manager, Patsy Esposito.

Umhlanga is fast becoming one of the region’s most desirable business and leisure destinations and the refurbishments are in line with Southern Sun’s strategy to position the hotel as the leading business and holiday destination on the North Coast.

Towards the end of 2002, R4-million was spent on upgrading the Cabana rooms, the Executive Boardroom and the hotel’s 72 standard guest rooms.

This year, Wilson & Associates, the award-winning interior architectural design firm with over 25 years experience worldwide, were tasked with recreating the hotel’s public areas.

“An eclectic natal plantation feel has been captured which celebrates the hotels position and glamorous history. The Beverly Hills allows the guest privacy within an environment that exudes sheer luxury”, says David Muirhead, senior designer at Wilson & Associates. “The accent is on absolute comfort, creating a home from home environment that is both private and personal! Furniture and accessories that could easily have been inherited create an unimposing feel, allowing guests to feel completely at ease and able to relax and unwind within a luxurious environment”

In the lounge, large comfy sofas, wingback chairs and card tables – grouped in intimate circles and complimented by low level lighting – creating an intimate atmosphere. The use of luxurious velvets, leather, suede’s, antique mirrors and crystal vases captivate the senses and express the passion behind this glamorous hotel.

“The walls of the lounge are decked with works of art by local artist Isaac Sithole and Amarildo Alberto, contributing a truly African foundation to the interior. Furthermore black and white photos, illustrating scenes from the North Coast sugar plantations and old Durban honour Durban’s heritage,” says David Muirhead.

In the hotel’s new signature restaurant, the Sugar Club, dramatic sea views provide a romantic and intimate ambience. Intimacy is enhanced by smaller table settings as well as the use of raffia screens that provide a sense of privacy to the individual settings. Once again, the Natal plantations theme is carried through with bamboo blinds and the strong use of wicker and raffia, while an eclectic mix of crystal and silverware set the scene for a meal fit for royalty.”

Gerhard van Staden, Executive Chef at the Beverly Hills and recent winner of the UBR Food solutions Chef Of The Year Competition has revitalised the menu by introducing the concept of classic contemporary food with an eclectic feel. Whether international business travellers or local clientele, guests will find something to suit both their particular taste.




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