The iconic Blue Marlin Hotel. Image: Supplied.
The iconic Blue Marlin Hotel. Image: Supplied.
It has been the place where vows have been made between lovers, bonds have been sealed between families, friends and loved ones and where adventures have been had by ALL.
The Blue Marlin Hotel in Scottburgh is a firm favourite among locals and a sought-after resort destination for out-of-towners — and it’s easy to see why.
As far as locations go, the hotel has few competitors in its class.
It overlooks one of the most pristine Blue Flag beaches in the country, as far as the eye can see and the safe, family-friendly beach and SuperTube water slide, present the perfect backdrop for hours of fun for kids.
This year the hotel celebrates seven decades of service to the local community and tourists from across the country and abroad. However, what makes the Blue Marlin Hotel so attractive is way more than its longevity, location and wonderful family-orientated accommodation and facilities.
The secret to its success is the warmth and welcoming nature of its staff, their approach to service and their genuine care for their guests.
It starts at the top, with general manager Goodman Ncobeni who joined just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country.
He has played his part in keeping the hotel operational under trying circumstances over the past 18 months. His warm nature rubs off on the staff, and his love for the hotel is plain for all to see.
“No other hotel in the area has a 360-degree view like the Blue Marlin, and that’s just one of many things that makes us special and sets us apart. The hotel has 32 family rooms, and we go out of our way to keep every generation entertained,” Ncobeni says.
“The other day, I met a guest 79 years YOUNG and she has been coming here since she was a child,” Ncobeni says.
“They’ve seen the changes. The old Blue Marlin and the now reinvigorated property after her gradual make-over of the past few years.”
The refurbished version is modern and contemporary, but still welcoming and friendly. Facilities such as lounge and pool areas and rooms have been given a much-needed upgrade with new beds, carpets and sliding, big picture windows.
“A new lease on life,” according to Ncobeni and that is exactly what the hotel team is hoping will continue to attract more visitors for the next 70 years, more especially when the pandemic restrictions are relaxed.
To celebrate their big birthday, don’t miss their All-Inclusive Holiday Special. From R2 700 per room, per night — includes accommodation, meals and beverages and one free voucher per person, to visit Crocworld during your stay.
Assistant manager Malthee Singh, has been at the Blue Marlin Hotel for 20 years and truly embodies the family bond that’s obvious between staff and guests at the hotel.
“I really don’t want to go anywhere else. This is definitely ‘home away from home’ for me and this is the feeling that our guests get when they stay or return…year after year. Our guests have become our families…generations of them…grandparents, parents, grandchildren. It’s full-on family,” Singh enthuses.
“Just look around, we’ve got the kiddies play area with trampoline, a nine-hole putt-putt course, swings and a kiddies pool. Inside, we’ve got a hugely popular soft play area and outside, a giant chess set, a favourite attraction with old and young alike.
“The direct access to the beach with lifeguards is a huge benefit of our property, as well as the fact that all of our guests get free access to the SuperTube.”
The Blue Marlin Hotel is a sought-after wedding venue too, where couples can perform their nuptials with the beach as a backdrop in glorious surroundings, and then proceed into the hotel’s conference area to continue the celebrations or extend their stay to include the honeymoon.
“We’re well known for our weddings and functions,” Singh says. “We’ve seen it all through the years.
“I recall a bride wearing a purple wedding dress, we’ve had a green wedding dress, we’ve had traditional white dresses, we’ve had Indian weddings. We’ve had guests coming here for 40 years — consecutively.
“We had a guest that was just so thrilled, he made us a mini lighthouse, just to have something of him here at the hotel. You’ll see it displayed in our restaurant.”
The food at the Lighthouse Restaurant is exceptional, and the menu includes anything from the line-fish of the day, a bunny chow (of course) and succulent lamb chops (which are highly recommended) or fresh pizza from the wood-fired oven.
After dinner, you can cosy up at the outside fire pit that overlooks the beach and sip on a glass of fine house wine or something more exotic from the pool bar. Not that you need a fire to stay warm.
One of the main attractions of KZN is that winter is a stranger to these parts and the idyllic year-round great weather makes it a choice destination for those from all over the country looking to escape a harsh winter.
“The reason people keep coming back is because of how they’re made to feel here. They’re not just names, they are family for us. So just as much as they look forward to their holidays every year, we look forward to welcoming them back,” Singh says.
“I don’t think there are many places where you actually see guests come in through the door and they want to give you a hug because they’re just so happy they’re home. When guests are leaving, they have tears in their eyes, because they’re sad to leave. It’s remarkable and we’re extremely proud of this part of our wonderful, 70-year-old story,” Singh concludes.