"Sol Kerzner – Founder and Chairman of Kerzner International Holdings Limited... He founded both of South Africa’s largest hotel groups and has played a pivotal role in the development of the tourism industries of South Africa, Mauritius, The Maldives, Dubai and The Bahamas... Kerzner’s career in hospitality began in 1962 with the purchase of the Astra Hotel in Durban. Following the success of that property, Kerzner built South Africa’s first five star graded hotel in a village north of Durban. He opened this resort in December 1964 which he named the Beverly Hills Hotel.
"Following the Beverly Hills, Kerzner built the 450-room Elangeni Hotel, overlooking Durban’s beachfront and, in 1969, in partnership with South African Breweries, he established the chain of Southern Sun Hotels, which by 1983 operated 30 luxury hotels with more than 7,000 rooms. In 1975, Kerzner opened his first hotel outside South Africa on the Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius which he named Le Saint Géran.
"In 1979 Kerzner developed Sun City, the most ambitious resort project in Africa. Over a period of ten years he built four hotels, a man-made lake, two Gary Player golf courses and entertainment center with an indoor 6,000-seat multi-purpose arena in which he presented many superstars including Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli and Shirley Bassey and which was also the venue of many World Title fights promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank organization.
"In 1994, following the first democratic elections in South Africa, Kerzner was asked by incumbent President Nelson Mandela to arrange the VIP function at the Presidential Inauguration which was attended by approximately 1000 people including many of the World’s leaders and Heads of State
"Later in 1994, Kerzner made his first major acquisition outside Africa through the purchase of the Paradise Island Resort in The Bahamas. This 1,150-room resort was in bankruptcy at the time. After acquiring the resort, Kerzner launched a major re-development and expansion program which transformed Atlantis, Paradise Island into a 2,300-room resort that included one of the world’s largest man-made marine habitats and the Caribbean’s biggest casino...
"In 2002, Kerzner launched One&Only Resorts...In early 2007, Kerzner expanded Atlantis, Paradise Island with new boutique hotels, The Cove and The Reef, which added 1,100 new rooms to the property...Kerzner extended the Atlantis brand globally with the development of Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai...
"In December 2010 Kerzner’s passion for hospitality was recognized by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by confirming that Sol Kerzner was invested with the insignia of Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG) for his outstanding and exemplary contribution in the area of business and community in the Bahamas. This highest honour was awarded in the annual Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2010."
Resources and articles
- Kerzner International Sol Kerzner, organizational web page, accessed January 10, 2013.