PROTEA HOTELS was formed on 1 July 1984, with an initial base of four managed properties which were controlled by Otto Stehlik and his partners.

These properties were the Heerengracht and Capetonian Hotels in Cape Town, the Protea Gardens Hotel in Johannesburg and the San Lameer resort on the KwaZulu Natal South Coast.

The company was owned 60% by Bankorp and 40% by Stehlik and his partners, who were also directors of the company.


"Protea Hotels is dedicated to ensuring the longevity of our business for generations to come through responsibly managing our impact on the environment, our employees and the communities in which we operate."

From a portfolio of four hotels in 1984, Protea Hotels has expanded rapidly and is today the largest hotel group in terms of numbers of hotels in Africa, with the most extensive network. It has management and franchise agreements, as well as several joint ventures, with over 100 hotels. These are spread throughout South Africa, as well as Tanzania, Malawi, Nigeria, Namibia & Zambia. Negotiations are currently taking place regarding Protea's expansion into other African regions on both the East and West Coasts of Africa - areas where Protea has a distinct trading advantage.

The partnership concept has worked well and has enabled Protea to help people grow through the organisation and to develop a dynamic corporate culture which, in turn, forms the platform of its future growth.

Key to this growth will be our ability to empower those around us. Many people have been marginalised due to circumstances beyond their control. We are going to assist in the creation of the kind of future that our children will be proud to live in one day.


A rapid expansion programme followed and within a few years, Protea Hotels offered accommodation right across the three-, four- and five-star spectrum. Every hotel was refurbished and upgraded and a higher star-grading obtained. Bankrupt hotels were turned around and put on a profitable financial footing. Today Protea Hotels is the largest hotel group in Africa with the most extensive network - over 100 fine hospitality establishments in nine countries on the African continent!

MANAGEMENT BUY-OUT In 1987, the Stehlik team bought out Bankorp's share in the management and property companies. Stehlik and his six co-directors thus ontrolled 100% of PROTEA HOTELS. In 1994, a further five Directors were appointed to the Board of Protea Hotels.

RESTRUCTURING On I July 1988, a holding company, PROTEA HOSPITALITY CORPORATION (PTY) LIMITED (PHC), commenced operations with three focused operating divisions:
  • PROTEA HOTELS, which is responsible for the management and marketing activities of the hotels carrying the Protea and African Pride brands. This is done on the basis of a management or marketing agreement, a joint venture or an association.
  • PROTEA PROPERTY HOLDINGS, which are properties owned or leased by PHC. These properties have management agreements with Protea Hotels.
    Plan One is a hotel development and consultancy company experienced in interior design and planning, conceptualising, refurbishing, upgrading and building hotels. Procurement International is a company specialising in the sourcing and supply of hotel fixtures, furniture and equipment.
    Plan One and Procurement International offer these services to properties within the Protea group and also operate on a consultancy basis outside of PHC. PHC has a shareholding in Plan One and Procurement International.
  • View our website here: Procurement International Website
On 30 October 2000, PHC sold 18% of its shareholding to two Black Economic Empowerment partners. In 2005 Protea Hotels concluded a further Black Economic Empowerment transaction that saw a 53% BEE stakeholding in Protea Hotels. This transaction brought Protea Hotels more in line with the demographics of South Africa.

Purchase of PHC by Stella Hospitality Group, Australia
On 1 July 2007, the company was sold to Stella, a leading global hospitality and travel group; however, Protea's Black Empowerment Partners retained a 26% shareholding, which was substantially ahead of Tourism Empowerment Charter requirements.
  • PHC Buy-back by Investec Bank Limited, Protea Hotels Black Empowerment Partners and Protea Hotels Directors
  • On 1 July 2009, a consortium including Protea Hotels' management, its Black Economic Empowerment partners and Investec Bank Limited bought back the 74% the hotel group sold to Stella Hospitality Group.
  • Protea is unwavering in its support of Black Economic Empowerment with our BEE stakeholders, having increased their ownership to 40%
  • Protea Hospitality Group's ownership comprises: 40% BEE partners, 30% INVESTEC, 30% PHG Management.
  • In addition, within the Investec and Protea Hotels Management Groups, there are significant Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) shareholders bringing our total Black shareholding to +/- 50%.
  • Protea Hospitality Group has been awarded a BBBEE rating, as conducted by EMPOWERDEX.
To view our current status certificate, please click on the following link: CERTIFICATE

The Empowerment Consortium consists of:


Aka Capital is a private equity and investment holding company, whose mission is to create a model for sustainable Black Economic Empowerment in order to contribute towards the economic transformation of South Africa.

