Beverly Hills 50th
In 1964 Beverly Hills was the first hotel of its kind and now, 50 years later, it is a landmark of the uMhlanga coastline, with the lighthouse watching it grow and change over time. Many happy memories have been formed and celebrated at the Beverly Hills and we want to you to share them with us.
The nostalgia of looking at old family photographs is something all families love to do. Share your nostalgia and look back at the memories you have created at the Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills is celebrating an extraordinary 50 year journey. Relive the magic and browse through our timeline.
50 years have passed since the iconic Beverly Hills opened its doors. Our General Manager, John de Canha, is excited that you’re here with us to share the journey.
Our journey begins in December 1964…
In the 50th Year of the Beverly Hills we want to celebrate not only this monumental birthday but also the beautiful Beverly Hills wedding memories that we have shared with families for five decades.
Wedding bells and celebrations are in the air. The year is 1966. Mr. & Mrs. Dicks have just said their I do’s and are on their way to celebrate with family and friends. The setting; the Beverly Hills. 48 years later and we can see Mr. & Mrs. Dicks have returned to the Beverly Hills to celebrate their anniversary. They have described their time as nothing short of amazing and will definitely be back to celebrate more special moments.
Every girl dreams of her wedding day and the memories that she will cherish forever after that day. For one family we hold not one but two special wedding day memories. Catherine Lailvaux spent her wedding night at the Beverly Hills and her daughter got married at the hotel years later.
Years apart, yet each holds special memories of this grand hotel.
On 1 June 2014 Mr. & Mrs Harding returned to the Beverly Hills Hotel. It was not just any day for them, it was their 46th wedding anniversary. They specifically chose the Beverly Hills for this momentous occasion because they got married at the Beverly Hills 46 years ago.
After their anniversary celebrations Mr. Harding sent us a special note:
“Words alone don’t truly express how grateful we are to you and all the staff who really spoiled us. All from John de Canha to Mr. Sihle and Danny who never stopped feeding us for a moment. I guess being together for 50 years is quiet an achievement although officially married on June 1st 1968 is unusual these days. My wife and I will always cherish our honeymoon at the Beverly Hills”.
It’s not only the guests who have memories to share, it is also the employees of the Beverly Hills who have memorable stories to tell. The Beverly Hills becomes a family and each guest can attest this welcoming atmosphere from the Beverly Hills employees. We have had some time to look through our archives and came across this letter of recommendation dated back to 1969.
Sandra and her friend’s husbands worked for an oil company in 1979 and, while on conference with their husbands, the ladies attended to more leisurely activities, like relaxing at the pool in the warm Durban sunshine.
Sandra remembers how drinks had just been served when the hotel manager arrived and greeted them. He said, “How are you lovely ladies doing?” before looking up at the sun and asking, “Is there anything I can do for you, perhaps turn up the sun a fraction?”
As far as Sandra was concerned, he got 10 out of 10 for giving her and her friend 5 star attention.
Over the years, Sandra and her husband have stayed at many hotels, but she has always remembered that particular morning.
The Beverly Hills has always been a favourite among celebrities and sports men and women. The hotel prides itself on treating every aspect of a guest’s stay as important.
Jody Scheckter, who is now retired from Formula 1, is one of those men. It’s a little known fact that Scheckter is South African born, now living in Britain and retired from Formula 1.
Scheckter and his family are past guests of the hotel and, when he was last at the Beverly Hills in the early 90’s, he took the opportunity to address the need for more support from business and official government bodies in South African sport in general. Much has changed in the South African sports landscape since then and Scheckter’s wish might not have come completely true just yet, but it is certainly in the process of being realised.
Peter Loots tells of his Beverly Hills stay on 4th of May 1972. The night was beautiful and he had the best surprise in store for his girlfriend; he had decided to take her to the Copacabana at The Beverly Hills. They had sundowners at the Kiki Ba and they still remember the red UV lights – fantastic! Anyone in white would just sparkle under the lights.
Peter and his girlfriend headed to the Copacabana after drinks, where they were given a table near the dance floor. The food was excellent and the service was impeccable. Peter recalls that the whole night was simply wonderful and that he will never forget it! It was so memorable that he even kept the Copacabana bill!
“Thank you, Beverly Hills, for a memorable night”.
Each and every person who has come to stay at the Beverly Hills has a unique story with fond memories of their time at this grand hotel. Camille and Isidore Segal are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year and have shared a small part of their memorable journey with us.
The hotel is loved and cherished as a landmark and as a place of fond memories, shared by couples like Camille and Isidore.
Mr and Mrs Thomson paid only R30 for thier stay in a Luxury Suite on Honeymoon in 1972. Their memories are priceless and we’ve loved having them back at the hotel over the years. Mrs Thomson sent in a copy of their Invoice and had the following to say:
“My husband and I celebrated the first night of our honeymoon at the Beverley Hills Hotel on Saturday 5 August 1972. In just a little over two months’ time it will be our 42nd wedding anniversary so the hotel was relatively new. I can’t believe how the years have just melted away. It was both interesting & amusing to see what the daily rates are today compared to what we paid then, however, our salaries in 1972 were such that a night at the Beverley Hills was considered the height of luxury. We danced the night away at the Copacabana accompanied by a live band, where long dresses and evening suits were de rigueur & we dined on Crayfish Thermidor & Crepes Suzette, which were very fashionable in the early 70’s. It truly was a time of elegance & romance.”
Liz Moseley thinks back to 25 years ago and remembers how fortunate she was to begin the most important journey of her life at the Beverly Hills. Liz had her wedding breakfast hosted at the Beverly Hills and, to this day, the hotel remains her family’s favourite hotel of choice. She will never forget that day she spent there with her family, marking such a momentous occasion.
Liz has only good memories of that day and she can still remember the hotel manager at the time, Atuuro. The whole team made Liz feel like royalty and she wouldn’t go back to change anything of her special day.
Childhood sweethearts Doug and Janice got married on 6 December 1975. Janice was pleasantly surprised when Doug brought her to the Beverly Hills. The first night of their honeymoon, Doug had not only booked the room, he had made sure that the room was perfect.
20 years later, Doug surprised Janice again for an anniversary dinner. When dinner was done, Janice thought she would be going home, but Doug had already booked a deluxe suite with a magnificent view. Flowers and snacks had been arranged along with a special note from the hotel to mark the occasion.
Doug admits that the hotel helped with the planning and execution. Janice treasures the memories and couldn’t wait to share her and Doug’s story with us.
Jackie Katzen has fond memories of the Beverly Hills having spent December holidays at the hotel from 1974 until the late 80’s. This photograph is of Jackie on the signature staircase. She just had to have a photograph taken there, as it was the place to be seen. Digital cameras were not even around yet and this was taken on a film camera that Jackie had developed after her holiday.
Jackie submitted this photograph as part of our 50 year of memories celebrations this year and also wished the staff and Beverly Hills family a happy 50th birthday.
A warm day in Umhlangha, way back when in 1985, Betty held her wedding reception at the beautifully picture perfect Beverly Hills Hotel, which, indeed, had and the most wonderful view of the ocean. “Every staff member was extremely helpful during every step of the planning process.” The champagne was flowing and that they would never forget the exquisite dinner – and neither would did the guests.
Betty held her wedding ceremony at the Old Fort Chapel in Durban and the wedding was attended by 19 guests, all of whom stayed overnight at the Beverly Hills. “It was gratifying to see that after all these years the hotel is still at the top of the list. We hope to return sometime in the future to relive the start of our wonderful life together”.
Sandra and Clive Channell’s story of memories goes back to the 1980’s when their eldest daughter danced with a group who performed during themed evenings which were held in the gardens of the Hotel. During these years their daughter’s future husband worked at the Beverly Hills in the entertainment section, where he was spotted by the person who ran the dance shows, who employed him to dance in her group.
It was not long and these two met and became a “couple” dancing together in a number of shows around the country and abroad. They have been married for almost 16 years now and live happily in California. If it wasn’t for the Bev they would never have met.
Anita Maharaj first stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel on 16th April 1989. The hotel immediately floored her and, as she had just gotten married, she couldn’t wait for the first night of her honeymoon to start. Anita remembers the big bathtub, the smell of clean sheets and the fresh flowers; she was in awe of everything. She says that her husband said she looked like a kid at Disney Land!
As a rural farm girl Anita was in awe of the hotel and still is when she thinks back.
Anita’s birthday wish for the hotel: “Heartiest congratulations to you on this milestone achievement of yours. Happy Birthday to you and may your years ahead surpass all your expectations.”
Tina Naidu’s memory of the Beverly Hills was years ago, when her mom had won a meal voucher for a Women’s Day competition. Her mom was too ill to attend the lunch herself as she was battling cancer, so Tina went with her dad and sister.
She especially remembers the dessert, which was ice-cream rolled in toasted coconut and served with a granadilla sauce.
Tina is now 32 and, in fond memory, remembers the “Bev” and her mom.
One of the highlights on our terrace is dolphin spotting.
We installed a bell for our guests to ring when these majestic creatures decide to show off from time to time.
The children especially love it, and it always creates much excitement among hotel staff.
Cathy O’Dowd was the first South Africa woman to climb Mount Everest and also the first to attempt the climb from two sides. First the South side where she reached the summit on 25 May 1996 and then the North side where she reached the summit on 29 May 1999.
Cathy enjoyed the serene setting of the Beverly Hills and spoke with passion about her journey.
Terisha Munsamy’s best memory of the hotel is from 1998 when Janet Jackson stayed there during the Durban Velvet Rope Tour. Seeing Janet Jackson in person was a treat for our guests, and the star herself was wonderful to host.
“The atmosphere was electric and the hotel was beautiful, I think back to this, it seems like so many years ago, but the memories will always be with me.” Terisha says.
In 2006, Kyle Pillay took his girlfriend at the time to the Beverly Hills for tea and cake (it was their first date and he could not think of a better venue). It was a special date and he remembers sitting on the terrace with cake and sandwiches. 7 years later, he proposed to his wonderful girlfriend on 8 June 2013 on the beach of the Beverly Hills.
They enjoyed a fantastic lunch specially ordered at the Beverly Hills, and a lady by the name of Vani assisted Kyle from start to finish and even helped with the nerves, to make sure everything went off smoothly. We look forward to hosting you and your wife on your 50th anniversary, Kyle!
Most of our guests will remember us as the grand old lady in pink. We recently repainted the exterior of the hotel and can you believe that it took 12 120 litres of paint to cover.
Shelley and Leon Grobler recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary at the Beverly Hills and had this to say “A celebratory dinner at the Sugar Club and two night stay at your very special Beverly Hills Hotel sealed our 30 years of marriage. To our delight your staff had arranged fresh and dried fruit / nuts and an anniversary cake in our room, as well as a romantic table setting for us for dinner.
From the staff going out of their way to ensure us of an unforgettable experience, to the gastronomic food and accommodation, we promised ourselves that somehow we would be back again!”
The late German actress Marlene Dietrich; performing phenomenon and singer Janet Jackson; South African iconsFelicia Mabuza Schuttle, P.J. Powers and Leanne Manas; the French actress Francoise Hardy and the America actress Sigourney Weaver are only some of the ladies who have enjoyed the views and hospitality of the Beverly Hills.
Between them these ladies have won Grammy awards, Oscars and awards for Entrepreneurship, television presenting and humanitarian work. They have all left a footprint for the next generation with their notable achievements and are a true reflection of what Women’s Month is all about. The Beverly Hills salutes the ladies who have become part of its history.
