Marriott International revealed that due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it had no choice but to cease operations of the three hotels, including the century-old Protea Hotel Edward. Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency/ANA
Marriott International revealed that due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it had no choice but to cease operations of the three hotels, including the century-old Protea Hotel Edward. Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency/ANA

Tsogo Sun rescues three iconic SA hotels after Marriott ceases operations

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Jun 22, 2020

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Three famed Marriott International properties meant to close down due to the impact of Covid-19 will be revived by the Tsogo Sun, the hotel group revealed over the weekend. Tsogo Sun announced plans to take over the Mount Grace in Magaliesburg, the Edward in Durban and the Protea Hotel Hazyview in Mpumalanga following Marriott International plans to close the iconic properties. 

Marriott International revealed that due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it had no choice but to cease operations of the three hotels. 

“The hotels will be handed back to the property owner, Hospitality Property Fund. The impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality industry has been unprecedented. Travel restrictions and social distancing efforts around the world have resulted in weaker demand and economic uncertainty,” Marriott International revealed in a statement. 

Tsogo Sun Hotels, via its subsidiary Hospitality Property Fund, owns a controlling stake in the three hotels. 

Marcel Von Aulock, CEO of Tsogo Sun Hotels, said the group remained committed to these properties, and have full faith in their viability post the Covid-19 pandemic. He expressed his delight in the hotels being apart of the Tsogo management portfolio. He revealed why the properties were attractive for international and local travellers. 

“These are three great hotels. The Mount Grace in Magaliesburg was developed by the Brand family and was the sister hotel to the Grace in Rosebank, which we acquired and restored in 2015 and now operate as 54 on Bath. Magaliesburg is a beautiful area and has great domestic and international tourism potential, as well as strong demand for conferencing, weddings and shorter family getaways with its close proximity to Johannesburg. 

“The Edward is a landmark on the Durban Beachfront where we already have a strong presence. The hotel has a 111-year history, beautiful facilities and will add something different to our portfolio in that node. 

“Lastly, Hazyview is on the key tourist route through Mpumalanga on the doorstep of the Kruger National Park. We have the Sabi River Sun right up the road and are currently redoing the chalets and the golf course at that property. The addition of this hotel in the area will allow us to broaden the offering we have for the local and foreign markets which will return to Kruger when things normalise,” he said. 

Von Aulock said the hotel group will work with Marriott during the process. He said the hotel has mobilised resources to ensure the properties are handed over, secured and maintained while they remain closed. 

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