6 of the best luxury venues

South Africa boasts an impressive array of luxury establishments for the MICE sector. Liesl Venter rounds up a few options.

  1. De Hoek Country Hotel (Magaliesberg)

Situated on the banks of the Magalies River, this five-star luxury hotel offers a tranquil setting for a bespoke event.

The hotel has four elegant conference and function rooms in an imposing sandstone house. It can accommodate up to 60 delegates in its largest venues, and is particularly well set up for executive conferences and meetings, with privacy one of the major benefits.

The proximity to Johannesburg – only an hour and fifteen minutes’ drive – is another major benefit, says PCO Catherine Larkin, CEO of CLVC Communication. “From the exquisite setting to its bespoke menu, personal service and range of unique settings for a wide range of experiences for groups, it is the perfect setting for a luxury conference,” she told TAM.

The hotel can also tailor-make packages to suit specific corporate needs.

  1. The Westin (Cape Town)

One of the establishments able to host larger numbers of people in Cape Town, The Westin has 19 meeting rooms over 1 875 sqm as well as direct connection to the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

According to Stacey Hopkins, director of sales, East and Southern Africa at The Westin, delivering an experience is what luxury conferencing is all about. “For us, that can be anything from having our outstanding spa incorporated into the conference offering to cooking experiences with our world-renowned chef teaching guests how to make sushi,” she says.

Overall, the venues are extremely sophisticated and fitted with state-of-the-art equipment.

  1. Arabella Hotel and Spa (Hermanus)

Offering privacy away from the crowd, this luxury venue is only an hour and fifteen minutes’ drive from Cape Town and can cater for a variety of conferences. From elegant restaurants and bars to its top golf course – ranked one of the country’s ten best – the hotel is well equipped to deal with luxury requests, from product launches to corporate conferences.

The hotel has over 1 115sqm of impeccably appointed venue space, the latest technology and planning and catering services.

  1. Walkersons (Dullstroom)

Nestled in the Mpumalanga countryside this hotel is best described as ‘stunning’.

“Not only does it have incredible views of the hills, it also offers complete serenity,” says Larkin, adding that while it is only two hours’ drive from Johannesburg, it offers a really remote feeling that is often very appealing to corporate delegates.

Whilst the venue itself can at most cater for only 40 delegates depending on what seating option is chosen, it’s with its ability to tailor make bespoke packages that its luxury offering really comes to the fore.

  1. Saxon Boutique Hotel (Johannesburg)

Nestled in the heart of Johannesburg, this enchanting boutique hotel has managed to capture the rich cultural history of the city. Offering contemporary five-star service, details are extremely important at this venue, where quality is the order of the day.

The hotel offers only the best. With exclusivity and privacy, the hotel has an array of venues available for everything from small meetings to larger conferences and events. A team of specialists are available to assist with organisation as well.

The venues are also quite authentic - and while it has the customary conference room, there is also an auditorium, a dining library as well as a white and a red wine cellar that come with their own distinctive ambience.

  1. The Oyster Box (Durban)

An iconic landmark refurbished into a five-star venue, this hotel offers a combination of colonial charm, impeccable service and breath-taking seaside views. It can cater for up to 150 people, depending on what seating option is chosen and has a list of amenities available to delegates.

The hotel has five unique venues, all aimed at meeting the exacting demands of the corporate sector as well as the individual businessman.

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