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Umhlanga Arch to welcome world’s first completely smart hotel

An artist's impression of the Hilton Garden Inn.
An artist's impression of the Hilton Garden Inn.

Umhlanga Arch has differentiated itself from other developments through the curation of innovation and technology. Launched two years ago, the developers behind this new-age project have set the benchmark for more than just smart residential living. They are also redefining the goals for holiday accommodation and now more than ever, this is not seen as luxury but rather as necessity.

Charles Thompson, Director of Devmco and the developers behind the Hilton Garden Inn in Umhlanga says that international brand, Hilton, is known as a reliable and desired holiday accommodation option for international and local travellers. “Having partnered with us, we have been able to collaborate in bringing global smart technology to our shores and to create a dynamic, safe, and effortless experience” he says.

We cannot wait for the doors of the Hilton Garden Inn to open. We are very proud that this will be the world’s first completely smart hotel to be launched.”

As the flagship Hilton Garden Inn in South Africa, the hotel is scheduled to open this October and it will span across 10 000m2 , providing 207 affordable luxury suites as well as its own business and fitness centre and outdoor pool. To enter the hotel and the rooms, everything will be card-less and geared towards smart tech that either operates from the visitor’s mobile phone app or their room key. The Hilton mobile app has been designed to allow guests to control the appliances remotely like the lights, TV, and the aircon. The hotel will use UV cleaning systems for sheets and other material items which ensures that sheets and gowns are practically brand new as it sanitises and removes all stains.

Security is a big thing whenever travelling and these features really allow guests to feel safe without feeling inundated. Aside from boom gates into the underground parking, technology will play a vital role in making the experience seamless; from cameras strategically located across the hotel, to smart lifts which, when you present your mobile screen face or key to the sensor, the lift will take you directly to your floor so there is no travelling between floors,” shares Thompson.

Despite the local slowdown in the tourism and business travel sectors, KwaZulu-Natal is set to see major increases with its first smart city earmarked for Durban’s Aerotropolis, a ten-minute drive from Umhlanga Arch. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, post-Covid-19 restrictions, the demand for domestic travel and tourism will recover quickly, as soon as the fourth quarter of 2020, while South Africa’s international tourism industry is only anticipating to kickstart operations next year.

Business traffic through King Shaka International has increased by 37% year-on-year and the international airport is expected to hit the 1 million mark in passenger arrivals in the next five years.

Hilton Garden Inns across the world identifies the world’s most vibrant destinations to set up, and it’s no surprise that Umhlanga Arch was a winner for this hotel group. Located in the heart of Umhlanga, one of South Africa’s most sought-after property destinations, Umhlanga Arch offers an iconic destination for travellers to visit” concludes Thompson.

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