Protea: Historic PMB hotel has a facelift

2010-10-12 00:00

THE landmark Protea Hotel Imperial in the upper part of central Pietermaritzburg has undergone an extensive revamp that entailed a refurbishment of the interior.

The refurbishment of the 70-room hotel was completed recently. It began in earnest in mid-February.

It also entailed minor changes to the exterior.

The Imperial is a heritage building, meaning that there is a limit to changes that can be made to the building.

A representative of the hotel told The Witness that it is very much a case of “out with the old and in with the new” while still maintaining the historic character of the hotel.

The extensive revamp involved a variety of features and fitting, including furniture, TVs, carpeting, bathroom sets and tiles.

The eight meeting and conferencing venues, which were also refurbished, can accommodate up to 400 delegates.

The management and the 56 employees are focused on maintaining and broadening the hotel’s client base, particularly the public sector market.

They also plan to attract “lost” clientele who may have migrated elsewhere over the years.

The hotel, at 224 Jabu Ndlovu Street, boasts a long and rich history dating back to the late 1800s.

It is understood that the building was originally a private residence, built by Mr T. Woodhouse, who would later become the city mayor.

George Thrash, after whom a street is named in the CBD, and his wife lived in the building and then converted it into a hotel.

The hotel was named after Prince Louis Napoleon, the Imperial Crown Prince of France, who was one of its earliest guests.

The management is marketing several restaurant options for patrons, including daily dinners and lunches.

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