Prime Portfolio Investment "A"
Prime Portfolio Investment "A" is a 100% Black owned and managed investment company that seeks involvement in business ventures or with partners who share its mission of job creation, skills transfer and social upliftment of historically disadvantaged South Africans.

Gemvest 53 (Pty) Ltd (Popcru Investment Holdings)
Popcru Investment Holdings was formed by the Union Leaders of Popcru in order to enhance Black Economic Empowerment. The Union represents 120 000 men and women. Popcru Investment Holdings is 100% owned by the Union Members. Management is 70% black and 30% white, while union membership is 95% black.

Vecto Trade 325 (Pty) Ltd (FAWU)
Basebenzi Investments (Pty) Limited, formerly known as Ikhwezi Investments, was established as a profit driven venture which would ultimately benefit all 119 000 members of FAWU, of whom 99% are black.

Indospan Investment (Pty) Ltd
  • Arthur G Gillis – Director
  • Gregory S Krupp - Director
  • Nkhumeleni S Nematswerani - Director
  • Otto J Stehlik – Director
  • Peter A Amm - Director
  • Reuel J Khoza – Director
  • Isidore Lawrence Morris Barnett - Director
  • Sam Hackner - Director
  • Themba H Matsane - Director
  • Vusi M Nkonyane - Director
  • Nomfundo Ntombi Yombuso Ursula Ngcobo - Director
  • William P D Ford - Director
  • Arthur G Gillis – Chief Executive Officer
  • Gregory S Krupp - Director
  • Nkhumeleni S Nematswerani - Director
  • Otto J Stehlik – Non-executive Chairman
  • Peter A Amm - Director
  • Isidore Lawrence Morris Barnett - Director
  • Themba H Matsane - Director
  • Arthur G Gillis - Chief Executive Officer
  • Benjamin Z Memani - Director
  • Bryan A Mulliner - Director
  • Charmaine Hardwick - Director
  • Dan Bryer - Director
  • Gregory S Krupp - Director & Officer
  • Neill O Baird - Director
  • Otto J Stehlik – Chairman
  • Petrus J Bekker - Director
  • Phillip R Meyers - Director
  • Sean P Maher - Director
The Present Structure
Protea Hospitality Corporation consists of four operational divisions:

Protea Hotels is responsible for the management and marketing activities of the hotels carrying the Protea and African Pride brands. This is done on the basis of a management or marketing agreement, a joint venture or an association.

These are properties owned or leased by Protea Hospitality Corporation. These units have a management agreement with Protea Hotels.

Protea Hospitality Corporation has a shareholding in Plan One, a specialist company in interior planning, design and consultancy. Plan One is vastly experienced in the planning, conceptualising, refurbishing and upgrading of hotels.

Procurement International is a division of Plan One specialising in the sourcing, supplying and installation of hotel furniture, fittings and equipment.

For more information on Procurement International, visit our webite: Procurement International

The proteahub ( operates as an online procurement hub for Protea Hotels.

These services include:
  • Listing products from preferred suppliers that offer the best quality, service, price and delivery
  • An internet-based request for quote service
  • An on-line service for the procurement of all operational requirements including food, beverage, linen, branded and minimum standards items.
  • On-line reporting system delivering real-time purchasing reports and expense management
  • On-line approval workflow for all hotel individual procurement requirements including petty cash and service contract management.
Criteria For Selecting Hotels
Hotels are incorporated into the PROTEA HOTELS network according to the broad selection criteria of:

Taking into account:
Requirements of our customers, i.e. GUESTS, internal competition, i.e. whether we have another hotel in the area; and whether we have a requirement in the area (achieving a network of geographically, strategically placed hotels)

Taking into account:
The nature of the working relationship that PROTEA may have with the owner for mutual benefit.

