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October 26, 2015
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Sub-Saharan Africa: New and Refurbished Venues


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Much had taken place in the past year, with a number of large hotel groups announcing investment in Africa. Hilton is leading the race to develop new hotels on the continent with 7,250 rooms in its pipeline, while Carlson Rezidor has 6,953 room spread across 32 hotels. Marriott is in third place with 6,412 rooms in its pipeline – up by 22 percent since 2014. Hilton will also be opening its first hotel in Swaziland, while Best Western, Mangalis and Kempinski all have plans in the works for new developments. 

Closer to home, much has been happening. From a number of new convention and conference centres to fabulous new five-star hotels, the list is almost endless – but here they are, the new developments, the refurbished properties, and those currently going through expansion. 

Cape Town's International Convention Centre is getting a big renovation. // Photo by Freeimages.com/Benjamin Flux
Cape Town's International Convention Centre is getting a big renovation. // Photo by Freeimages.com/Benjamin Flux

Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)

Cape Town’s most beloved and only world-class convention centre of its calibre is currently undergoing massive expansion to accommodate the many requests it has been receiving. Most recently it was chosen as the venue for the prestigious World Ophthalmology Congress in 2020 – the first time it will be held on the African continent. 

According to CEO Julie-May Ellingson, the expansion is “a key way in which the CTICC will help to raise the global competitiveness of Cape Town as a premier world-class meetings and events destination.” The CTICC will have an additional 10 000sqm of multi-purpose exhibition space, 3,000 square meters of additional meeting space and a reduced environmental footprint – as well as a significantly increased socio-economic contribution.

Century City Conference Centre and Hotel (CCCC)

This brand spanking new venue only opens in early 2016 but has already seen sixteen conferences booked for next year. The much-anticipated Century City Conference Centre and its super-posh Hotel adjacent to the complex can accommodate 1,200 people cinema style. At capacity it can host 1,900 delegates across 20 venues. Its square can be used as additional exhibition space or for gala functions, while a further 1,200 square meters is available under a Bedouin canopy. Joint CEOs Glyn Taylor and Gary Koetser are currently leading the operation to completion at the end of 2015. 

Hoyohoyo Hotels & Resorts

This relatively unknown gem is a fairly new family-owned establishment – founded in 2009 – with six venues under their banner. Hoyohoyo is ideal for majestic getaways, with meeting facilities as follows: 

  • Chartwell Lodge – A four-star boutique hotel in Johannesburg complete with a relaxing day spa and eventing and conference facilities for up to 500 delegates cinema style.
  • Eagle’s View Eco Estate – Set upon the breathtaking God’s Window escarpment, this estate has two one-bedroom units and a four bedroom cottage complete with amenities. The venue can hold up to 650 guests, with fully inclusive packages for teambuilding and conferences.
  • Machadostud Lodge – A delightful cattle farm and fishing chalets in the mountainous Eastern Highlands of Mpumalanga, with three self-catering cottages for 12 or more guests. Their conference centre holds 18 guests, ideal for an intimate strategy session. 
  • Acorns Conferencing – Located near the Orpen Gate of the Kruger National Park, this unspoiled lodge and conference facility offers twelve double-storey cottages and meeting facilities for up to 300 delegates. 

Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch

Part of Marriott International’s footprint across the continent is the 150-room Marriott Hotel in Joburg’s Melrose Arch and a 200-unit Marriott Executive Apartments, slated for completion in February 2018. The Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch will also have conference and event facilities for up to 500 delegates, and will also include a business centre, restaurant and pool. 

“Africa is important to Marriott International’s growth strategy because of its rapid economic growth, growing middle class and youth population, as well as the expansion of international flights onto the continent,” explains Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director, Middle East and Africa for Marriott International. The hotel and apartments will join Marriott’s existing properties in the area, the African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel and Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch.

Lanzerac Hotel & Spa

If you enjoy the idyllic countryside, Lanzerac Hotel and Spa in Stellenbosch will be right up your alley. The 300 year old wine estate is in the process of completing a fabulous refurbishment after new management took over in 2012. Phase one was a complete remodelling of the Wine Tasting Room, with a beautifully appointed space for their acclaimed wines. Phase two was the full reconstruction of the Lanzerac function venue, The Cellar Hall, and the upgrade of the Manor House boardrooms. These state-of-the-art facilities are a firm favourite for high-profile events. 

