January 26, 2017

The Pearl of Africa gets a Pearl of Africa Hotel

Dami Adepoju

The Rezidor Hotel Group just announced a new addition to the growing list of properties it operates in Africa.  The Pearl of Africa Hotel Kampala will open in the second quarter of 2017, under the group’s luxury Quorvus Collection.

Rezidor launched the Quorvus Collection brand in 2014 to compete on the lines of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and the Luxury Collection (formerly of Starwood).  Quorvus Collection is defined as “a new generation of expertly curated luxury hotels inspired by the lifestyle and sensibilities of the modern luxury consumer.”  In 2016, the group announced the signing of its first property under this brand in Africa – the Emerald Grand Hotel & Spa, Lagos.

Uganda is called the Pearl of Africa after Winston Churchill’s reference in his 1908 book, “My African Journey.”

The Pearl of Africa property is owned by AYA Investment Group (a locally-owned business conglomerate based in Uganda) and will be operated by Rezidor.  The new Quorvus Collection hotel will join other internationally- and regionally-operated brands in the city such as CityBlue, Protea, Sheraton and Serena.  And according to the 2016 Pipeline Report put out by W Hospitality Group, Kampala has over 1,200 hotel rooms currently in its pipeline.  Some of the signed deals include brands such as Radisson Blu, Hilton Garden Inn and InterContinental, and are scheduled to open between 2017 and 2020.

The 296-room, 23-story property is located on top of Nakasero Hill, the city’s central business district.  In addition to the rooms, the hotel will feature a 740 square meter ballroom, nine meeting rooms, two boardrooms, a business center, three food & beverage outlets (including an all-day dining restaurant, sports and pool bar), gym and wellness facilities, two outdoor swimming pools, one indoor swimming pool, children’s club, retail outlets, squash and volleyball courts, and a grill steakhouse.

The project was originally signed in 2006 to be operated as a Hilton, and construction commenced ahead of the 2007 Commonwealth Summit, which the country was hosting. Delays set in and construction was suspended – reportedly, funding and administrative issues held up the project.

Mohammed Hamid, the Chairman of AYA Investment Group commented on selecting Rezidor as the strategic partner to operate the hotel, noting that “…Rezidor has already proven their capacity to successfully operate international brands across Africa and has a very good understanding of the continent’s opportunities and challenges in the travel and tourism industry.”


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