Hilton Worldwide’s longest serving hotel in South Africa, Hilton Durban, has commenced its biggest refurbishment programme, in its 17-year history.

The extensive three-year project will include a complete overhaul of the hotel’s main guest areas covering room accommodation, meeting and event facilities and the full range of the hotel’s popular restaurants and bars.  The hotel kicked off its renovation programme recently in the lobby, reception and main entrance areas.

“My arrival at Hilton Durban coincided with the launch of this momentous and incredibly exciting project.  This is the biggest refresh in the hotel’s 17-year history and a very proud moment for the entire team.  We are delighted with the positive response received from the local community and we believe this refurbishment will contribute greatly to the hospitality industry in the region. Our objective is to take full advantage of our enhanced guest experience as the province continues to experience a marked increase in corporate and leisure tourism.” said Markus Fritz, general manager at Hilton Durban.

The overall design is inspired by Durban’s rich and diverse cultural heritage; captivating history; its breath-taking stretch of golden shorelines and the warmth and hospitality of its people. The hotel is working with a group of local artisans to produce artwork reflective of contemporary African art. The three-year project will see South Africa’s renowned, international interior design consultancy, LLP Design, direct the creative vision and carry it through every element of the refresh.

Demonstrating its continued support to the community, the hotel has commissioned several local artisans to ensure an authentic, ethnic ambience in the hotel.

“The overall design will be the perfect marriage of cultural elements, contemporary features and high tech amenities.  Incorporating ethnic décor, Hilton Worldwide’s global brand design will be maintained to exacting standards to ensure guests continue to enjoy our premium, international offering,” concluded Fritz.

The first phase of the refurbishment project, which will also feature a new lobby bar, will be complete by end April, in time for the prestigious 2014 Tourism Indaba.  Phase two will kick-off at the end of 2014 with the introduction of a contemporary, concept restaurant followed by an extension to the Executive Lounge, remodelling of the Presidential Suite and re-styling of 200 bedrooms from floors one to seven.

The last phase, which is planned for 2016, will involve re-styling the remaining 124 bedrooms, all meeting venues, including the grand ballroom, and the hotel’s popular Rainbow Terrace restaurant.

Guests can be are assured of minimal interruptions during the refurbishment project as normal hotel operations will continue as usual.