Protea forges ahead in Africa

2012-05-17 08:50
Protea Hotels Group CEO, Arthur Gillis

Protea Hotels Group CEO, Arthur Gillis

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Some R1.5 billion has been sunk into 8 new Protea Hospitality Group hotels, the refurbishment of 17 others to world-class standard and contracts to bring 5 additional hotels into the portfolio in the past year.

This represents not only the continent’s largest investment in hospitality in more than a decade, but is a massive vote of confidence in the future of business development and leisure travel on the continent, says Protea Hospitality Group CEO, Arthur Gillis.

The construction projects, management acquisitions and refurbishments are taking place in 5 countries; South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania.

The Protea Hospitality Group is the largest hotel company on the continent, with some 130 hotels in 8 African countries. The company’s brands include the 5-star African Pride Hotels portfolio, the stylish and luxurious 3- and 4-star Protea Hotels and the trendy, edgy and innovative Protea Hotel Fire & Ice!

The three brands are to be found in strategic locations right across South Africa, with approximately 90 properties in all the major and secondary business centres, as well as safari lodges and beachfront hotels that are loved by leisure travellers. The group is also rapidly expanding across Africa, with all the new builds taking place in Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia.

Gillis said the company was viewing the continent with much optimism this year, despite the uncertainty facing the global economy.

“As political stability and business opportunities increase, there is a greater need for hotels and we’re leading the charge,” said Gillis. “Countries such as Nigeria, Zambia, Uganda and Angola are flying in the face of global economic trends as far as hospitality is concerned. Africa’s trading partners have also changed in recent years, which is spurring unprecedented growth in regions that have previously not seen the numbers.

“Hospitality groups would be foolish not to be wondering where their opportunities lie and researching which areas of the continent are drawing the largest percentage of commercial travel,” Gillis said.

The massive refurbishment programme was undertaken with Protea Hotels’ owner partners and represents investment of more than R300 million.

“The Protea Hotels property brand standard is perfectly appointed, stylish and elegant. In today’s competitive market it’s critical that our product offering remains fresh and relevant in order to meet and exceed our GUESTS needs which is why this extensive refurbishment exercise has been so widely undertaken,” Gillis said.

“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.”


Refurbishments recently completed, underway, or planned for the new future:

South Africa:

·         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;

·         The Protea Hotel President, Cape Town, Western Cape;

·         Protea Hotel Victoria Junction, Cape Town, Western Cape;

·         African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel, Johannesburg, Gauteng;

·         Protea Hotel Wanderers, Johannesburg, Gauteng;

·         Protea Hotel Waterfront; 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



·         Protea Hotel Southern Belle, Lake Kariba; and

·         Protea Hotel Cairo Road, Lusaka.


New builds:


·         Protea Hotel Ibadan, Oyo State, 75 rooms, to open mid-2012;

·         Protea Hotel Select Emotan - Benin City, Edo State, 100 rooms, opening in late-2012;

·         Protea Hotel Select Ikeja, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Lagos State, 120 rooms, under construction and set to open in early 2013;

·         African Pride Avalon Hotel and Spa, GRA Ikeja, Lagos, Lagos State, 150 rooms, under construction and due to open in late-2013; and

·         Protea Hotel Asaba, Asaba, Delta State, 125 rooms, construction to due to start April 2012.


·         Protea Hotel Entebbe, 70 rooms, opening April 2012; and


·         Protea Hotel Ndola, 80 rooms, construction due to start in April 2012 and opening late 2013; and

·         Protea Hotel Mulungushi (name yet to be confirmed), 104 rooms, construction just started.


Hotels added/to be added to the Protea Hospitality Group portfolio:

South Africa:

·         Arabella Hotel & Spa, Kleinmond, Western Cape.

·         Protea Hotel Roodepoort


·         Protea Hotel Amani Beach.


·         A further two hotels to open under the Protea Hotels banner in the third quarter 2012.

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