Projects : Design overview of Liberty's new hotel in Pietermaritzburg

Bentel International Associates (BAI) is one of South Africa's foremost pioneers of outstanding commercial architecture. The company is widely respected for its innovative yet functional designs across a wide range of sectors. The company's prestigious portfolio includes major retail centres, mixed-use developments, office, hotel and apartment buildings in Southern Africa, West Africa, the Middle East and India.

Designed by BAI and currently and owned by Liberty Group, a new three-storey hotel in Pietermaritzburg is currently under construction. Hotel construction commenced in February on a 1 500 m2 site on existing Liberty Midlands Mall land, adjacent to the shopping centre. The well-located hotel site is adjacent to Sanctuary Road and is conveniently located near the N3 highway. BAI also designed the highly successful Liberty Midlands Mall, which has undergone two extensions to keep up with the demand for its facilities.

The R40-million Pietermaritzburg hotel will have 128 en suite rooms, facilities for small conferences, general business facilities, ample parking and a swimming pool. Construction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2010.

Owned by Liberty Group, the development is managed by the group's property subsidiary Liberty Properties. Once completed the hotel will be managed by Southern Sun on a 10-year management agreement and will form part of the Stay Easy Hotel Group, a division of Southern Sun hotels. "This will now be a mixed-use site," said Stephen Roberts, BAI architect and senior partner. "The hotel is very much in line with Liberty's successful strategies which include the creation of mixed-use developments. Hotel guests will have convenient access to the Mall's amenities and the Mall is expected to be positively affected by the hotel.

Roberts says that the building will be a three story T-shaped structure with a guest swimming pool. "Its a contemporary design that integrates well with the Mediterranean climate and relaxed lifestyle of Pietermaritzburg."

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