October 2015: Durban’s ever-elegant Protea Hotel Edward has geared up for increased demand for accommodation during the end-of-year holiday period, with the completion of the construction of 30 new additional rooms – 13 of which are sea-facing – which will be available from 17 December this year. The new rooms – 26 standard rooms, two family rooms and two suites – take the total number of rooms in the hotel to 131.

In addition, the hotel has added another 3 boardrooms. These extend the meeting and conferencing facilities from the current 8 multi-purpose venues offering amenities to between 10 and 260 delegates in a range of setups. “These new rooms are absolutely state-of-the-art, executive-style spaces that lend themselves to a range of uses: from exclusive dinners to private break-away session rooms to small cocktail events. They are kitted out with high-back chairs, 55’ HD TVs, drop-down screens, cappuccino machines and mini-bar facilities – making them among the most prestigious venues on offer in Durban,” says Danny Bryer, Director of Sales, Marketing and Revenue for Protea Hotels, a proud member of Marriott International, the leading global hotel group. Conference packages include all costs relating to audio-visual and sound equipment, wireless projectors and Apple TVs.

The hotel underwent a full renovation inside and out four years ago, being redecorated in a style sympathetic to the overall elegance and quality of the property. The style selected for the new rooms is consistent with the features introduced four years ago.

Cool and calming colours in rich, sumptuous fabrics were chosen for the graceful furnishings, but a nod to the modern era also meant equipping the rooms with LCD TVs, new electronic door locks, comfortable executive work stations and safes. These features have all been carried through to the new rooms.

The Hospitality Property Fund, which owns the hotel, is pleased that the construction target dates for the completion of the work will be met. According to the CEO, Vincent Joyner, “This is in line with our goal of having extra capacity available during the peak summer season, when demand is at its highest. It further highlights our dedication to increase our portfolio’s presence within the KZN province, establishing an investment in human capital linked to employment opportunities and sustainability through direct or indirect channels.”

Bryer explains that, “KwaZulu-Natal’s beaches are a significant drawcard for domestic tourism and, during peak times such as the Christmas–New Year period, we experience an increase in demand. And with Durban’s popularity for both business and leisure tourism throughout the year, we are excited to have the additional rooms at this property.”