Minor opens regional office in Southern Africa

The Minor Hotel Group is consolidating its growing presence in Africa with the opening of a regional office representing the group’s Southern Africa portfolio. Located in Johannesburg, the new regional office will represent the 10 properties in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia, and bring together team members from various business functions including operations, sales, marketing, finance and HR. MHG currently has a portfolio of 26 properties in seven countries in Southern and East Africa, with three of its brands represented – Anantara, AVANI and Elewana Collection. PER AQUUM, the group’s boutique luxury brand, will be added early next year when Essque Zalu Zanzibar is rebranded. At the beginning of July, five hotels in Southern Africa were rebranded to MHG’s upscale AVANI brand. The five properties form part of the portfolio in which MHG invested a total of $60 million in their strategic partnership with Sun International, announced in August last year. MHG’s investment resulted in the group owning a stake in properties in Zambia, Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia. The 212-room Zambezi Sun in Zambia has been rebranded to AVANI Victoria Falls Resort; the 196-room Gaborone Sun in Botswana has become AVANI Gaborone Resort & Casino; the 158-room Lesotho Sun and 105-room Maseru Sun, both in Lesotho, have been rebranded to AVANI Lesotho Hotel & Casino and AVANI Maseru Hotel respectively; and the 173-room Kalahari Sands in Namibia has reflagged to AVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino. The sixth property in the portfolio, the Royal Livingstone Resort, will not be rebranded and is being marketed through Anantara’s distribution channels. Since the partnership was formed last year, both companies’ core strengths have been leveraged, with MHG assuming the hotel management, marketing and distribution of the properties, while Sun International has continued to manage the on-property casino operations. In April, MHG announced its first foray into North Africa through a new partnership with Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, to develop two new Anantara resorts to open in 2017 – the 93-room Anantara Tozeur Resort in the south-west of Tunisia and the 230-room Anantara Al Houara Tangier Resort in northern Morocco.