It's no secret that slowly but surely Durban is taking its reign back as the best holiday destination for locals in South Africa. We have the best beaches in the country with world class promenades to suit, we have a variety of shopping malls catering for everyone's tastes and our selection of eateries is forever increasing. One thing Durban has lacked though is good quality affordable accommodation but with the recent development of Suncoast Hotel and Towers, along with the upgrade and refurbishment of the Tsogo Sun Elangeni and Maharani hotels, things are changing for the better.
As you may recall I attended a special social media dinner at the Elangeni late last year to celebrate the completion of the refurb, the Panorama bar and pool deck offered splendid views of the Durban coast line but during that dinner I asked Tsogo Sun's social media manager about the old Raffles club that used to be at the top floor of the Maharani, her words to me at the time were "wait and see". Well wait I did and 2 weeks ago I received a personal invitation to the grand opening of 'Sky Venue'. Pretty appropriate name seeing that it is situated on the 31st floor off the Maharani Hotel. It offers unrivalled views of the coast and city, ideal venue to kick back and relax with a cocktail or dance the night away over looking the city lights.
With that in mind, that is exactly what Tsogo Sun did, they turned the old night club into a multi-purpose venue with custom lighting and sound to adapt to any of the offering environments. It could be a bar, a club, a theatre, a venue for what you please. One the opening night it showcased it's versatilely to the T. There was an arrivals area, a stage for the MC and performers, dance floor, most of the area was taken up by the multi station buffet showcasing the SSEM's specialities from the various restaurants. Druma, had a sushi bar with a variety of the seafood delicacy, the Grill Jichana had succulent rack of roast lamb with condiments to suite and no Durban event is complete without curry, with the curry bar of Vigour & Verve offering scrumptious currys and condiments that left people coming for more and more.
The event kicked off with a few words from the gorgeous master of ceremonies, Jeannie D of Top Billing fame, followed by a talk from Tsogo Sun CEO Marcel Von Aulock who gave the guests an insight into the hotel groups influx of investment into their Durban assets. The revamp of the Durban beach promenade had a major role in them reinvesting into Durban, with the refurb of SSEM complete now with the opening of Sky, he made mention of the next phase of work to be done by the chain. This includes upgrades to the Garden Court Hotel which is almost done and a major refurbishment of one of Durban's most iconic hotels, Marine Parade but the big daddy had to be the 1.8 Billion Rand extension to Suncoast Casino which includes shopping mall complex, multilevel parking, more hotel rooms and a roof top aquatics park. Turning the already vibrant landmark into a world class resort.
After the formalities, guests were treated to an exhibition of the human form by guest performers from Madam Zingara there after were entertained by Sterling EQ, who are an award winning instrumental pop band made up by 3 beautiful young ladies. The rest of the evening was left to guest being able to mingle and to chat to personnel from Tsogo Sun. The bar at Sky has a hosts of alochol to satisfy any thirst, couple this with the view of the Durban night sky, it was a wonderful evening.
Tsogo Sun have shown that they mean business with their plans for Durban which speaks volumes for the city. Now with Sky opened, it gives guests another option to visit on a night out in the town, yes it is open to everyone and anyone provided it isn't booked out for a private function, it's just a pity that the famous outside lift had to be removed due to modern health and safety rules but the eye catching LED display more than makes up for it. I foresee many visits to the establishments, especially to showcase it to out of town guest and let the view and service to the talking. See you at Sky Venue soon!