One year after the announcement of Sun International’s R295-million Lefika Villas development at Sun City, the project is 85% complete and every villa is already fully booked for Christmas and New Year.
The Lefika project marks the first 5-star plus timeshare on offer at the Sun Vacation Club.
Sun City resort General Manager Brett Hoppe says, “The development could not have come at a more opportune moment. With the Nedbank Golf Challenge starting on 6 November and the end of year holidays fast approaching, we are facing unprecedented demand. Luckily all ten of the four-bedroom villas and 65% of the three-bedroom Villas will be available from November. The remaining villas will come on board by mid-December, just in time for festive season bookings.”
The development consists of 48 three-bedroom and 10 free standing, four-bedroom villas, all en-suite. The new luxury villas form the first phase of a larger development envisaged for the Sun Vacation Club and includes a club house, new restaurants and other amenities.
Janita Donaldson, Group General Manager for the Sun Vacation Club says, “We realised that the demand for high-end luxury accommodation was there, but the market reaction to the development exceeded all of our expectations and outstripped our sales predictions. By September this year, 11 months after our sod-turning, our entire four-bedroom stock has been sold and the pace of sales for the three-bedroom villas is also tracking way above expectation. Reservations opened on 5 October 2023 and that same day, we received reservations from 22% of our members. More than 50% of the four-bedroom villas were also booked for the next 12 months.
Donaldson said that 40% of Lefika Villas sales were snapped up by existing Sun Vacation Club members. The remaining 60% was bought by new members, signing up for the first time.
“The success of this project is down to a great product, Sun International’s reputation for high standards, and Sun City’s world class offering. For the next 10 years, new Lefika Villas owners can enjoy a well-deserved holiday knowing that they and their families will love every moment of their stay. What’s not to love about that?”
LEFIKA VILLAS CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN
Lefika means ‘stone’ in the local Setswana language, and pays homage to the adjacent stone-walled Itlholanoga heritage site – the real ‘Lost City’ of the greater Sun City resort.
“The expansive mountain views from the villas evoke a feeling of being in nature, built in the trees on a mountainous site, overlooking the valley below, with design inspiration generated from the local flora and fauna,” said Boogertman + Partners Architectural Team Manager Lila Gouws, who hiked the site together with Landscape Architect Mariska Els for two days to gain an understanding of its ‘sense of place’.
Gouws said important natural features on site, such as rocky outcrops and large trees, informed the placement of each villa and ensured that all the villas have magnificent unobstructed views, while being private from neighbours.
“Our contemporary South African interpretation adopted a very bespoke approach to the site and there are many elements which have been specifically custom designed for the project,” Gouws said.
“The natural environment was used as a driving factor in all decisions and influenced the colour and material palette; from the external natural stone walls to the interior art, soft furnishings, cutlery and crockery, creating a unique and truly contextual aesthetic.”
A team of 15 architects and designers from Boogertman + Partners and Boogertman Interiors Turnkey spent the past 18 months designing and supervising construction as well as procuring furniture and fixtures for the building, landscape and the interiors.
“We used very site-specific natural materials in the design and procurement process – natural stone from the site for the walls, concrete tables, dark wood to emulate bark of the trees, blown glass, timber beads, felt and jute in the interiors. The result is a space which is peaceful and immersed in nature, where you can relax with family and friends.”
Passive design principles used in the structure of the design make the villas energy friendly, such as ideal orientation, thick stone walls which keep the day’s heat out and create warmth at night as well as maximised natural light.
Each bedroom follows a unique theme, emphasising an allocated colour and telling a different story by using artworks, furniture, surface finishes and lighting by local artists. Bathrooms are large, light and airy, with tactile surfaces and mood lighting, creating a tranquil environment. “The bathrooms have a very personal feel, with enough hooks and shelving for guests to bring everything that makes them feel at home,” Gouws said. “This intuitive design is continued throughout the space, with ample charge points for a smorgasbord of technology to be plugged in.
“We created a beautiful one-of-a-kind wallpaper using the local mountain range as a backdrop, with a spectacular graphic of local aloes and the Lefika Villas’ stone pattern.
We have also focused on highlighting the crafts and cultural heritage from the North West Province, including weaving and bead work.”
The unique pendant lights hanging in the staircases and bathrooms, made from handblown glass by Glass Forming Academy, and the bead chandeliers in the dining rooms and bedrooms by MASH-T, are just two of the many features which cannot be bought off the shelf, and which celebrate South Africa’s local artistry.
Two of the three-bedroom villas have been designed for the mobility impaired, custom-made to be wheelchair-friendly, with grab handles and height of basins adapted. “There are also emergency buttons within the villas to call should assistance be required.”
Gouws describes Lefika Villas as a “gallery of South African artists and craftsmen” and an encouraging reflection on the country’s art and design scene. “Durban artist Karla Nixon, who works with shredded paper, was commissioned to create an abstract interpretation of the mountains in the colours of the African sunset.” The work, of almost 2m in length, will hang in the Lefika Villas reception area. Other fine artists whose work has been used include Sanmarie Harms, Mandisi Mncela, Sue Martin, Balekane Legoabe, Lara Kruger, Lesego Moncho and Sera Holland.
All villas have a closed combustion fireplace, an outdoor entertainment deck with braai and entertainment area. “In addition, the four-bedroom villas each boast their own private plunge pool and a fire pit to gather around for late night chats, or just to sit in the silence of the Pilansberg mountains while you gaze at the stars,” said Sun City’s General Manager, Brett Hoppé.
Wide sidewalks connect Lefika Villas to the hustle and bustle of the main Resort. A five minute walk will take members to the bus stop from where they can travel across the resort to the various attractions and amenities at Sun City.
- 100% South African suppliers and 95% South African products used, making Lefika Villas proudly South African
- 13 local fine artists’ work used across the reception and villas
- 1168 contractors on site during construction
- A 30% local spend percentage has been maintained by using approximately 50 subcontractors, service providers and local labour
- Materials used for the first phase include 2.2 million bricks, 4200m³ concrete and 370 tonnes of steel.
LEFIKA VILLAS ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS
Numerous green design principles have been implemented in the building of Lefika Villas to achieve optimal interior comfort and energy efficiency. The orientation of the villas, together with thick stone walls, thermal insulation to underside floors and on top of roof slabs, along with large overhangs, create the ideal thermal mass.
Using natural energy efficient design principles reduces heat gain in summer and minimises heat loss in winter. Large glazed areas allow for ideal natural lighting levels, while strategically placed windows ensure that effective cross ventilation creates the ideal level of comfort for the guest. Water saving sanitary fittings with energy efficient cold start taps, heat pumps for effective water heating and the use of LED lightings all contribute to the energy efficiency of the villas.
Sun City Resort’s Sustainability Manager Lwazi Mswelanto says, “As part of our water conservation efforts, wastewater from Lefika ablution and bathroom facilities will be treated using the resort’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, and will be recycled into grey water and used for irrigation all around Lefika Villas. In this way, we will achieve a significant saving on freshwater that would otherwise have to be used for irrigation. Currently, the resort treats about 2-millions litres of water which is re-used for irrigating gardens and the two golf courses.”
“Furthermore, the grid tied solar installation feed includes Lefika, as solar energy can be directed across resort as needed.
“Waste at Lefika will be collected and sorted at our resort waste recovery yard. All recyclable waste will be recycled and food waste be processed into compost using the Biobin technology.”