April 2013: The 76 rooms at Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris on KZN’s north coast will undergo refurbishment from July this year, bringing to 18 the number of hotels in the Protea Hospitality Group that have been revamped since 2011 at a cost of hundreds of millions of Rands.
In the past month the company has also finalised an agreement that will see the first Protea Hotel opening in Ghana next year, and the opening or rebranding of three new hotels – Protea Hotel Emotan in Benin City, Nigeria, and Protea Hotel Manor and Protea Zebula Lodge in South Africa. This country’s third Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! is also under construction in Menlyn, Pretoria.
The refurbishment will be completed at the end of November 2013, just in time for the busy summer season. A block of 40 rooms will be done first so as to minimise the impact on GUESTS.
The bedrooms will receive a soft and hard furniture refurbishment using tranquil, natural colours, wood and imagery depicting the abundant wildlife in the nearby, world-renowned Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve, home of the Big Five.
Protea Hospitality Group CEO Arthur Gillis says innovation is essential to stay on top of evolving GUEST expectations, both in portfolio brand standards and with technology.
“The investment by Protea Hotels and its owner partners in upgrades and refurbishment is well in excess of R300 million. “Hotels in Africa are competing on a global level. To remain competitive to the leisure, business and MICE markets it must be best foot forward, with a service ethos to match. I have no doubt that Protea Hotels is not only matching that competitive level, but in most instances exceeding it across the continent.”
Gillis says hospitality in Africa, including South Africa, is entering a bullish period and should not stand back from any other region in the world.
“The renaissance is happening right here, right now and it’s great to see that movement brought about by Africans rather than international corporates. Hotels are being built because there is demand for business travel, and the reason there is a demand for business travel is because African economies are growing.
“This is not an artificial growth, but one that is being built on the development of regional economies, with less reliance on mineral and energy exports that produces a growing middle class with increasing spending power. That’s where our industry focus should be.”
Other refurbishments completed since 2011, or currently underway: Protea Hotel Tyger Valley, Cape Town, Western Cape; African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel, Cape Town, Western Cape; Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Cape Town, Western Cape; Protea Hotel Cape Castle, Cape Town, Western Cape; Protea Hotel President, Cape Town, Western Cape; Protea Hotel Victoria Junction Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape; African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel, Johannesburg, Gauteng; Protea Hotel Wanderers, Johannesburg, Gauteng; Protea Hotel Centurion; Pretoria, Gauteng; Protea Hotel Marine, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape; Protea Hotel Hazyview, Mpumalanga; Protea Hotel Witbank, Mpumalanga; Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, Mpumalanga; Protea Hotel Hilton, KwaZulu Natal; Protea Hotel Edward, Durban, KwaZulu Natal; Protea Hotel Imperial, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal; and Protea Hotel Upington, Upington