Beacon Island Resort
The Beacon Island Lifestyle Resort – or BI, as it is known in Plettenberg Bay, was built for the Southern Sun group and opened for business as a hotel on 10 December 1972. Before the new hotel was constructed the site was occupied by a previous hotel, a boarding house and a whaling station until 1912.
The Beacon Island has become the symbol of Plettenberg Bay and is instantly recognized the world over in pictures and postcards. Perched on the rocks and surrounded by water with the Tsitsikamma Mountains across the bay, it occupies one of the most scenic sites in the Western Cape.
The building design reflects some features of the work of internationally famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The architecture of this iconic building has got remarkable links with the design of the Guggenheim Museum in New York by Wright.
Graham Wood Managing Director Southern Sun states “The Beacon Island Lifestyle Resort has had a long useful life and has been well maintained over the years. It is a remarkable example of the architecture of the 1960s and is a significant part of South Africa’s architectural heritage”.
The Beacon Island Lifestyle Resort underwent a major public area refurbishment in 2007. The hotel replaced all the plumbing and electrical wiring on the ground floor level and the cascades area, the indoor pool was completely re-done and complimented by a dome sky-light above the centre of the pool. The shops and spa were refurbished and modernised with maple wood finishes and bright coral colours to brighten up the resort. The foyer was transformed into an open plan area incorporating two palm trees that accentuate the volume of the centre of the building.
“The resort now has a fantastic, fresh, modern and relaxed atmosphere throughout the public areas. The sewerage, plumbing and electricity infrastructure as well as the layout in the bedrooms were in need of an upgrade to reflect the same modern feel” emphasises Jacques Moolman General Manager Beacon Island Lifestyle Resort.
The first plan was to refurbish the bedrooms over a five year period during the resort’s usual maintenance weeks. Ian Falconer from Falconer Designs drafted the first plans for what now are the new rooms of the Beacon Island. The designs created great excitement for all involved, from the board of directors, to Southern Sun, the Beacon Island Lifestyle Resort team and timeshare owners. After some planning the first mock-up rooms were completed in March 2010.
The mock-up room came at a cost. Not a financial cost but at a guest satisfaction cost. The noise levels were unbearable and the dust created by the refurbishment caused some complaints. A serious decision had to be made in regards to the original five year plan. After careful consideration the decision was made that the resort would close down on 16 July 2011 for the start of the refurbishment and re-open on the 1st of October 2011. This gave the team a total of 77 days to refurbish the resort.
A project management team was employed to assist with the project management, construction management and cost control of the refurbishment process. Integrated Solutions were left with the then almost impossible seeming task of refurbishing 200 bedrooms in 77 days. Tenders went out for contractors to price. Upon learning that they only had 77 days the majority walked out and called the team “crazy”. After months the project team finally pinned down the contractors with the capacity and willingness to complete the task in time and budget.
When the last guest checked out on the 16th of July the resort turned into a complete construction site. Everything in the bedrooms, from the tiles, to the ceiling, bathrooms and windows all was demolished; nothing was left.
Before the refurbishment the bathrooms did not have freestanding showers. The project kicked off with the coring of the new shower outlets and revised toilet waste positions. The chasing to concrete walls for the new TV cabling, light switches, power cables and telephone lines was also one of the big tasks at hand. The “new” units were completed with a new bathroom, new electronic doors and a new bedroom layout and finishes. The only old things left in the rooms are the old memories of good times had.
The new bedroom has got light coloured walls to reflect the colour of the sky, the subtle sandy colour carpets mirrors the golden beaches that surrounds the resort. Bright splashes of corral colours are incorporated into the new sleeper coach, occasional chairs and scatter cushions.
The room contains the latest television technology and WI-FI was added to all the bedrooms for the business traveller. With the comfort of the stand up shower, excellent decor and views the Beacon Island Lifestyle Resort now boost one of the finest hotel bedrooms in the Western Cape.
Wood adds “The Beacon Island Lifestyle Resort went from 0% occupancy on the last day of the refurbishment to 100% occupancy on the day of opening - management believes this to be a first ever achievement”.
Through the entire refurbishment the designers and project managers were focused on the environment – ensuring that the design always kept the saving of water resources and electrical energy in mind. The heat pumps were upgraded to save electricity. All bedroom light fittings were replaced with LED lamps, which now save up to 50% of the previous energy used. The new showers and taps were fitted with water saving mechanisms to ensure that the resort does its bit to save water. Many more initiatives were put in place to ensure that the Resort is environmentally friendly.
To show the extend of the refurbishment: 52 tons of tile adhesive, 3.6km of skirting boards, 6 400 liters of paint, 72 tons of ready mix cement, 685m2 upholstery fabric to headboards and TV panels, 5800m2 tiles, 1.1km pace cable tray, 14.8km plumbing pipes, 5350m2 carpets, 4km fire retardant cable, 4km PA cable, 24km electrical wiring, 11920m pace conduit, 2558 LED down lighters, 400 pendant lights, and 208 ceiling fans were used.
Among others 1.5 tons of mielie pap was used to serve approximately 35 000 contractor meals on site during the refurbishment.
“The Beacon Island Lifestyle Resort is known for its helpful and friendly staff and during the refurbishment the team has undergone a full month of training to ensure that their already high level of service is even higher for the return of our guests” concludes Moolman.
Beacon Island Lifestyle Resort will now create even greater memories.
|World66 rating:||Rate now:|
|tel:||+27 44 533 1120|
|address:||"Beacon Isle Crescent Plettenberg Bay 6600"|
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