At the beginning of the weekend (19 June 2020), it was announced that Marriott was to stop operating three of its properties as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic – Mount Grace in Magaliesburg, The Edward hotel in Durban, and Protea Hotel Hazyview. Yesterday, on the 21st of June, Tsogo Sun announced that it will be taking over Marriott’s share in the hotels and bringing them under Tsogo Sun management.
Tsogo Sun Hotels via its subsidiary Hospitality Property Fund owns a controlling stake in the three hotels, which Marriott is terminating its relationship with. “We remain committed to these properties and have full faith in their viability post the Covid-19 pandemic and are delighted that we will be able to bring them under the Tsogo management portfolio and fully integrate them into our distribution and management network once the conditions for their re-activation are achieved,” notes Tsogo Sun’s press release.
All three of the hotels are based in areas that rely on tourism, an area that has been one of the hardest hit in South Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic. “With the recent announcement by President Ramaphosa of a relaxation of lock down regulations several of our hotels have opened but are operating on limited capacity and will remain so until demand patterns and flight activities in both the domestic and ultimately the international markets begin to normalise,” notes the press release. “However, we continue to plan for a phased reactivation of properties, with the
full portfolio expected to be open within twelve to eighteen months and will now include these three iconic properties in our planning.”
Marcel Von Aulock, CEO of Tsogo Sun Hotels, says “these are three great hotels. The Mount Grace in Magaliesburg was developed by the Brand family and was the sister hotel to the Grace in Rosebank, which we acquired and restored in 2015 and now operate as 54 on Bath. Magaliesburg is a beautiful area and has great domestic and international tourism potential, as well as strong demand for conferencing, weddings and shorter family getaways with its close proximity to Johannesburg.”
“The Edward is a landmark on the Durban Beach front where we already have a strong presence. The hotel has a 111-year history, beautiful facilities and will add something different to our portfolio in that node. Lastly Hazyview is on the key tourist route through Mpumalanga on the doorstep of the Kruger National Park. We have the Sabi River Sun right up the road and are currently redoing the chalets and the golf course at that property. The addition of this hotel in the area will allow us to broaden the offering we have for the local and foreign markets which will return to Kruger when things normalise.”