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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

News24.com | Hyatt, Millat Investments eye two new long-stay hotels in Joburg

Extended stay is a concept growing in popularity. (Pic: Millat Investments)

  • Millat Investments and Hyatt Hotels have partnered to build more hotels – this time in Johannesburg. 
  • Millat opened the Hyatt Regency Cape Town in the city centre in December last year. More recently, it opened the Hyatt House Johannesburg Sandton. Millat plans to open another – in Rosebank, Johannesburg – by February next year.
  • The hotels are capitalising on a new trend – sparked by remote working – that sees tourists favouring longer stays.

Millat Investments is approaching its goal of opening three
hotels in South Africa despite the challenges the pandemic brought to the
tourism and hospitality sector.

With global hotel brand Hyatt, Millat opened the Hyatt
Regency Cape Town in the city centre in December last year. More recently, it opened the Hyatt House Johannesburg Sandton.

The 62-room hotel is the first under Hyatt’s extended stay
brand to open in Africa. Millat plans to open another – in Rosebank,
Johannesburg – by February next year.

The three hotels represent a total investment of close to R300 million by Millat Investments and signify faith in South Africa’s tourism industry, according to CEO Hamza Farooqui. They are operated under a management agreement with Hyatt. 

The extended stay brand offers features like a kitchenette
and a laundry service. Guests usually stay for longer than three to four
days, but also have the option of coming for just one night.

Millat added features they believed would suit the SA market,
including restaurants. Attention was also paid to
outdoor settings.

“We own the properties and we believe the global brands
add the execution capacity. We now have a significant relationship with Hyatt. We
are working on a significant pipeline, which will also lead to job
creation,” says Farooqui.  

“I realised the importance of having a global brand on
board,” Farooqui adds. Hyatt has hotels in more than 70 countries.

Farooqui believes the trend of longer stays will continue
due to people having become used to working differently.

“[Travellers] want to feel that they are experiencing
what the local destination has to offer,” he says.

“The days of just offering a cheap stay with a quick
bacon and eggs breakfast are gone. Travellers want to stay at a global brand,
but with local authenticity. The recovery we are seeing is in a growing leisure
demand underpinned by this authenticity aspect.”

He believes it’s essential to stay abreast of global trends. 

“SA has a great story and our building of these brands
just a small part. It is not just about ‘me my hotel, my business’, but about
being part of an ecosystem,” he says. 

Speaking at official opening of the Hyatt House Johannesburg
Sandton, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said the economic recovery of the Gauteng City Region
would be driven by ten high-growth sectors, of which tourism and hospitality would be one. For every tourist who visits Gauteng, he said, there is potential to
create 11 jobs along the value chain.  

“The private sector is an invaluable partner in our
enterprise of job creation and economic inclusion. It is for this reason that
we welcome the partnership between the Millat Investment Group and the global
brand, the Hyatt Group.” 

James Mackreides
'Mac' is a short tempered former helicopter pilot , now a writer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Loves dogs, the outdoors and staying far away from the ocean.

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