HIT THE RAILS

Business Traveler (USA) - - GATHERING PLACES -

For small group in­cen­tives or ex­ec­u­tive break­aways, the lux­ury rail oper­a­tors of south­ern Africa of­fer exclusive and el­e­gant in­cen­tive and meet­ings op­por­tu­ni­ties. South Africa’s Rovos Rail and Blue Train are the dom­i­nant play­ers – Rovos of­fers a wider va­ri­ety of itin­er­ar­ies and ex­cur­sions, while the Blue Train fo­cuses on its Cape Town-Pre­to­ria jour­neys.

Flex­i­bil­ity, lux­ury and ex­clu­siv­ity. If you charter the en­tire train, be­spoke itin­er­ar­ies can be cre­ated on de­mand, and meet­ing space can be ar­ranged with ad­vance no­tice.

Cost. The tours aren’t cheap, and are best suited for a small group of high-fly­ing in­cen­tive part­ners or board­room ex­ec­u­tives. How­ever, the all-in­clu­sive fares mean you get good value for money.

New kid on the block

The Cen­tury City Con­fer­ence Cen­tre & Ho­tel now open, just 10 min­utes from Cape Town’s cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict.

The CCCC con­fer­ence cen­ter has a to­tal ca­pac­ity of 1,900 guests in 20 venues, in­clud­ing 12 meet­ing rooms and a busi­ness lounge. It also of­fers 125-room ho­tel, part of a R1­bil­lion ($806 mil­lion) mixe­duse devel­op­ment in the Bridge­ways area.

The devel­op­ment was un­der­taken in re­sponse to soar­ing de­mand for con­fer­enc­ing and ho­tels in the bur­geon­ing area, and had been de­signed to com­ple­ment Cape Town and Cen­tury City’s ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties, says Greg Deans, a di­rec­tor of Ra­bie Prop­erty Group, who joined the de­vel­op­ers in 2004.

“Not only will it fill a gap in the mar­ket, but we be­lieve it will help ce­ment Cape Town’s es­tab­lished at­trac­tive­ness as a con­fer­ence des­ti­na­tion.”

The Cen­tury City Con­fer­ence Cen­tre, he said, would of­fer flex­i­ble con­fig­u­ra­tions and a to­tal of 20 dif­fer­ent venues

Three ad­join­ing halls will have a to­tal ca­pac­ity of more than 900 at­ten­dees cinema-style, with a fourth hall able to ac­com­mo­date a fur­ther 480 cinema-style. The multi-func­tion venues will also be avail­able for ban­quet­ing and exhibitions, while a large pre­assem­bly area will be avail­able for exhibitions, prod­uct launches and so forth.

The first floor meet­ing rooms will be able to ac­com­mo­date at least 200 in var­i­ous seat­ing ar­range­ments.

Deans said CCCC, in partnership with Cen­tury City Con­nect, Cen­tury City’s open ac­cess fiber op­tic net­work, will of­fer at­ten­dees and guests world-class fiber op­tic and wire­less con­nec­tiv­ity.

He said the wire­less net­work would be built around an open ac­cess model, which means that each guest will be able to se­lect which ISP ser­vices they would like to make use of.

“Al­ter­na­tively an event or­ga­nizer can choose to part­ner with a spe­cific ISP for the du­ra­tion of a con­fer­ence,”said Deans.

Deans said over and above the Cen­tury City Con­fer­ence Cen­tre and ho­tel, the mixed-use devel­op­ment will in­clude of­fices, show­rooms, res­i­den­tial apart­ments and ser­vice re­tail, as well as a five-level park­ing garage with di­rect ac­cess to the CCCC. The en­tire devel­op­ment will be set over a su­per park­ing base­ment which, to­gether with the struc­tured park­ing, will pro­vide space for a to­tal of 1,300 park­ing bays. BT

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