October 2012: Contractors have already broken ground in Summit Place, opposite the Menlyn Park Mall, for the newest property in South Africa’s most successful urban concept hotel brand, Protea Hotel Fire & Ice!
Protea Hospitality Group CEO Arthur Gillis made the announcement this week, saying the construction heralded a triumphant turning point in South African hospitality after the difficulties that had plagued the industry in recent years.
“We always knew the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! brand would grow. We were waiting for the perfect time and the perfect place. Now is the perfect time and there is no doubt that Menlyn is the perfect place.”
Summit Place is a new commercial precinct that is being developed opposite the popular Pretoria shopping mecca and the hotel will be the flagship property in the development.
Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn will open in the first quarter of 2014.
The hotel is aimed at travellers who are young at heart who enjoy being amidst the energetic urban vibe of city life. It will have a unique style, but still conform to the brand essence of Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! being a space which is experiential, young thinking and edgy.
The hotel will have 178 rooms, a restaurant, unique bar and lifestyle spaces, conference centre, swimming pool, and approximately 220 underground parking bays.
It will boast 10 suites and 40 inter-leading rooms.
Gillis says the one question he is asked repeatedly is what will the hotel look like? Will it be like Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town, or more like the hotel in Melrose Arch?
The answer, says Gillis, is neither.
“The product offering is true to the concept of Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! which is about creating exciting spaces and unique experiences which drive talkability and engagement with our brand igniters being our GUESTs whilst meeting and exceeding their expectations through service.
“All the entertainment areas are on one level, so the vibe and energy of the experience will be felt from check in till check out.
“The pool deck is the main focal point. It will contain private pods with fireplaces ideal for socialising, meeting and entertaining.”
The hotel development will have a focus on greening and sustainable practices.
Gillis says the conference centre will also be a key facility for this hotel because of the increasing market demand for conferencing, training, events and launches.
“The conference centre is an incredible space. It’ll be a double storey facility which comprises of two large multi-use conference venues accommodating up to 450 delegates. The ground floor will have a ramp to allow for easy access for product and vehicle launches and there are also 4 board or meeting rooms ideal for strategic meetings, board meetings or breakaway rooms.”
Gillis said the overall feel of the hotel would be stylish, with a focus on comfort and ’urbanised living’.
“The best description I can offer at the moment is that it’ll feel romantic and sensual.
“But as for what it’ll actually look like? Watch this space!”