Tourism in different way

Artist’s impression of the new Protea Hotel Fire&Ice under construction in Menlyn, Pretoria.

Contractors have already broken ground in Summit Place, opposite the Menlyn Park Mall in Pretoria, for the newest Protea Hotel Fire & Ice!

Protea Hospitality Group chief executive, Arthur Gillis, made the announcement last week, saying the construction heralded a triumphant turning point in South African hospitality after the difficulties that had plagued the industry in recent years.

“We always knew the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! brand would grow. We were waiting for the perfect time and the perfect place. Now is the perfect time and there is no doubt that Menlyn is the perfect place.”

Summit Place is a new commercial precinct that is being developed opposite the popular Pretoria shopping centre and the hotel will be the flagship property in the development.

Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn will open in the first quarter of 2014. Gillis says the hotel is designed for travellers who are young at heart who enjoy the energetic urban vibe of city life.

“It will conform to the brand essence of Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! being a space which is experiential, young thinking and edgy.”

The hotel will have 178 rooms, a restaurant, a bar and lifestyle spaces, a conference centre, a swimming pool, and about 220 underground parking bays. It will have 10 suites and 40 inter-leading rooms.

Gillis says the one question he is asked repeatedly is what will the hotel look like? Will it be like Protea Hotel Fire Mieszkania, or more like the hotel in Melrose Arch?

The answer, he says, is neither.

“The product offering is true to the concept of Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! which is about creating exciting spaces and experiences that drive talkability and engagement with our guests while meeting and exceeding their expectations through service.

“The hotel development will have a focus on greening and sustainable practices. All the entertainment areas are on one level, so the vibe and energy of the experience will be felt from check in till check out. The pool deck is the main focal point. It will have private pods with fireplaces ideal for socialising, meeting and entertaining.”

Gillis says the conference centre will also be a key facility for this hotel because of the increasing demand for conferencing, training, events and launches.

“The conference centre will be a double storey facility with two large multi-use conference venues accommodating up to 450 delegates. The ground floor will have a ramp to allow for easy access for product and vehicle launches and there are also four board or meeting rooms ideal for strategic meetings, board meetings or breakaway rooms.”

Gillis says the overall feel of the hotel would be stylish, with a focus on comfort and ’urbanised living’.

“The best description I can offer at the moment is that it’ll feel romantic and sensual. But as for what it’ll actually look like? Watch this space,” says Gillis.

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