Taking into account:
The physical quality of the hotel, the hotel's facilities and amenities and the finance available to bring the hotel up to PROTEA's standards.

Taking into account:
The hotel's ultimate potential, i.e. could the hotel do better if it were managed and marketed better and Protea Hotels' ability to add value.
Our Mission
About Protea Hotels
Our Mission, Our Purpose & Core Business

To take hotels which could do better if they were managed and marketed better and to manage and market them better.

PROTEA's mission statement recognises its ability to use its core competencies:

  • The "PROTEA" BRAND and infrastructure
  • MARKETING ability
  • MANAGEMENT expertise
  • RELATIONSHIPS with stakeholders

To create VALUE for OWNERS, GUESTS, STAFF and the COMMUNITY in which its hotels operate.

Protea's "product" is the provision of professional hotel management and marketing expertise and services to OWNERS of hotels which are part of the corporate structure.

To acquire and maintain customers, i.e. OWNERS and GUESTS

The core business of PROTEA HOTELS is to manage and market hotels, on behalf of OWNERS, for a fee, either in terms of a management agreement or a franchise agreement.

MANAGING AGREEMENTS are entered into when the OWNER of a hotel is not able, or does not have the inclination, to operate the hotel personally. PROTEA HOTELS, in terms of a management agreement, will appoint a general manager to the hotel and will manage and market the hotel for and on behalf of the OWNER.

FRANCHISE AGREEMENTS are entered into when the OWNER / MANAGER of a hotel only wishes to take advantage of the PROTEA BRAND in terms of its marketing ability, sales and reservations infrastructures.

Vision For The Future
Our Principles
The Three Protea Principles

Protea's success has based its adherence to its three Protea principles:


The backbone of the entire operation is the enlightened STAFF policy, by which the company consistently seeks to empower personnel to deliver extraordinary GUEST service and to be an inextricable part of the company's commitment to excellence.

Awards and Accolades

Winner of 2 World Travel Awards for Best
Hotel Group in Africa

Winner of 3 Sunday Times Markinor Top
Hotel Brand Awards

Winner of 4 Sunday Times Generation Next
Awards for the Coolest Hotel Group.


The Protea Timeline

1984 With an initial base of four managed properties which were controlled by Otto Stehlik and his partners.

2005 Protea Hotels concluded a further BEE transaction that saw a 53% stakeholding in Protea Hotels.

1988 PROTEA HOSPITALITY CORPORATION (PTY) LIMITED commenced operations with 3 focused operating divisions.

2007 The company was sold to Stella, a leading travel and hospitality group; BEE Partners retained a 26% shareholding.

2000 PHC sold 18% of its shareholding to two Black Economic Empowerment partners.

2009 A consortium (Protea Hotels, BEE Partners and Investec Bank) bought back the 74% the hotel group sold to Stella.


Corporate Social Investment


In the beginning our Chairman, Mr Stehlik said:

"Nobody will ever judge Protea by the speed of our growth or the size of the group, but only by the quality of our operation and the quality of our relationship with our STAKEHOLDERS."

Our social investment programme is directed at two of our identified STAKEHOLDERS, our COMMUNITY and our STAFF.

It is a minimum requirement that every Protea Hotel, our Head Office and Regional offices have social investment programmes.

mission and philosophy

To uplift and enhance the lives of those less fortunate in our community in a sustainable manner.

Protea Hotels is dedicated to the continuous upliftment of those less fortunate. Protea Hotels actively encourages a culture of philanthropy and community involvement amongst its employees. CSI initiatives are conducted as a TEAM effort. Our Corporate Social Investment Programme is directed at two of our identified STAKEHOLDERS being our STAFF and our COMMUNITY.

Our focus in 2013

Focus areas for the 2013-2014 period:

  • Housing - Help provide the basic needs for the previously disadvantaged.
  • Education - Help the previously disadvantaged become educated and have a brighter future.
  • Ongoing Project - Reach For A Dream
  • Hotel specific focus: Any other local community initiative/project


Our Brands


African Pride is an exclusive African collection of superior-deluxe hotels, lodges and country houses, offering the highest international standards of service, accommodation and facilities.

