Sun International Begins a Multi-Million Expansion on the Grand Hotel at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment Centre
Construction has begun on a R122-million upgrade of the Grand Hotel at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World in Cape Town. The investment is the first phase of a master plan to develop a standalone 250-room, 4-star conference hotel at GrandWest.
GrandWest is the largest casino and leisure complex in South Africa; therefore, customer demand to stay at the hotel is high. For over 21 years, the 4-star boutique hotel has operated at a 99% occupancy, with its 39 rooms booked long in advance. The first phase of the new development will add 68 additional rooms, bringing the total to 107.
A sod-turning ceremony to mark the start of construction was officiated by Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and Miss South Africa 2022 Ndavi Nokeri.
“Until now, we have been unable to market our hotel because it is always fully booked. Having a 99% occupancy would be a happy problem for any hotel, but we look forward to October 2023 when we can welcome even more guests,” said GrandWest General Manager Mervyn Naidoo.
The current Grand Hotel is a recreation of an older hotel built in 1894 that graced the corner of Adderley and Strand streets in the Cape Town CBD until it was demolished in 1951. The architects of the existing hotel used a scaled-down version of the first Grand Hotel’s 100-year-old plans.
Naidoo explained that one of the architects’ challenges has been keeping the extension consistent with the original architectural plan and style. “Uniquely, all of GrandWest’s façades are scaled-down recreations of old Cape Town buildings — the much-mourned Tivoli Music Hall (demolished in the 1930s), the sorely missed Alhambra Theatre (demolished in 1970), the Old Railway Station (1905 – 1968), and Cartwright’s Corner, that now-vanished Adderley Street landmark.”
Sun International Development and Infrastructure Manager Anton Steenkamp said: “To respect the existing architectural style, the design is based on developing two identical three-story wings positioned symmetrically on either side of the existing entrance and porte-cochère, which will remain largely unchanged.”
The two new wings will connect the existing hotel on the north and south corners, including presidential suites, ordinary suites, double and twin rooms and inter-leading family rooms. A gym, spa, and pool are being considered for the ground floor of the south wing. Visitors will also be happy to hear that there will be a new road for direct access to the hotel.
According to Steenkamp, another enormous challenge for the development team has been adding a new lift and constructing within an active environment while the hotel’s operations continued. However, the impact on customers, such as dust, noise, and vibrations, will always be carefully managed.
“We apologise to our hotel and casino guests for the inconvenience, but a year from now, when the new hotel is complete, we are sure they will agree that it was worth it,” said Naidoo.