Best Western Hotels & Resorts is growing its portfolio from one to 14 total properties in South Africa over the next 12 months. The multi-phase signing agreement with Orion Hotels is integral to the brand's expansion plans in Africa.
Phase one will see the addition of Velmoré Hotel Estate (Erasmia) and Hotel Promenade (Nelspruit) to the Best Western Plus® portfolio and the Magoebaskloof Hotel to Best Western. The rebranding of the three hotels is projected to be complete by July 2016. The remaining 10 hotels will rebrand by the end of Q1 2017. Each of the 13 hotels will adapt Best Western brand standards, but will operate under the management of Orion Hotels. The two companies plan to further expand throughout Africa as Orion Hotels continues to lease, manage or acquire new properties, which will also be branded with one of the Best Western Hotels & Resorts brands.
"More than ever, as we continue our journey in taking the reimagined Best Western brand into the future, we are dedicated to offering guests memorable travel experiences and the best in hospitality around the world," said David Kong, President and CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts. "This relationship positions Best Western for growth across the continent of Africa and also presents an opportunity for Orion Hotels' guests to take advantage of a truly global loyalty program."
Velmoré Hotel Estate consists of the Velmoré Hotel, a stunning establishment aimed at the affluent luxury traveler, and Velmoré Grande, which showcases opulence with everything from oversized rooms to extravagant finishes. Ideally situated between Pretoria and Johannesburg, Velmoré Hotel Estate offers a tranquil country setting on the border of the Hennops River with spectacular views of the Magaliesberg Mountains. Its unique architecture is inspired by traditional French Provence, and the sprawling layout over an expansive landscape creates a sense of space and serenity.
The Magoebaskloof Hotel is a charming country hotel that sits along a ridge, offering rooms with spectacular views of the superlative Magoebas Valley. Guests can enjoy an idyllic and relaxing break in the countryside with friendly personal service and comfortable accommodations.
Hotel Promenade is a historic hotel in one of the town's most prominent landmarks, the original town hall of Nelspruit. This heritage city hotel offers guests spacious accommodations combined with genuine local hospitality.
"It is with immense pride and joy to announce that Orion Hotels & Resorts is joining one of the largest hotel companies in the world, and the rebranding to Best Western repositions Orion Hotels as the largest international hotel brand in South Africa," said Franz Gmeiner, CEO of Orion Hotels. "Furthermore, the association with Best Western creates significant career opportunities for our management and staff. In addition to rebranding and upgrading our existing properties, securing management agreements and leases will be part of our core focus."
Best Western has an existing presence throughout Africa including locations such as Nairobi, Kenya; Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; and Lagos, Nigeria. In the development pipeline are the Best Western Premier Garden Hotel Entebbe in Entebbe, Uganda and two Best Western-branded hotels in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to launch later this year.
"This opportunity to showcase several of our brands in South Africa will introduce Best Western to many travelers in a key feeder market to the rest of the continent," said Suzi Yoder, Senior Vice President of International Operations, Best Western Hotels & Resorts.
Orion Hotels in Southern Africa will join more than 4,100 hotels worldwide that participate in Best Western Rewards, one of the richest and truly international loyalty programs in the industry, offering the lowest redemption thresholds for awards and points that never expire. Best Western Rewards is a partner of South African Airlines' Voyager Programme. In addition to Best Western Rewards points, members can also earn miles by staying at Best Western hotels worldwide. For stays that occur this May and June, Voyager guests can earn double miles for stays in any Best Western hotels globally.
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