A new venture is bringing a chic new hotel and contemporary dining offering to Durban North in KwaZulu-Natal. The project, five years in the making, is finally ready to open its doors within the upmarket suburb. The stylish new boutique hotel and restaurant is the brainchild and passion project of the Gerber family, who own and will operate the luxe new establishment.
Named The Alton, the property boasts 10 luxurious suites, a private gym, sauna, rooftop bar and restaurant — Albert’s Kitchen — the eatery slated to open in late May. Both hotel and restaurant are named in tribute to late family members who remain constant sources of inspiration, strength and hope for the Gerber family.
The ultra-contemporary design, a joint effort by Allan Gerber (the patriarch of the family) and award-winning architect Richard Stretton of Koop Design, spans across three floors and has been stylishly finished and furnished by Carey White of Gone Rogue Interiors.
The ten suites draw from a colour palette of dark greys, gold, deep earth tones and textures of brass, steel and wood. Each room is personalised with a unique splash of colour — used to dramatically accent the beds and matching headboards — in vibrant hues the likes of a deep, dusty burgundy or a brooding midnight blue — giving each room its own look and feel.
The hotel is not only predominantly built and furnished with locally manufactured products and wares, but the works of local artists play an integral part at The Alton too. From reception through to restaurant and suites, the walls are bedecked with works of emerging local artists and photographers.
A standout feature of both the restaurant space and the rooms are the lights designed by the late, renowned architect Paul Wygers. The Round Collection lights — layered recyclable PET panels in various colours — are visually striking, functional art pieces in their own right.
The restaurant, named Albert’s Kitchen, is helmed by chef Ali Majijia and is set to offer up a contemporary and fine take on modern African cooking when it opens in May. Expect the likes of the chef’s clever take on samp and beans; a mushroom and gnocchi vegetarian option with a mfino base; and the Karoo lamb rack with forbidden rice, carrot salad and a butternut and potato tart. The highlight no doubt being dessert which takes shape in a playful twist on a koeksister, here served with an almond praline and coconut ice cream.
Both an à la carte and tasting menu will be available, allowing hotel guests and the public alike the opportunity to enjoy the space, whether popping in for a business lunch or celebrating with a multi-course dining experience.
The Alton promises to be an exciting and impressive new addition to Durban’s hospitality offering. The project made all the more special by the heart behind the project, the hands-on Gerber family, ensuring that all who visit feel welcome, comfortable and appreciated during every aspect of their stay in this impressively designed space.