Tsogo Sun Hotels to take over Mount Grace, the Edward and Protea Hotel in Hazyview
Photo Cred: Mount Grace

Tsogo Sun Hotels to take over the Mount Grace in Magaliesburg, the Edward in Durban and the Protea Hotel Hazyview in Mpumalanga and is committed to their long-term sustainability.

 

South Africa (23 June 2020) – Last week news broke that the global hotel group Marriott International was permanently shutting the doors of three hotels, including the iconic Mount Grace Country House & Spa in Magaliesburg, as a direct result of the economic fallout around Covid-19.

In a statement issued on Friday, the group said the impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality industry “has been unprecedented” and travel restrictions and social distancing efforts around the world had “resulted in weaker demand and economic uncertainty”.

Marriott said it had been “forced to take the rather difficult decision to shut doors permanently” at Mount Grace, Protea Hotel by Marriott Hazyview and Protea Hotel by Marriott Durban Edward.

“These are indeed challenging times and our thoughts are with the associates affected by this decision across the three properties. We value their hard work and dedication over the years and thank them for their service.”

But just 2 days later Tsogo Sun Hotels made the announcement that they would be taking over the Mount Grace in Magaliesburg, the Edward in Durban and the Protea Hotel Hazyview in Mpumalanga and is committed to their long-term sustainability.

The hotel group stated that it also noted the distress this announcement has caused within the travel and tourism industry and the communities where these hotels are situated, as expressed on various social media platforms.

Marcel von Aulock, CEO of Tsogo Sun Hotels, comments, “The hotel industry globally and in South Africa is undoubtedly 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 lockdown 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, we continue to plan for a phased reactivation of properties, with the full portfolio expected to be open within twelve to eighteen months. We 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, with which Marriott is terminating its relationship.

“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 Sun Hotels management portfolio and fully integrate them into our distribution and management network once the conditions for their re-activation are achieved,” continues Von Aulock.

He adds, “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 beachfront 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 operate the Sabi River Sun right up the road and are currently refurbishing the chalets and the golf course on this property. The addition of this hotel in the Lowveld area will allow us to broaden our offering for the local and foreign markets which will return to Kruger when things normalise.”

In the short term, Tsogo Sun Hotels is working with Marriott and has mobilised resources to ensure the properties are handed over, secured and maintained while they remain closed.


Sources: Tsogo Sun Hotels
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