The Cresta Group, which runs several hotel outlets across the country, this week said it is embarking on an expansion drive following a P105 million refurbishment programme, including the relaunch of the famous President Hotel last year.
The company says the refurbishment of the hotel, nicknamed ‘Press’, was one of the most eagerly awaited events in the domestic hospitality sector on the eve of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be held in South Africa.
Head of Marketing at Cresta Marakanelo, Patrick Chivese, told Sunday Standard that the original property of ‘Press’ was built in 1966 and underwent a series of upgrades in the late 70s and again in 1983.
The President Hotel has long been a favourite for business travelers and for many years was the preferred hotel for business in Gaborone.
“The decision to reinvent the property and its offering was a radical but necessary step in a growing market where the competition is fierce. The group has capitalised on the hotel’s history and reputation, and catapulted it into a new era,” said Chivese.
“We are very excited by the new looks of the already completed refurbishments of President and Thapama hotels and believe the markets will embrace the Cresta experience,” he added.
In its stable, the group, which also operates hotels in the SADC region, owns President Hotel, Bosele in Selebi Phikwe, Rileys in Maun, Thapama and Marang in Feancistown, and Cresta Botsalo in Palapye.
Chivese noted that Cresta is creating high quality hotels that will offer the best of African hospitality in the face of growing business and tourism markets ahead of 2010.
“We are putting money into developments that will capitalise on the global business interest that is certain to burgeon after the 2010 event. Among these is the addition of the construction of state-of- the-art conference and meeting facilities, a contemporary bar and the upgrade of Chatters restaurant, a destination cocktail bar and a fitness area at Cresta Lodge,” he said.
He noted that work has also started at Rileys Hotel in Maun and is scheduled for completion in September 2009. The hotel will have a completely new restaurant overlooking the Thamalakane River and, undoubtedly, this will become the finest dinning facility in the area.
He added that a lot of thoughts have been put into the designs, amenities and the sensory experience of the hotels. Time-saving and convenience are important for the business traveler, while luxury is important for the holidaymaker.
“The refurbishment of our hotels comes at a time when tourism is fast becoming a second GDP earner to our economy after minerals.”
“After these refurbishments, the Cresta hotels feature the latest in up market trends, from luxurious fabrics, welcoming reception areas, high-tech and pampering extras, and emphasis on food and beverages. Conference facilities, fitness centers and exclusive cocktail bars.”
Everything about these refurbishments is geared to appeal to five senses. D├®cor includes many concepts and ideas that set the hotel apart as a destination, rather just a place to stay and do business.
He also noted that Cresta is also investing a lot of money in our staff by giving them the much needed training and exposure. The company believes in developing skills internally, which attracts people to the business with a view to being groomed and promoted.
“Hotels have become more than just a place to stop over during a city break and are becoming retreats for both business and leisure travelers. We have recognised this trend and continue to roll out facilities in our establishments that match the lifestyle requirements of all our guests,” he said.