African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel is the latest Protea Hospitality Group property in Cape Town to receive a multi-million rand capital cash injection that will see a new conference centre built and various facilities at the superior deluxe hotel upgraded.

The project, which is expected to cost approximately R25 million, brings to R200m the capital investment by partners in Protea Hospitality Group (PHG) properties in Cape Town in the past two years and is a show of confidence that hotels in the city with the right brand and management structures are sustainable in the long term, says PHG Director or Sales, Marketing and Revenue, Danny Bryer.

Besides the latest capex announcement on African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel, the Protea Hotel Victoria Junction, the Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge and the Protea Hotel President have recently undergone extensive refurbishment to bring them up to the exacting needs of today’s travellers. The refurbishment of the Protea Hotel President is almost completed and is expected to be finished next year, while the stylish new Protea Hotel Victoria Junction reopened in September and the completely overhauled Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge opened doors this month.

Bryer said the cash injection into African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel would affect several areas of the property, but the bulk of the expenditure would be on a new 240-seater multi-use conference centre. This brings to ten the number of meetings venues in the hotel. The property already has three world-class boardrooms and a multi-purpose function room with a seating capacity of 60; the hotel will offer 38 individually controlled plasma screens and a total of 17 breakaway rooms when combining the existing venues and the new conference centre. Like the existing boardrooms, the new conference venue will be equipped with top-of-the-range technology including display screens and audio-visual equipment, as well as high speed Wi-Fi connectivity. A full range of secretarial services will also be offered.

Additional improvements on the property will cover an upgrade of the rooftop swimming pool area, the Judges Lounge, an increase in size of the gourmet restaurant Savour and a R2.5m revamp of Murano Bar, which features thousands of murano crystal links hanging over the circular bar. The hotel is also constructing a children’s facility with Astroturf, a variety of Playstation and Wii consoles.

Six penthouses are also being lavishly upgraded to add to the hotel’s room stock. The penthouses, – 3 three-bedroom, 2 two-bedroom and 1 one-bedroom – are aimed at top dignitaries, VIP travellers and the long stay market, particularly the production industry, and combine the comforts of home with the service and gourmet food excellence found in world-class hotels.

Bryer cited the latest STR Global research figures that showed the South African industry at large took a major knock on averaged YTD occupancy of minus 5.6% year on year, while Protea’s occupancy actually increased by 1.6% over the same period.

Bryer said the decision to add additional conference and meeting venues at African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel was based on demand for the superior deluxe product and quality conference venues in the area and as a result the hotel already had substantial forward bookings for when it opens later next month. “The hotel’s location in the heart of the City Bowl, just a stone’s throw from Parliament and numerous corporate headquarters means demand for conference venues there is high. African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel will service these conferences to the highest standards and we foresee all the meetings rooms doing brisk trade in the coming year.”