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Hotel survives testing times

premierhotels insideIn the run up to the FIFA World Cup in 2010, many companies in the hospitality sector scrambled to upgrade and built new facilities in anticipation of the huge number of people expected to visit South Africa during the soccer tournament.

One hotel group that saw an opportunity to expand was Premier Hotels & Resorts, which invested in building a new hotel close to one of Africa's busiest airports, the OR Tambo International Airport in Ekurhuleni, on the eastern border of Johannesburg.

With over 20 years' experience in developing and managing hotels, conference centres, boutique concept hotels and restaurants, Premier Hotels & Resorts has a range of luxury hotel and lodge accommodation and conference venues. The group owns hotels in four provinces: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. From a humble 40 bedrooms, the group's portfolio has grown to encompass a number of venues offering more than 1 354 bedrooms and employing over 800 people.

With the help of the Industrial Development Corporation, Premier Hotels & Resorts opened the Premier Hotel OR Tambo in March 2010, in time for the FIFA World Cup. It has 275 rooms consisting of 49 suites, 182 deluxe rooms, seven executive suites and 34 king deluxe rooms. The 49 suites have their own lounges, and there is wi-fi in the hotel's public areas. Other facilities include a swimming pool deck, gym, restaurant and two bars. Similar to the group's other hotels, the Premier Hotel OR Tambo has a large conference centre, with nine conference rooms and boardrooms. It is able to hold up to 800 delegates in its state-of-the-art facilities.

Designed in contemporary, African style using natural materials such as stone and geometric glass and aluminium, approximately half of the rooms have a view of the airport, with a "bay-window" effect. All rooms offer services and facilities such as laundry and valet, 24-hour reception service, concierge, in-room dining, business centre, satellite television and internet, and there are 120 secure undercover parking bays.

In addition, the Emerald spa, opening soon, will provide guests with a tranquil oasis of calm. Premier Hotels & Resorts managing director Samuel Nassimov says great care has been taken to ensure every aspect of personal comfort, safety and enjoyment of the services and facilities is realised. "Our operating ethos is simple and representative of the uncompromising passion and never waiving stance we place upon customer care."

The 180-seat restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and the Pool Bar has direct access to the pool. It has a superb selection of wines, as well as local and international spirits and liqueurs.

The accommodation sector in South Africa suffered a World Cup hangover after the tournament, which had a debilitating effect on hotel room occupancy rates. However, Premier Hotels prides itself on its proven longstanding reputation to deliver superior services, and has withstood the testing times, says Nassimov.

Premier Hotels & Resorts is exhibiting at Tourism Indaba 2014 in the accommodation sector category. The tourism conference runs from 10 to 12 May at the Durban International Convention Centre.

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