Just as the news broke that the Mount Grace was closing down by Marriott , an even bigger announcement was made that the Tsogo Sun group will be taking over the popular hotel this along with The Edward in Durban and the Protea Hotel Hazyview in Mpumalanga and is committed to their long-term sustainability
The group expressed that they noted the distress the closures caused within the travel and tourism industry and the communities where these hotels are situated, as expressed on various social media platforms.
The hotel industry globally and in South Africa is undoubtably experiencing one of the most disruptive and difficult periods in its history and it will take some time to recover to its previous activity levels. With the recent announcement by President Ramaphosa of a relaxation of lock down regulations several of our hotels have opened but are operating on limited capacity and will remain so until demand patterns and flight activities in both the domestic and ultimately the international markets begin to normalise. However, the hotel group continue to plan for a phased reactivation of properties, with the full portfolio expected to be open within twelve to eighteen months and will now include these three iconic properties in our planning.
Tsogo Sun Hotels via its subsidiary Hospitality Property Fund owns a controlling stake in the three hotels, which Marriott is terminating its relationship with. We remain committed to these properties and have full faith in their viability post the Covid-19 pandemic and are delighted that we will be able to bring them under the Tsogo management portfolio and fully integrate them into our distribution and management network once the conditions for their re-activation are achieved.
Marcel Von Aulock, CEO of Tsogo Sun Hotels, says “these are three great hotels. The Mount Grace in Magaliesburg was developed by the Brand family and was the sister hotel to the Grace in Rosebank, which we acquired and restored in 2015 and now operate as 54 on Bath. Magaliesburg is a beautiful area and has great domestic and international tourism potential, as well as strong demand for conferencing, weddings and shorter family getaways with its close proximity to Johannesburg. The Edward is a landmark on the Durban Beach front where we already have a strong presence. The hotel has a 111-year history, beautiful facilities and will add something different to our portfolio in that node. Lastly Hazyview is on the key tourist route through Mpumalanga on the doorstep of the Kruger National Park. We have the Sabi River Sun right up the road and are currently redoing the chalets and the golf course at that property. The addition of this hotel in the area will allow us to broaden the offering we have for the local and foreign markets which will return to Kruger when things normalise.”
In the short term Tsogo Sun is working with Marriott and has mobilised resources to ensure the properties are handed over, secured and maintained while they remain closed.
(Compiled by Thami Kwazi)