The Bloemfontein Tourist Centre has informed me that bookings for the resort can be made through the President Hotel on +27 (0)51 430 1111.
The Philip Saunders Holiday Resort is finally open for business, after a drawn-out, multi-million rand upgrade. Work on the facility just outside Bloemfontein was initially meant to be completed in time for the Fifa World Cup in 2010.
However, the project was delayed when several contractors left the building site claiming they had not been paid by the department of economic development, tourism and environmental affairs.
The Special Investigating Unit, in a presentation to the provincial portfolio committee of public accounts, said it was investigating the project over the delays.
The department spent about R125m in upgrading the resort, which boasts a gym, several new chalets and conference facilities.
The provincial portfolio committee on public accounts was expecting a report on the project. Committee chair Neels van Rooyen of the ANC had asked the department to submit a detailed report on the upgrade.
He said the committee wanted to know what action the department would take against officials responsible for “this mess that cost the taxpayers millions”.
Thuso Ramaema, a department head, told the committee in October that some of the new chalets were damaged by rain, which partially explained the delays.
Several websites that list the resort as a tourist destination quote prices for self-catering chalets as ranging from R100 to R299 per unit per night.
Prices are however expected to soar after the upgrade which changed the resort into a luxury centre with top-class accommodation, conference facilities and several outdoor activities, like angling, watersports and tennis.
The resort’s completion also comes ahead of the ANC’s centenary celebrations which are expected to see thousands of people visiting Mangaung, the site of the official commemoration.
Update: 14 November 2011
Many of you have contacted this blog about the Philip Saunders holiday resort. I have contacted the Bloemfontein Tourist Centre in Park Road, Willows and they gave me the following contact details for the resort:
Fax: +27 (0)51 441 7546
The story first appeared in: The New Age