JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 1, 2014 /CNW/ -- Whether you know it as Joburg, Jozi, Joeys or Johannesburg, there's no question that South Africa's largest city has emerged as one of the world's most exciting destinations. Business is booming, leisure opportunities abound, and the creative energy is infectious – and right in the heart of it all is the new Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg.
General Manager Sebastien Carre and his team of 300 hand-picked staff couldn't be more thrilled to welcome their first guests: "It's such an exciting time for Joburg as a new generation discovers its charms and shapes its future. Even if you think you know the city, it's changing so fast that it is definitely worth another visit – and if you've never been here before, you are in for a very special treat."
Johannesburg is the ideal gateway to explore the Sub Continent and beyond – important game reserves including Kruger National Park and Botswana's luxury safari lodges are easily accessed, and 36 of the country's top 100 golf courses are within an hour of the Hotel. In Joburg, open air markets, funky arts districts, trendy restaurants and the new Museum of African Design are just minutes away in the Braamfontein, Maboneng and 44 Stanley districts.
"I've met so many first-time visitors to Joburg who are just blown away by what the city has to offer. These revival districts are especially popular with locals and expats, and now international visitors are starting to discover them too," says Director of Sales and Marketing David Barillot.
For business travellers, the city remains an the economic hub of Africa and an important centre for mining, as well as the banking, media, health care and technology sectors, and OR Tambo International Airport is just 22 kilometres (14 miles) away. And for Joburgers, the opening couldn't come fast enough: companies have already started to book their corporate and social functions for next year at the new Four Seasons.
Now is the time to plan a trip: Summer has arrived in Johannesburg, and it's the perfect time to explore all the region has to offer. In celebration of its grand opening, Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg is offering a special Introductory Rate, as well as a Bed and Breakfast package.
The Look of the New Four Seasons
An eighteen-month, USD 56 million redevelopment of the famed Westcliff hotel includes complete redecoration of all 117 guest rooms and suites and public spaces, and the addition of exciting new contemporary restaurants, lounges and a newly-built Spa complex.
Four Seasons worked with South African firms RSL Architects and Jacket Interiors on the project, which includes the addition of a radical design element to an otherwise residential-style series of buildings. Dramatic exterior glass elevators were installed to take advantage of the panoramic views over the city's treetops and of the zoo next door as guests journey up to the new View and Flames restaurants.
A carefully curated collection of contemporary African art is highlighted by Hannelie Coetzee's Face Sculptures in the arrival area. Commissioned especially for the Hotel, the giant concrete plinths are topped with sculptures created from mining core drill waste in a clever homage to the area's platinum and gold mining history. In all, 375 original artworks were commissioned from local artists for the Hotel's guest rooms and public spaces.
Introducing Johannesburg's Newest Dining and Drinking Hotspots
Executive Chef Dirk Gieselmann and his culinary team are presenting a series of dining experiences including the Hotel's new signature restaurants Flames and View.
With its earthy, natural palette of colours and textures, Flames Restaurant is all about the easiness and fun of informal dining. The menu is influenced by the enviable outdoor lifestyle and local barbecue, or braai, a cross-cultural culinary tradition that is inherently South African.
With its highly anticipated January opening, View references the city's art scene without pretention or fuss. The space is meant to resemble an art gallery, reflecting the inky shades of the cityscape just after sunset, graduating from midnight blue to pale shades of light blue. Restrained interiors, envisioned by renowned international design firm Blacksheep, feature an elegant, elevated dining space designed to complement rather than detract from the food.
At View, "the food is the star" says Gieselmann, whose most recent assignment was as chef de cuisine at the famed three Michelin starred Auberge de l'Ill in France's Alsace region, noting that only the very best local and regional seasonal produce will be featured on the menu.
Additional restaurants and lounges at Four Seasons to look forward to:
- Cellar Door, an intimate dining venue, spotlighting South Africa's best wines for informal or sophisticated gatherings.
- Apres-Spa, a relaxed outdoor setting to enjoy light fare before and after spa treatments or to catch up with friends over lunch or a glass of wine.
- Westcliff Deli, the neighbourhood's new street-side cafe, offering delicious gourmet sandwiches and salads to enjoy in the garden or take away, and perfect for residents in search of their morning coffee.
The All-New Spa at Four Seasons
Opening in January 2015, the newly built Spa at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff will be a haven of luxurious pampering and results-oriented therapies open to both Hotel and the local community. Created from the ground up to the exacting standards of Four Seasons worldwide, the Spa encompasses nine treatment rooms and men's and women's facilities including ice fountains, saunas and steam rooms. There's also a new 24/7 fitness centre, and two outdoor pools – the 25 metre (82 foot) lap pool for quiet relaxation, and the family-friendly pool. The outdoor Apres-Spa lounge completes the complex, and close to eight acres (three hectares) of landscaped gardens offer winding walking paths.
Highlighting the Spa menu is the signature Red Nomads treatment. Spa Director Julanda Marais describes the journey: "Inspired by the ancient Himba tribe known for their red-ochred skin, our Red Nomads treatment features South Africa's own Terres d'Afrique products, including rooibos and baobab plant extracts, Kalahari melon and coconut oils, and petrified wood crystals."
More about Terres d'Afrique: Using the world's most advanced phyto technology, this organic skincare line is inspired by the traditional use of African plants, providing a holistic approach to spa treatments that awakens the senses and encourages deep relaxation.
The Spa will also feature the South African debut of French luxury skincare brand Biologique Recherche.
Weddings at Four Seasons
Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff offers an array of indoor and outdoor spaces suited to everything from an intimate family affair to a lavish society wedding, but the real difference is in the quality of cuisine and service, from planning through to the big day itself. Four Seasons weddings experts work with each couple to create their dream wedding, and with the utmost attention to every detail, brides, grooms and their families and friends can relax and enjoy the event knowing everything is absolutely perfect.
Meeting planners can also count on expert assistance and state-of-the-art facilities, including 1,457 square metres (15,683 square feet) of naturally-lit event spaces, highlighted by the 615 square metre (6,620 square foot) Arcadia Ballroom. With panoramic views and its own terrace, the room is divisible and features a pre-function space. Thirteen additional fully-equipped rooms offer a choice of smaller venues, or a complete suite for a conference.
Four Seasons in Africa
For guests fantasizing about an African adventure, Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff is the perfect pairing to a safari in South Africa and Botswana, or going further afield to the Hotel's sister property in the Serengeti, or perhaps jetting off to tropical bliss in Mauritius or Seychelles.
Long established with four properties in Egypt and more recently with the opening of a resort in Marrakech - the first of three planned locations in Morocco - Four Seasons has recently entered Sub-Saharan Africa with the 2012 opening of Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, the first of several planned properties in Tanzania. Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg is the brand's first hotel in South Africa, with resorts in the Seychelles and Mauritius completing the collection – for now.
"Africa is an important development market for Four Seasons, so travellers can look forward to news about more urban and resort locations in the future," promises Carre.
About Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Founded in 1960, Four Seasons continues to define the future of luxury hospitality with extraordinary imagination, unwavering commitment to the highest standards of quality, and the most genuine and customized service. Currently operating 96 hotels and residences in major city centres and resort destinations in 40 countries, and with more than 60 projects in development, Four Seasons consistently ranks among the world's best hotels and most prestigious brands in reader polls, traveller reviews and industry awards. For more information, visit fourseasons.com. For the latest news, visit press.fourseasons.com and follow @FourSeasonsPR on Twitter.
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SOURCE Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts