Hemingways, inspired by author Ernest Hemingway’s classic Key West home, offers a wide range of entertainment options for the whole family, including an upmarket cinema, various dining experiences, banqueting and conference facilities, a four-star hotel, and a casino gaming floor.
According to Rob Collins, Tsogo Sun’s Chief Marketing Officer, “Our vision to provide the greatest possible variety of quality hospitality, leisure, gaming and entertainment experiences at every one of our destinations means that we’re committed to ongoing upgrades and changes throughout our properties.” He adds that the group is particularly proud of Hemingways’ well-earned position as a leading tourist attraction in the Eastern Cape, bringing much-needed revenue into the region. “We have no doubt that the large-scale upgrade of the property will contribute even further to the enrichment of entertainment offerings in the Buffalo City Municipality.”
Hemingways Casino is one of South Africa’s most distinctive casinos. Says Collins, “That hasn’t been changed. We’ve simply added to the grandeur and charm of the property. The style, architecture and aesthetics that make the casino distinctly Hemingways have not been tampered with. We’ve upgraded and added new features to keep the property in line with our group’s high standards and to enhance our guests’ experiences with us.”
Throughout the construction period, extensive efforts were made to ensure that guests were able to continue enjoying their favourite activities and premier entertainment at Hemingways Casino without interruption.
The project launched in January 2012 and includes upgrades to the casino floor and slots and table games expansions; a new bar restaurant; a bigger and better smoking casino; two stylish new Salon Prives (one smoking and one non-smoking) exclusively for serious gamers to play in utmost comfort; six cinemas and the biggest 3D cinema screen in the Eastern Cape; and a fully-equipped crèche for up to 30 children.
The Hemingways Casino building has also received an external facelift, and the food court now boasts a beautiful family oasis complete with palms, tables and water features.
The four-star hotel expansion and upgrade included two new wings with an extra 41 luxury rooms and executive suites, bringing the total number of rooms to 108; a new hotel restaurant, swimming pool, and gym; as well as an additional 107 secure undercover parking bays.
In addition, Venue@Hemingways, a multi-purpose conferencing and event venue, with a pre-function reception area and state of the art sound and lighting systems, has also been constructed adjacent to the hotel. This venue was completed by the end of 2012 and is being used for conferencing and banqueting functions, music concerts, entertainment, comedy shows, and lifestyle events such as expos, food and wine fairs, fashion shows, and product launches. Venue@Hemingways can accommodate from 10 to 750 people in different seating configurations, including schoolroom style, banqueting, cinema-style, and U-shape seating. The venue also offers clients and visitors the added convenience of entertainment, restaurants, and the casino within the centre, as well as a link to the adjacent mall.
“The expansion and improvements to the award-winning Hemingways Hotel have been dramatic, and will add substantially to guests’ comfort levels and enjoyment of the hotel,” says Graham Wood, Managing Director of Tsogo Sun – hotels. “East London is a beautiful part of South Africa and we are proud to enhance its attraction and add value to the region with one of our truly classy four-star hotels.”
Built on 11 hectares, the Hemingways Hotel and Casino Complex is bounded by the N2, Two Rivers Drive and Western Avenue, offering easy access to and from main roads, highways and the Airport, as well as various tourist attractions in the area.