Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott Durban Umhlanga Ridge opened in July. Picture: Clinton Moodley

Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott Durban Umhlanga Ridge officially opened in Durban this month. The trendy lifestyle hotel joins Fire & Ice! by Marriott hotels in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria. 

Themed to celebrate the Old 1960s Beach Nostalgia, the hotel aims to bring together individuals who are edgy, experiential and young at heart. The hotel chain decided to bring the Fire & Ice! by Marriott brand to KwaZulu-Natal after seeing a gap in the lifestyle market. They wanted to steer away from the traditional hotels and create a third space where travellers could socialise and revel in the entertainment options. 

During its official opening this week, guests got a sneak peek of what the hotel has to offer. The hotel-previously known as Protea Hotel by Marriott has received a complete transformation with more spaces for people to interact - whether it is a 65-year-old enjoying a martini at the bar or a group of friends enjoying the weekend music sessions. 

The pool area is perfect for sundowners or to enjoy some good music. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo.

The designer of Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott Durban Umhlanga Ridge, Peter de Klerk wanted to create an aesthetically pleasing look that was fun. The decor has a playful beach theme with beach and surf elements dominating every corner. It also pays homage to the old Umhlanga with giant pictures of its former lighthouse and the iconic pier adoring its walls. 

The VW combi Dj Booth, a beach shack inspired bar, and a pool completes the new look. Everything is laid back and relaxing - whether you are a leisure traveller or on business. The 205 roomed hotel has a 24-hour reception desk, 18-hour room service, a gym and a rooftop lounging area. Much detail has gone into the food and beverage offerings. 

The hotel-previously known as Protea Hotel by Marriott has received a complete transformation with more spaces for people to interact. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo


There are many quirky design elements. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
The designer of Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott Durban Umhlanga Ridge, Peter de Klerk wanted to create an aesthetically pleasing look. Pictures: Sibonelo Ngcobo.

The official drink of the hotel is rum, playing on the area’s rich sugar cane history. The management is in talks with a popular rum brand to elevate the drink offering. The bar is open until 2am for travellers with late-night cravings or those with insomnia. 

Famous for its burgers and milkshakes, the hotel offers 46 flavours of milkshakes and their famous "jaw burger" with a 350-gram patty. Their Big 5 menu includes some popular African dishes that Durban is famous for. The hotel has an in-house DJ who will play a set from 6pm to 10pm every Thursday to Sunday. 

Some of the decor pays homage to the old Umhlanga. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
The decor has a playful beach theme with beach and surf elements dominating every corner. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo

Comedy sessions will take place on the last Friday of every month. Sunday brunch with bottomless gin takes place from noon. The General Manager of Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott Durban, Thuthukile Moloto said the hotel will curate experiences and showcase a new-age take on hospitality.

“KwaZulu-Natal has many traditional hotels, and it was the right time to introduce the Fire & Ice! brand to the province. Location for these types of hotels are key, and Umhlanga ticked all the right boxes,” she said. The Area Vice-President for Marriott International Volker Heiden said the property reflects our agility and adaptability to identify and transform property to suit an evolving destination. 

Londiwe Kheswa, Roxanne Shanglee and Nadine Naidoo at the launch. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
Staff Carmel Perumal, Thando Luthuli and Thobelale Mngadi at the launch. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
Danny Bryer, Sherita Kumar and George Lennet at the launch. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo