Hilton Durban Hotel set for imminent reopening. Image: Lorne Philpot

Hilton Durban Hotel set for imminent reopening. Image: Lorne Philpot

Hilton Durban: Imminent reopening of iconic Durban hotel

Durban’s Hilton hotel is set to reopen in the very near future, after a lengthy closure lasting more than three years.

Hilton Durban Hotel set for imminent reopening. Image: Lorne Philpot

Hilton Durban Hotel set for imminent reopening. Image: Lorne Philpot

The Mail and Guardian reports that renovation work and upgrades are taking place at the Hilton Durban in preparation for the hotel’s reopening.  

The hotel was a property of choice for many conference delegates and event attendees, who preferred to stay at the luxury hotel.  

LENGTHY CLOSURE OF HILTON DURBAN

The hotel shut its doors nearly three and a half years ago. Initially, it closed temporarily in January 2021.

The Hilton group decided to close more than one thousand hotels around the world due to declining revenues during the Covid-19 pandemic.

IMPACT OF HOTEL CLOSURE

When the Durban-based hotel closed its doors more than three years ago, it was not known that it would remain closed for an extended period.  

The Hilton Durban’s protracted closure has meant huge losses for the property and indeed, the city itself.

Durban hosts several major conferences and events each year.

Last month Durban hosted the African Travel Indaba, a major conference where tourism players from across Africa and the world convene to discuss tourism matters.

IMMINENT REOPENING

While the exact reopening date is unknown, the Mail and Guardian reports that a Hilton spokesperson said the group was discussing the reopening of Durban’s Hilton with the owner.

“While no date is currently confirmed, we hope to begin welcoming guests back to the hotel soon.” An unnamed source told the Mail and Guardian.

NOT MEETING OBLIGATIONS

Two years back, eThekwini’s mayor Mxolisi Kaunda announced plans to reopen the Hilton Durban that same year. However, this did not come to being.

In January this year, eThekwini city manager Musa Mbhele said the city planned to take over the Hilton Durban. This was because the hotel was not fulfilling its contractual obligations to the city.

As per its title deed, the shuttered hotel property has an obligation to the city, to operate as a luxury five-star hotel.

BENEFITTING THE CITY

The Hilton Durban’s reopening will benefit the city of Durban, which hosts numerous conferences and events at the International Convention Centre.

Spokesperson for eThekwini Municipality, Gugu Sisilana said that the Hilton Durban has long been the hotel of choice for visitors and delegates attending the numerous conferences and events hosted in the city.

“The reopening will also strategically amplify the city’s business case when bidding for national and international conferences to host. The convenient accessibility is also an advantage in that for dignitaries and high-security risk patrons.” Sisilana said.

NEED FOR LUXURY HOTEL

Fedhasa chairperson Brett Tungay said the reopening of the Hilton Durban is beneficial for Durban’s business travellers and its convention centre.

This is because the 300-room luxury hotel is located adjacent to the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

Furthermore, the Hilton Durban is synonymous with luxury and service. The hotel affords guests high standards, which the Hilton brand is known for.

“It is crucial that the convention centre has high-end accommodation attached to it for the VIP delegations that attend conferences there,” Tungay said.