Koos de la Rey, a private investor with more than 40 years’ experience in financial services, has acquired the Riviera on Vaal Resort from the Mac van der Merwe Property Trust.
The private transaction, completed in November 2020, expands his current investment portfolio in agriculture and residential properties into hospitality. “My goal is to turn the Riviera on Vaal into a competitive 4-star hotel in the province that offers a wide range of activities to leisure and corporate patrons alike,” says de la Rey. “Our team will also improve the 18-hole golf course.”
Daniel Tharratt has been appointed as the General Manager of the hotel and Lettie Botha the General Manager of the Country Club. The Riviera on Vaal Resort first opened its doors for business on 29 August 1936 and changed ownership several times over the years. From the American filmmaker Isadore William Schlesinger in the 1930s to the Behr family in the 1970s, Sun International in the 1980s, Sir John Sherry in the 1990s, businessman Mac van der Merwe in the early 2000s and, the BON Hotels group in 2013, and most recently back under the management of Mac van der Merwe Property Trust.
“I plan to revive and rejuvenate the property in its entirety over the next 18 months,” says de la Rey. “Restoring it to its former glory to offer an alternative in the province for leisure and corporate travel that is close and affordable but with 4-star service and venues.”
The Resort will offer accommodation, hospitality services for weddings and events, and a restaurant, spa, and golf course. Some of the leisure activities will include picnics on the banks of the Vaal River and boat cruises. The Riviera on Vaal Resort will remain open for business throughout the renovation process.