Phase three, which takes place in 2015/16, is the redoing of all the hotel rooms to include new amenities, five star conveniences and comforts – as well as original antique pieces and artwork. The latter part of 2015 will see soft refurbs to the lounge and restaurant, as well as touch ups to the main pool area and a complete remodelling of the Lanzerac Spa, due for completion around March or April next year.

NH The Lord Charles Hotel

NH South Africa announced in September this year that the major refurbishment programme of its landmark property, NH The Lord Charles Hotel, was completed on schedule. The refurbs included major renovations to the conference centre, lobby area and Garden Terrace Restaurant, as well as 100 guestrooms. The refurbishment is part of the brand repositioning programme contained in the five-year strategic plan announced by the hotel group in 2014.

The upgraded conferencing facilities are ideal for up to 600 delegates and come complete with flexible room spaces and world-class equipment, from teleconferencing to audio visuals. The hotel is conveniently situated only 20 minutes from Cape Town International Airport and 30 minutes from the CBD.

Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel

Situated in Sea Point, Cape Town, Le Vendome Hotel opened its doors in early 2015. This incredible new property has modern conference facilities for meetings of up to 250 delegates in the Atlantic Meeting rooms, while the opulent London Boardroom is perfect for up to 10 delegates. Le Vendome has 143 rooms and suites featuring old world detail and convenient amenities – including free, high-speed Wi-Fi. Added to this comfort are its inspiring sea views – including meeting rooms with stunning seascapes, and some of the best eating and shopping options in close proximity.

Rustenburg International Convention Centre (RICC)

Rustenburg is set to become home to an International Convention Centre, according to Executive Mayor Mpho Khunou. It is estimated to cost R683 million, and potential investors will be invited to share in this during the next financial year. 

“The ICC will be combined with two hotels adjacent to it as well as retail outlets and possibly residential development nearby. The estimated costs are for the ICC only and do not include the two hotels and residential development,” he said during his state of the city address in May this year. This move, as well as a boost in flights to the North West province is part of the region’s goal of regaining the number two spot as a tourism destination in South Africa. 

Tsogo Sun Hotels

Tsogo Sun announced earlier this year they had reached an agreement to demolish the Tulip Hotel in Cape Town to make way for an exciting new 500 bedroom complex in the city centre. The new hotel will consist of two products in one – a 200 bedroom SunSquare Hotel and a 300 bedroom new generation StayEasy Hotel. Construction is slated for completion in September 2017.

Tsogo Sun CEO Marcel von Aulock explains, “We believe the continued development and rejuvenation of Cape Town’s city centre will lead to growing demand for hotel accommodation. We already operate three full service hotels – The Cullinan, Southern Sun Waterfront and Southern Sun Cape Sun – as well as the recently refurbished SunSquare Cape Town in Gardens and believe the addition of an exciting new product aimed at the limited service market will allow us to provide the full spectrum of products to suit all budgets for both business and leisure travellers.”

Tsogo Sun Garden Court Marine Parade, located on Durban’s Golden Mile, has just received a ‘majestic’ revamp, according to IOL Travel. The hotel was first opened in 1985, and is an art deco masterpiece – especially after its R110-million restoration. It has 352 sea-facing rooms and a pool area on the 30th floor with sweeping views of the beachfront, harbour and city. The upgraded conference and event venues can accommodate up to 500 delegates. 

Tshwane International Convention Centre (TICC)

In 2006 the government announced that Tshwane, one of the largest metropolitan areas in SA, would be building its own international convention centre in Centurion. Almost ten years later and it is finally being realised. The Tshwane International Convention Centre is being developed by Community Investment Holdings and is set to be part of the African Gateway Convention and Exhibition Precinct, a project in the shape of the African continent on a 14 hectare site. 

TICC will be an 8,000 square meter multi-purpose facility hosting 2 000 delegates indoors and up to 5 000 guests including the outdoor plaza space. It will also have 20 breakaway rooms and two hotels with 500 rooms in total, including a five-star property linking directly to the convention centre. 

 


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