Regional hotel operators, such as South African-based BON Hotels, are also doubling down on their expansion plans in Africa. The hospitality company owns and manages hotel properties across Africa, and recently opened its latest hotel in Abuja, Nigeria. BON Hotels was started in 2012 and today operates hotels in South Africa, Nigeria, Namibia, Ethiopia and Uganda. It operates its West African portfolio, which mostly consists of Nigeria, under BON Hotels International West Africa. BON Hotels International West Africa is headed by the founder and former Chairman of Protea Hotels, Otto Stehlik, who serves as the Executive Chairman.
The BON Hotel Grand Pela Abuja opened in December 2016 and features 87 rooms, an in-house spa and beauty salon, a modern gym, conference center, 4 bars and a lounge, 2 swimming pools, and complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel. The conference facilities has 3 meeting rooms and can accommodate up to 300 persons. Executive Director of BON Hotels International West Africa, Bernard Cassar, commented at the hotel opening saying, “We are very excited to acquire BON Hotel Grand Pela – she is a good fit for our portfolio, and in line with our focus on positioning our properties as 4-star, international, boutique-style, full-service hotels, at affordable prices.” The hotel owner, Chairman of Grand Pela Suites, Peter Chukwudi Nwakeze, added that he built the hotel out of a desire to contribute to the structural and social development of Abuja.
The Grand Pela joins other properties currently being operated by the group in Nigeria, including the BON Hotel Grand Towers Abuja, BON Hotel Stratton Asokoro, Abuja, BON Hotel Abuja, BON Hotel Delta, Protea Ikeja, Ikeja GRA, and Protea Victoria Island, bringing the existing number of hotel rooms operated in the country to 444. Almost all the hotels completed a refurbishment programme in 2016. The company also announced that it took over management of four Protea hotels in the country – the Protea Victoria Island and Protea Ikeja in Lagos, as well as the Protea Delta and the Protea Abuja (with the latter two rebranded to BON Hotels). The group aims to compete well in the market based on its service offerings, delivery and price, and to cater to domestic and international business travelers, as well as leisure travelers.
Currently under construction and scheduled for 2018 opening are the BON Hotel Apo, Abuja, BON Hotel Ekiti and BON Hotel Owerri, which will bring the Nigerian portfolio to 10 hotels. The company plans to build hotels in 37 locations in Nigeria, with joint venture partner, Africa Alliance Group, over the next few years. Cassar commented on the development plan, saying “With many larger groups exiting their business interests in Nigeria, we believe that now is the time to support the country that has given us decades of success and we will continue to add value to the local hospitality industry, our guests, our staff, suppliers, the communities in which we serve, and of course our owners.”