June 03, 2009 // Franchising.com // IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has opened two hotels in South Africa and will be opening its second Crowne Plaza hotel in Kenya this year.
The 318-room Crowne Plaza Johannesburg - The Rosebank marks the hotel brand's return to South Africa after a two-year hiatus. This new acquisition means the iconic The Rosebank Hotel is now operated under a franchise agreement with Hospitality Property Fund (HPF).
Situated in the heart of Johannesburg's popular Rosebank business, leisure and residential district, the hotel undergone a 315 million Rand refurbishment.
In addition to its modern conference facilities, the property features a Seven Colours Spa and Technogym. Guests have two upmarket restaurants to choose from - The Butchers Block and Fresh - as well as Johannesburg's trendiest new meeting place, The Circle Bar. The public areas have been stylishly decorated, using vibrant colours, textured fabrics and mood lighting.
Working in partnership with local developers ISO Leisure, the exclusive franchisee of the Holiday Inn Express brand in South Africa, the 304-room Holiday Inn Express Sunnypark also opened its doors last month.
The new hotel is part of the $1 billion global relaunch of the Holiday Inn brand family, announced in October 2007 to create a more contemporary brand image, increase quality and drive consistency across over 3,200 hotels around the world.
Work commenced in March last year to convert Pretoria's iconic 20-storey Sunnypark residential tower into the largest new Holiday Inn Express to date in South Africa.
Located by Pretoria's Sunnypark Shopping Centre, the property is near to important business areas, including the Department of Trade and Industry's large-scale Trade Campus.
An iconic city landmark, architects have replaced the old building's steel-framed windows with modern new curtain-walling. The apartments were renovated and replaced with new hotel bedrooms with a focus on the elements that matter most to guests, including improved bedding to help guests get a great night's sleep.
The Great Room café-lounge area, bar and two meeting rooms are raised six storeys above ground level, opening out onto a fully-landscaped roof-garden with water features and panoramic vistas over the Pretoria skyline. WiFi is available throughout the property
IHG is also set to open its second Crowne Plaza hotel in Kenya in autumn 2009. The 163-room and five-storey Crowne Plaza Nairobi will have two bars, two restaurants, a banqueting hall, three meeting rooms, a health club, swimming pool, sauna with treatment area and a gym.
The 30-bedroom fifth floor will be a dedicated Crowne Club Floor with a lounge facility where guests can work or relax in comfort and privacy. Guests will also benefit from a 24-hour business service and wireless high speed internet access in the lobby.
John Bamsey, IHG's chief operating officer Middle East and Africa, said: "We will be developing our Africa portfolio with more than 30 properties over the next three to five years, and these will all be in prime locations and high growth cities. This will strengthen our position of becoming the leading operator on the continent and to contribute significantly to IHG's overall portfolio."
The basic tenet of IHG's expansion approach into Africa is to build long-standing relationships with strategic partners in strategic cities. In addition to Kenya, a number of IHG brands are also due to open in key destinations, including Angola, Nigeria, Tanzania, Senegal and South Africa.
"IHG has been in Nairobi (Kenya) and Lusaka (Zambia) for almost 40 years, a testimony to our commitment to the African continent," added Bamsey. "Our presence and investment in Africa has been vital in driving the hospitality industry in the right direction. With our consistent growth, IHG will offer travellers to this region a range of high-quality accommodation options to ensure they enjoy a unique African experience."
Regarded as one of the fastest developing markets, Africa remains a popular destination for business and leisure international travellers. It offers value-for-money compared to other long-haul destinations from Europe or America making it an affordable alternative.
About the Holiday Inn brand relaunch
The $1 billion relaunch of the Holiday Inn brand family (comprising Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express and Express by Holiday Inn) will bring improved consistency and service levels, as well as a more contemporary brand image and identity, to over 3,200 hotels worldwide.
The global relaunch was announced in October 2007 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. As part of this process all Express by Holiday Inn hotels will become Holiday Inn Express properties to create global consistency. In the interim period as the hotels implement the relaunch both the existing and new Holiday Inn brand family identities will be used, as seen above.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 4,200 hotels and more than 620,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with 43 million members worldwide.
IHG has nearly 1,700 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create around 140,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.