Several milestones have been passed in the transformation of The Ambassador Hotel in Bantry Bay, Cape Town into one of the most luxurious and sophisticated residential developments yet to be seen in Africa.
The City of Cape Town approved plans in April for the landmark property to be developed into eight presidential residences, each occupying its own floor with private lift access. The building currently
housing the hotel’s executive suites (on the mountain side of Victoria Road) will also evolve into 15 luxurious apartments, capped by a show-stopping four-bedroom 530m2 penthouse.
The development will be known as Aurum, symbolizing gold and radiant light. It is being undertaken by global property investment company Da’Realty, part of the 107-year-old, family-owned Darvesh organisation.
Ahsan Hassan Darvesh, President of the global conglomerate, bought the hotel after a lengthy stay during which he realized the potential of the spectacular cliff-face site with the Atlantic Ocean undulating below and Lion’s Head gazing down upon it.
Pam Golding Properties has been awarded an exclusive agency sales mandate, complementing a successful pre-launch announcement and marketing by Da’Realty. Sales of 60% of the development are already secured.
“Aurum will redefine the concept of limited-edition living in South Africa,” said Basil Moraitis, Atlantic Seaboard area manager of Pam Golding Properties. “Its timeless style and incomparable
quality will put it on a par with the very best in New York, Dubai and London.”
Da’Realty Chief Operating Officer Lily Eskandari, an interior architect currently based in Cape Town to oversee the development, said a survey of the building would be undertaken this month (May) with construction scheduled to start in June. Occupation is set for September next year.
Orders have been placed with some of the most exclusive international manufacturers to ensure that Aurum is in an uncompromising class of its own: Armani Dada-designed kitchens, dressing room fixtures and fittings by Molteni & Co., Gessi sanitaryware, sound and visual systems by Bang & Olufsen and designer appliances by Gaggenau.
The group has already built well-established relationships with over 100 famous luxury brands, such as Dior, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana. These links are based on high-end turnkey projects undertaken by the group’s subsidiary, Elegant. It designs, manufactures and installs shop fittings for such brands around the world, through its provision of creative, high quality glass and furniture-fitting solutions for design and architectural industries.
This expertise will be utilized in the Aurum, creating features such as a cascading waterfall on the street-facing facade of each of the two buildings, linking them architecturally and hinting at the
The reception areas will be adorned with fine glass and crystal chandeliers. Other features will include a luxurious spa, restaurant, 24-hour valet and concierge services, and beautifully landscaped grounds around a feature pool.
Da’Realty has appointed Fabian Architects, engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts, and luxury home development company Metle to implement its ambition to maximize the potential of this exclusive address, under well-established Da’Realty brand guidelines.
“Our vision is to combine opulence and nature to culminate in lifestyle artistry,” said Darvesh. “Only a true work of art could pay homage to this incredible setting. Aurum will redefine the concept of limited edition living in South Africa.”
He added that high net worth investors seek environments that offer rare levels of scenic beauty, as well as exceptional opportunities for leisure and pleasure. They also want easy access to art, culture,
sport and fine dining.
“Da’Realty is focused on finding locations that exude these innate investment qualities, and in taking luxury development to a new level, promising not only luxurious living, but also high returns.”
Darvesh said Aurum would be followed by a development in Clifton, with a goal of one niche boutique project annually in South Africa.
“Aurum is a location- and brand-conscious buy,” said Moraitis. “This is a trophy prospectus that we are offering to our international database, through our network in Africa and the Indian Ocean
islands, and with our partner Savills.”
Sea-facing presidential apartments range in size from 270m2 to 600m2, with prices starting at R110 000/m2 up to R140 000/m2.
On the mountain side of Victoria Road, the luxury residential units start at 140m2, increasing to 550m2. Each floor houses a maximum of three units. Prices start at R95 000/m2, up to R120 000m2. Plentiful parking is available on one level of the presidential development, two levels of the mountainside development, plus an additional 10 visitor parking bays.
The secluded location lays claim to almost 300 wind-free days a year. Clifton’s world-famous beaches are only a few minutes’ stroll away and there is easy access to top restaurants, the V&A Waterfront and the city’s financial centre.