After ditching Cape Town property, Hilton signs deal for new ‘hip’ hotel in Joburg

Hilton Hotels -After giving up its Hilton Cape Town hotel a week ago, the American group Hilton has announced a deal that will see it manage a brand-new hotel in Johannesburg.

The 180-room boutique-style hotel will be the latest of its “Canopy by Hilton” branded hotels. Launched in 2014, Canopy is seen as the US giant’s “hip” brand of hotels, which offers beer and wine tastings, and rewards its “employees of the month” with orange Converse shoes.

The hotel will be located on Jellicoe Avenue, across the road from the Keyes Art Mile Precinct and close to the CIRCA modern art gallery.

“Its design concept will be carefully crafted to allow guests to connect with the artistic fabric of Rosebank whilst offering facilities such as a rooftop bar, pool and garden area that will bring the neighbourhood into the property,” the company said in a statement. The hotel should open its doors by 2023, and a management contract has been signed with the owner of the property.

The first of its “Canopy by Hilton” hotels in South Africa – in Longkloof Studios, Gardens in Cape Town – is due to open next year. The hotel is owned and developed by property giant Growthpoint.

But it gave up the management contract of the Hilton Cape Town hotel a week ago, with the owner of the property – Millat Properties – assuming control of the hotel. The company said that it is pursuing discussions with other international brands and operators, but will in the meantime “revitalise” the hotel’s offering, including redesigning rooms.

Last year, Hilton also signed a deal for a new “Hampton by Hilton” hotel in Sandton Grayston, which will be aimed at the mid-market.

Hilton now has 100 properties trading or under development in Africa, with 10,000 rooms in the pipeline. A new Canopy by Hilton hotel will also be built in Casablanca, Morocco.

“The growth of Canopy by Hilton at both ends of the African continent is indicative of what we see as demand from travellers looking for immersive, cultural travel experiences in established destinations,” says Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president of development at Hilton. “We’re proud to be building further momentum on the continent and passing the milestone of 10,000 rooms illustrates our long term confidence in the industry.”

Hilton recently announced that it would cut 2,100 jobs – more than a fifth of its corporate staff – in response to the coronavirus crisis, which has decimated the hospitality industry.

In South Africa, leisure accommodation is still banned under lockdown rules.

US hotel giant Marriott announced that it will stop operating three hotels – the Mount Grace in Magaliesburg, the Edward in Durban and the Protea Hotel Hazyview in Mpumalanga – in South Africa. Tsogo Sun, the owner of the properties, will take over the hotels. It expects to reopen the hotels within 18 months.

Hilton has more than 6,100 hotels in 118 countries.

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