Hot on the heels of the soft refurbishment we did in 2018, Umhlanga Sands has launched a follow-up project to bring other parts of the resort up to the same standard as our newly restyled timeshare units. The focus this time is neither on the private interiors nor the main public areas, but on our lift lobbies and the corridors leading to apartments – places that serve a practical function yet also play a key role in setting the tone and atmosphere at the resort.
According to Franco Seaman, Deputy General Manager, the aim of the upgrade is both to ensure that these high-traffic zones continue to be well-maintained and to make them “more inviting spaces”.
And inviting they promise to be. The design artwork offers a glimpse of what guests will see as the lift doors open and they step onto the landings: the view is of a serene and softly-coloured lobby, with a well-lit but not over-bright passageway curving off towards the rooms, the path led by earthen, wood-motif carpeting and the walls awash with soothing whites offset by lush marine greens and blues.
Franco said that one of the reasons for implementing the new theme is to harmonise the look and feel of the lobbies and corridors with that of the apartments. “We recently finished a major soft refurb of the rooms, so if you look at the corridors, you’ll see they have a different theme. What we want to do is incorporate the style of the rooms into the corridors.”
Just as important is the need to ward against wear and tear. Umhlanga Sands is an extremely popular resort, an indicator of which is that “it’s running on a yearly average occupancy of 91%. This means, in context, that you have occupancy of 216 out of 237 units. In season, you’re looking at about 980 people on-site every day, and even out of season the numbers are high.”
All of which translates into a regular pitter-patter of feet beating a track in and out of the elevators and up and down the corridors – and underlines the importance of the lobby-and-corridor upgrade. “A project like this,” Franco said, “gives timeshare owners a fresh product again.”
The upgrade is currently under way, with work having begun February and scheduled for completion in November. Franco explained that, among other things, it involves replacing the landing tiles on all floors, laying carpets, repainting the corridors, and installing light fittings as well as the wooden beams that form part of the roof-cladding in the lobbies. The elevator carriages are also under renovation, and are being kitted with new tiles, mirrors and carpeting.
As usual, be assured that Umhlanga Sands is making every effort to minimise disturbance to guests. Most of the upgrade entails laying tiles and carpets, which is not particularly noisy work. However, a section of tiles on each lift landing has to be removed by jack-hammer – “that”, Franco remarked, “is something you can hear five to six floors down”. Accordingly, jack-hammering has been scheduled to take after our Saturday check-out during hours when the resort is effectively empty.