Werner celebrated his 75th birthday on 16 February 2011 in the beautiful Plantation Room. With close family and friends Werner celebrated this momentous occasion and it was made even more special by the faultless service and mouth-watering food. “We were treated like real celebrities. No request was too big for the staff. Everything was done with a smile and with urgency.”
This photograph is one that Werner treasures and looking back he is glad that the waiter offered to take it. Without it, this special occasion wouldn’t be part of his 75th birthday memories. It also would be part of the Beverly Hills 50 year.
To photographs, memories and celebrations!
With mere weeks before the next soccer world cup, the memories of four years ago start coming back. A country united by soccer. Every hotel, restaurant, pub or local shop was involved. Every TV screen, streets filled with tourists and locals.
The Beverly Hills hosted the Greek squad and had fans excited and involved in the action. The lobby filled with people who wanted to take a photograph with the players and get flags signed. As you can see from the images this was an exciting time at the hotel our guests had a blast.
The Beverly Hills is synonymous with its five star service & has won a number of awards for accommodation and food and beverage offerings:
– A.A. Travel Guides Golden Achiever Hall of Fame Award 2006
– SATOUR Welcome Awards: Second Place Accommodation Award 2006
– Member of Moet et Chandon Circle Guide 2005/2006/2007/2008/2009
– The Sugar Club Diners Club Platinum Wine Award 2006/2007/2008/2010
– The Sugar Club Diners Club Diamond Wine Award (Top honour) 2009/2011
– Elements cafe bar Diners Club Platinum Wine Award 2011
– American Express Platinum Dining Award 2007/2008/2009/2010/2011
– Southern Sun Hotel of the Year 2007/2008, PMR KZN Business Hotel of the Year 2008, KZN Excellence Award – Fine Dining Restaurant Award 2008
The Beverly Hills is a favourite of many celebrities and has become the hotel of choice for sports celebrities such as the SA rugby when on tour. Guests get some thrill from spotting celebrities, sneaking in an autograph or a photo. Sometimes a shy wave is all you need.
These two little girls decided that they needed to take the chance and join SA rugby legend Bryan Habana at the Beverly Hills piano. They will certainly not forget the experience and will always have this treasured photograph.
Siyabonga Khumalo first visited us in 2005 and says “I took my kids, Ntuthuko and Akhona for dinner in early 2005 one Saturday at the Beverly Hills, it was on one of my visits to Durban to see my kids and catch-up. This was valuable time for us as a family and I decided on the Beverly Hills. We enjoyed our dinner so much that we have made it our place for an annual family dinner. It has been a beautiful experience at all times. Nine years later, we are looking forward to a ‘decade of dinners’ at the Beverly Hills in August 2014.
We are a small part of a big celebration. Thank you to the Bev for our memories.”
The Beverly Hills has a proud history of long serving staff. One such staff member is Dennis, who started at the hotel in 1971 as a waiter and quickly worked himself up through various positions to his present position as the restaurant supervisor.
Dennis fondly remembers the Beverly Hills in the days of the Copacabana and meeting celebrities like Cliff Richards and Tom Jones. He has a remarkable note of pride in his voice for his 43 years at the hotel.
He loves the hotel and the guests have become an extended part of his family. He has had the pleasure of working with Sol Kerzner, or “the move” as he is fondly known.
Vanessa Blevins has been coming to the Beverly Hills for years and when her friend Cherilyn turned 40 it was decided that The Beverly Hills would be the place to celebrate. “It’s the best place for an early dinner, or late afternoon drinks in the cosy Privé lounge or on the terrace in the summer where you can soak up the sea breeze. The breakfast buffet is also the best in South Africa, if not the world”.
The hotel practically floats on the Indian Ocean and has the best views in town. Vanessa has seen so many celebrities there, including the famous Springboks here at the hotel.
Vanessa will always remember the day she and her friends celebrated the big forty for special friend Cherilyn. Snacks, drinks and champagne at the Beverly Hills was the perfect way end to a wonderful day.