Tuesday 15, September 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald: Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) continues to expand its footprint across the African continent by announcing the signing of two new properties in South Africa, in partnership with The Amdec Group.  Expected to open by February 2018, the 150-room Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and 200-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch will be located in the Melrose Arch precinct in Johannesburg. The two properties represent the company’s signature brand, Marriott Hotels, as well as its upscale serviced apartments brand, Marriott Executive Apartments, and will be the first Marriott-branded properties under development in South Africa.  

“Africa is important to Marriott International’s growth strategy because of its rapid economic growth, growing middle class and youth population, as well as the expansion of international flights onto the continent,” explains Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa for Marriott International. “With over 850 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, there are enormous opportunities there.”

Marriott became the largest hotel operator in Africa following its acquisition of South Africa’s leading hotels group, Protea Hotels, in 2014. Over the next five years, the company expects the Marriott International brands, including the Protea brand, will expand from 10 African countries to 18, involving the development of an additional 38 properties across 7 brands.

James Wilson, CEO of The Amdec Group, owners of the iconic Melrose Arch mixed-use precinct, is excited to be partnering with Marriott International, commenting, “Melrose Arch is a magnificent multi-faceted new urban quarter and the perfect location for Marriott’s first two signature brand properties in South Africa. At Melrose Arch our focus is very much on creating an unforgettable experience with a vibrant atmosphere in a secure environment where people can work, shop, relax and stay. The Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch provide contemporary and innovative hospitality that adds to Melrose Arch’s current offering. 

He adds, “This partnership builds on our existing valued relationship with Marriott International established through the Protea Hotels Group’s two existing hotels at Melrose Arch, African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel and Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch. We look forward to continuing and deepening our association with Marriott International. We are confident the hotel and executive apartments will become landmarks in South Africa and appeal to travellers from all over the country, the continent and the world.”

Three new Protea Hotels have opened over the past year – the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn and the Protea Hotel Mowbray in South Africa, as well as the Protea Hotel Select Takoradi in Ghana. Further, construction has also begun on a new Protea Hotel in Zambia.

Marriott expects to complete its rollout of Marriott Rewards, the company’s loyalty programme, to its Protea portfolio by the end of 2015.  Protea guests will be able to earn and redeem Marriott Reward points across Marriott’s portfolio worldwide.  Further, the company expects an increase in travel to South Africa by the more than 50 million Marriott Rewards members from around the world.  

The Marriott Executive Apartments brand provides upscale residential living at 5 properties in the Middle East and Africa. Personalized service and the assurance of a Marriott experience allow guests to achieve what they need to in an environment that has all of the comforts of home. Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch has 200 fully furnished apartments including one, two and three bedrooms providing the space, ambience and privacy of a home away from home.

Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch has 200 fully furnished apartments including one, two and three bedrooms providing the space, ambience and privacy of a home away from home.

The Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch will also be the first African property to open that reflects the new brand transformation that Marriott Hotels has been experiencing globally since last year. This includes modernizing the brand’s overall appeal, as well as an ongoing innovation involving the Marriott Hotels brand around the world, with re-designed lobbies and public spaces known as ‘Greatrooms’.  The [reimagining] of the brand has also included introduction of mobile check-in and check-out, as well as a mobile chat application, all of which have been deployed for the next generation of travelers who blend work and play, demand style and substance, and technology that enables them to blend work and play.  Marriott Hotels has also launched a multi-year campaign called ‘Travel Brilliantly’ (www.travelbrilliantly.com); all created to amplify the brand’s dedication to the future of travel.

The Marriott Hotels brand currently has 17 hotels in seven countries across the Middle East and Africa, with almost 6,000 rooms. By 2020, the company expects to open a further 18 properties across the region, raising the room count by over 4,000 rooms.  The Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch has 150 rooms, significant conference and event facilities, accommodating up to 500 delegates.  Other facilities include a business centre and restaurant, fitness centre and outdoor pool, which can be enjoyed by the Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch guests.