Mbabane - International hotel group Hilton Worldwide has signed a deal with the Swaziland Public Service Pensions Fund to build a new 130-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel in the Swazi capital, the hotel group said on Tuesday.

Hilton Worldwide, the world’s fastest-growing hospitality company, announced the deal on Monday.

“It is always exciting to have an opportunity to bring our brands into a country for the first time, and we are delighted to be introducing Hilton Garden Inn to Swaziland,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president of development, Europe and Africa, for Hilton Worldwide. The portfolio, he said, was fast approaching 20 000 rooms in Africa, which translated into growth for the hotel group on the continent.

The new hotel would feature 245 square meters of dedicated event space with 105 square meters of pre-function space, as well as a large fitness centre and outdoor swimming pool.

Cleopas Dlamini, chief executive officer of the Swaziland Public Service Pensions Fund said: “We are pleased to have signed an agreement with Hilton Worldwide to open a Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Mbabane. By partnering with Hilton, we look forward to maximising performance by utilising the company’s global presence and loyal customer base, which will allow us to welcome a wide range of travellers.”

“As we expand with more Hilton Garden Inn locations across Africa - we see an incredible opportunity to establish our portfolio as the continent’s leading mid-market brand - offering travellers a network of trusted hotels in diverse locations including Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia and now, Swaziland,” said Adrian Kurre, global head of Hilton Garden Inn.

The new hotel was earmarked to be built in Mbabane’s central business district, on Mhlambanyatsi Road, which is one of the city’s the main arterial routes.

While Hilton did not indicate when construction work on the hotel would commence, the hotel was expected to be operational by 2017.