DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal born Siyanda Sabelo Dlamini has made his first foray in the hotel industry with the of launch the R350 million Regency Apartment Hotel.
The Regency Apartment Hotel is according to Dlamini an apartment block that fully serviced one and two bedroom apartments. The property also has a restaurant on site that serves meals 24 hours a day and they also offer a venue that can be used for conferences.
Dlamini who was raised by his mother was born and brought in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, later moved to Cape Town to study hotel management at the Cape Town Hotel School.
After graduating he moved into management. He has held a variety head of department positions at various hotels.
He has worked at three different Cape Town hotels including Victoria Junction, The President Hotel and The Marriott Crystal. He then moved on to work for a Pretoria based hotel management company where he was the Director of Sales. His job at the Pretoria based hotel management company was his last employment before he decided to launch the Regency Apartment Hotel.
About his experience in the hotel industry, Dlamini said, "The overall experience thought me a lot about discipline, hard work and dedication".
He added that over the years he has created a lot of relationships and connections within the hotel industry and outside and the very same relationships have been useful in his current venture.
On the idea behind the building the apartment hotel, Dlamini said that he wanted to offer the market something different from the norm in terms of accommodation. He said, " Apartment hotels are fast becoming the most ideal choice for travelers for the convenience they offer in terms of space, fully equipped kitchens etc".
The building of the entire project took two years and the apartment hotel cost R350 million. He said that he was able to get funding through investors and a loan from the bank but the municipal red tape was a real challenge.
The businessman who counts Patrice Motsepe as his business role model is planning on having two or three more additional apartment hotels. He is also planning on adding a few apartment blocks into his portfolio in strategic locations in major cities in the country.
Another business venture for Dlamini is a procurement company that will specialise in hotel design. According to him, they are planning on launching the company soon.