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  • History

    Networking at the highest level

    Conveniently situated, five minutes from Sandton City, Summer Place, is fast becoming the first choice of blue chip companies looking for an executive business venue that is as elegant, flexible and versatile as it is efficient. Within its park-like grounds, with its meticulously manicured lawns and breath-taking water feature, the eyes of the world have been focused on Summer Place, which was home to the Soccer World Cup 2006 bid committee and is currently honoured to be home to the 2003 Cricket World Cup Committee.

    To complement the magnificence of its unique outdoor setting, Stephen Falcke, winner of the 1999 Andrew Martin Interior Designer of the World Award, did the traditional and tasteful interior decoration of Summer Place.

    While the architecture and décor are strictly classical, the multimedia equipment is state-of-the-art with full onsite technical support provided for video conference facilities and instant global networking. Excellent round-the-clock security and ample parking within the grounds ensure complete peace of mind.

    Each and every function held at this magnificent venue is overseen by a team of dedicated professional staff, who pride themselves on their meticulous attention to the smallest detail. With this highly personalised approach, it's not any wonder that once a company has chosen Summer Place as their top priority venue, they elect to return again and again.

    Summer Place - The eagle has landed

    The famous South African landmark, Summer Place in exclusive Melville Road Hyde Park, is today a world-class executive business, banqueting and conference center. The story of its transformation from luxury dwelling to a business center of unrivaled excellence is both colourful and of great historical interest.

    When Marino Chiavelli brought this prime 3,26 ha property in Johannesburg's exclusive suburb of Hyde Park in 1984, he spared no expense to ensure that the dwelling he built would be one of the most imposing private residences, not just in this country, but also in the entire world.

    The staff block boasted a covered walkway of marble and Italian tiles to the main house. The spectacular, remodelled outside water feature, featured a privately commissioned sculpture by internationally renowned sculptor, Danie de Jager of Apollo, the dragon, horses and maidens, created as a classical fountain. The underground wine cellar had storage for 5 000 bottles. The stone eagles perched on the high walls surrounding the premises gave the property a unique and distinctive air.

    Chiavelli even bought the elegant adjoining house of the late Edward and Zoë Bateman, raising it to the ground, to create a rose garden. Graciously, he left the Batemans with sufficient ground to build a much smaller property, with its new entrance in Upfill Road. He bought another luxury house nearby as accommodation for his housekeeper and staff.

    Then as now, Summer Place was constantly in the news. Chiavelli proved himself to be the flamboyant party giver. Often, his smiling face as he surrounded himself by a bevy of beauty queens, graced the society pages of the local newspapers. In particular The Sunday Times, which in those days hosted the Miss South Africa pageant.

    Unfortunately, all good things must come to end. Through some ill-fated oil dealings and a major lawsuit with a prominent Johannesburg businessman, Chiavelli lost all his money and died a pauper.

    The sale of the century

    A much-publicised auction of the property was held on the 25th of September 1994. Solly Krok, entrepreneur extraordinaire, devoted family man and benevolent charity giver, unbeknown to his twin brother, Abe, business associates and family, attended this auction.

    Although Mr Krok's was the highest bid for the property, would-be buyers were given another fourteen days to top his offer. When the news finally broke that Solly Krok was the successful bidder - R12,65 million made him the proud owner of this prime property - the newspapers had a field day. He was interviewed at every turn and he did not disappoint reporters with his quick wit and ready repartee. "I am not punch-drunk, nor am I knocked out," he quipped. "I feel great."

    Once you've tasted perfection, it's difficult to settle for anything less.

    For further information about Summer Place's special conference packages, please use our contact page.

    Once you've tasted perfection, it's difficult to settle for anything less.

    For further information about Summer Place's special conference packages, please use our contact form.