Durban - The Southern Sun, Elangeni and Southern Sun North Beach hotels, overlooking the amphitheatre and beaches on Durban’s Golden Mile, have been popular Durban landmarks for many decades and are determined to remain so.
Last year parent company Tsogo Sun invested R220-million in refurbishing, consolidating and relaunching the adjoining hotels as one destination complex – Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani.
This includes the refurbishment of the bedrooms, core infrastructure, the conference centre and public areas of the Maharani Tower, substantial new food and beverage offerings within the Elangeni Tower, as well as its bedrooms, plus a rework of the Porte Cochere and renovation of the external building facades.
The complex facilities include 734 stylish bedrooms; two well-equipped gyms; three swimming pools with one heated pool; free wi-fi connectivity; 17 meeting and conference rooms and a business centre.
There is a new-look Mangwanani Boutique Spa alongside a refurbished pool area in the Elangeni tower on the second floor, the heartbeat of the hotel.
The historic Raffles nightclub has been transformed into the Sky Venue. This is, quite literally, one of Durban’s top spots, atop the 31st floor of the Maharani Tower.
The multipurpose venue with unbeatable views, adaptable custom lighting and sound can be used as an exclusive bar, club, theatre or venue for conferences and launches. Sky Venue caters for 150 people and its Ultimate 80s Rewind evenings bring back those Raffles memories, complete with 1980s fashion and accessories.
Another revival has been the Tall Ships bar of old on the ground floor. At the front you can catch the complimentary Sunbus shuttle several times a day, which gets you to and from Suncoast.
Eleven restaurants and bars mean you are sure to find something to suit your mood and taste.
The Grill Jichana is a modern, stylish and upmarket grill house with great food in a convivial ambience. Go for great-tasting karan beef from Heidelberg, fresh fish and the extra-large and ultra-delicious Bafana potato chip.
The Panorama Bar & Pool Deck serves cocktails, ice creams, granitas and light meals throughout the day. The pool deck is open to the public and the view is indeed panoramic – perfect for those days when the wind or bluebottles make the beaches across the road less than comfortable.
The Ocean Breeze Restaurant, a laid-back Indian Ocean Island-styled restaurant, also has linger-longer views and is a great place for an Island-style buffet, with the emphasis on seafood and line-fish to flatbreads and crispy pizza.
The iconic Daruma Japanese restaurant and Lingela Restaurant – with perennially popular buffet dishes catering for every palate – remain, but Piatto’s has made way for Vigour & Verve, which offers “coffee and everything in-between” (ie breakfast, lunch and dinner) in a striking open space.
Vigour & Verve is funky, light-hearted and laid-back. Colours are black and white with accents of red, with waitrons in designer sneakers offering a hugely varied menu.
With so many food outlets, it’s reassuring to know that the complex has a superb executive chef, amiable Shaun Munro, overseeing your grub.
It’s also good to know that Samantha Croft, at the helm of the complex, was recently recognised as the leading woman in the corporate sector in KwaZulu-Natal by the KZN Businesswomen’s Association, and was winner in the tourism and leisure sector for South Africa in CEO Magazine’s Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government award.
Call 031 362 1300 and visit www.tsogosun.com