Urban Hip Hotels

Private Property South Africa
Nigel Diepering

An innovative new concept in Condominium Hotel Management in South Africa

born out of successful inner city redevelopments, Urban Hip is currently

managing buildings and rental pools in the Johannesburg CBD with plans to move

to other cities.

Recent developments in both the property investment and the leisure industries

have been the catalyst that has brought three senior hotel executives together

to launch Urban Hip Hotels during 2005. The company has been specifically

created to offer services, which they felt had been neglected in the South

African market, namely:

  • To offer the independent property investor a secure and hassle-free

    alternative to traditional long let leases on apartments. This option not

    only delivers on average a superior return to the investor, but also takes

    all the effort out of managing a property that has been let.

  • To offer the hotel user a better value proposition than a traditional

    hotel room, this being particularly relevant to frequent business travellers

    and families vacationing at the coast. The reason for this better offer is

    the size, quality and price of the room that can be offered.

Urban Hip Hotels, is the first company in South Africa to specialise in the

management of Condominium Hotels. Typically Condominium Hotels consist of

apartments individually owned under sectional title. These individual investors

would then make their apartments available to a hotel management company in a

rental pool. The concept is well researched and based on very successful

developments in the USA, Canada and the UK, adapted to meet South African

conditions and requirements.

Our research has also pointed the way towards offering better value to the hotel

consumer than the traditional hotel offering. The following extract from some

research carried out in the UK tells the story more than adequately:

"If you're away on business for extended periods, cooped up in a small hotel

room most evenings, loneliness and boredom do become issues. Room facilities can

be lacking and, given a choice, I think the vast majority of travelers and

business guests would prefer not to have to write reports, work on laptops or

eat meals from their hotel bed. Once in a while it's okay, but for those who

stay in hotels regularly the novelty soon wears off, and some business people

can feel confined to their hotel room, bored and lonely."

"Loneliness aside, in-room facilities, or the lack of them, can also be an issue

for hotel guests. Reading work documents is fine, but try writing or typing

while lying down or propped against a pillow and it's a pain - trust me, I've

done it. Serviced apartments like ours give travellers much more space compared

to a hotel, plus they offer a few more home comforts. Kitchens and dining tables

allow guests to prepare then eat their own meals, while the table doubles as a

desk to work from."

"Of those staying for business purposes, 31% have had to eat a meal on their

hotel bed, while 38% have had to do work from their hotel bed."

The Chambers' research was undertaken online by polling specialist YouGov plc.

This research was commissioned by Christine Boothroyd, the owner of The Chambers

in Leeds, a leading condominium style hotel in the UK. In addition the offering

in many serviced apartments, Urban Hip offers additional selected hotel services

such as laundry, concierge, food and beverage, hotel-equivalent management team

on site, and central reservations, amongst others.

What Urban Hip brings to the market is a solid partnership with experts in the

real estate sector aligned with Urban Hip management team's combined 50 years of

first-class hotel experience. The team has managed at senior level, a wide

variety of the key aspects of hotel management, which they now bring to the

investor in offering a superior way of achieving good returns on a property


Urban Hip's latest cooperative project is the management of the rental pool of

The Mast in Durban's prestigious Point Waterfront (www.themast.co.za), a 40

storey luxury apartment development in the newly developed precinct, which

covers 55ha, and is designed to be a 'waterfront city' with a system of canals

forming the central spine of the urban redevelopment. The Point will become a

sought-after place to live, work and play with a range of activities in a

mixed-use environment - a true urban lifestyle with 24-hour activity.

Urban Hip Hotels is due to open two units in Gauteng during the course of June

this year:

The Franklin, in the redeveloped Johannesburg CBD, borders on the trendy

Newtown area with its theatres, restaurants and museums.

Splice, in the leafy northern suburb of Killarney, adjacent to the Killarney

Shopping Mall. A beautiful new development specifically tailored to a modern

urban lifestyle.

Due to open later in the year, is Tyger Lake in the newly developed and very

fashionable Tyger Valley Waterfront, in Northern Suburbs of Cape Town.

Early in 2007, Urban Hip Hotels will commence trading in Shakespeare Place on

Rissik Street in the Johannesburg CBD, a redevelopment of two existing buildings

in the heart of the financial district of Johannesburg.

For further information on these developments, visit


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