Protea Hotels

Protea Hotels comprises a full and diverse range of outstanding hotels and resorts offering superior appointments, personalised service and individuality of character.

Protea Hotels Fire & Ice!

The Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! brand encompasses specially selected urban, young thinking and edgty hotels. Each property boasts a select genre, offering a new age take on comfortable and social hotels.

View Brand Comparison Sheet

Join our group


We select our hotels based on four criteria:
Geographic Location: Is there a need for a hotel? Is there a conflict with another Protea Hotel?
Potential Relationship: Will it benefit both parties?
Physical Product: Does the hotel meet our minimum standard? Is there the will to make it so?
Potential to Add Value: Will this hotel be better off with our input? Will it add value to our portfolio?



Protea Hotels is conscious of our responsibility as a major Hotelier – who in partnership, serve millions of customers every year in communities across South Africa and Africa. We recognise the need to understand, make decisions, plan, and manage our impact – the way we treat people, serve our customers, invest in local communities, provide returns to our shareholders, manage our supply chain and affect the environment – and take the opportunity to help achieve lasting and beneficial change that extend beyond our operations.

We do not view sustainability as an additional strategy or range of new activities. Rather it is about influencing all corporate strategies – creating integration and deepening our work to bring effect to profit (Prosperity), society (People), and environment Planet). We recognise that this calls for a shift in the way we approach the very issues that face our business on a daily basis.    

This Sustainability Statement of Intent reflects our first committed step towards envisioning, forming and implementing a Corporate Sustainability Strategy. Our statement has as its objective to engender a common and shared understanding, purpose, and commitment towards issues of sustainability within Protea Hotels.


number one hotel operating company
Protea Hotels' vision is to become "Africa's number one hotel operating company. In line with our vision, Protea Hotels' seeks to answer two questions in stating its intent towards sustainably.
Firstly, what does it mean to be the "number one operating company" in its field?
Secondly, what does it mean to achieve this within an "African" context?
innovations and adaptability
Thus, to be the number one operating company, Protea Hotels' intends to become a resilient leader in its field through investing in the innovations and adaptability of its people and stakeholders to build on existing best practices and to generate new ideas and services that shift the focus to the present and the future – instead of only trying to fix the past.
assessments and analysis
Furthermore, In order to incorporate this into our operations, Protea Hotels will make assessments and an analysis of current practices towards adopting a system of integrated management, performance and reporting focused on People, Planet, and Prosperity.
social and natural environment
To achieve the above within an African context, The Protea Hotels intends to move beyond minimising its impact and damage to the social and natural environment. Instead, Protea Hotels will take every opportunity to grow and develop its business practices, services and brand while restoring and re- building these elements.
Fairtrade Coffee
Protea Hotels serves Fairtrade Certified Coffee sourced by small-scale farming communities in East Africa. By buying coffee on Fairtrade terms, we make sure that the highest social and environmental standards are met and that the farmers receive a premium to invest in the development of their communities. Read More


Twitter Feed

Press Room

Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Owns the Best of the Burger This Winter

Singing the Jack Frost blues stops right at the door of Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! this winter with a range of burgers specially designed to fire up the heart, soul and belly.

And if that alone isn't enough to brighten your day, shake it up with the accompanying range of specially created cold weather milkshake flavours that'll make your heart beat much faster!

To download our logos or view
Press / Media Contacts, click here


Protea Hospitality Group has always believed that in order to achieve the levels of service excellence that we strive for, we need to hire people that are well suited for our industry and then equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to deliver quality service consistently.

In terms of this commitment towards developing the competencies of Protea people, the "Protea Hotels Institute for Professional Development (PHIPD) - Achieving Excellence Through Quality Training" was launched in January 2000.

The Protea Hotels Institute for Professional Development comprises of the following four divisions:

  • Short Courses & Skills Programmes
  • E-Learning Academy
  • In-Service Traineeship Programmes
  • Quality Assurance

To ensure Protea Hotels corporate and individual business objectives are reached through effective training and development of Protea people.

Developing and implementing measurable and certificated modular courses covering all aspects of the Business Plan to ensure individual career development and effective succession planning.

YOU MAY ASK: "What if we train our STAFF really well and they leave?"
OUR RESPONSE: "What if we don't and they stay?"

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