Accountants cleaning rooms – how a local hotel group survived the lockdown and grew

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The rooftop pool deck of ANEW Hotel Green Point, the group’s first property in the Western Cape.

  • ANEW Hotel Green Point is the first hotel of the hotel group in the Western Cape.
  • In November, it also launched two renowned hotels in Gauteng.
  • The group’s leadership shares their take on what helped them get through the pandemic without having to put any properties on the back burner.

The South African hotel group ANEW Hotels & Resorts has once again expanded its real estate portfolio by opening its first hotel in the Western Cape.

What was once the Vib Best Western Hotel in Green Point, Cape Town, has been renamed the ANEW Hotel Green Point.

ANEW Hotels & Resorts owns and operates various properties in South Africa, including Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the North West. His vision is to grow the brand by acquiring additional properties and management contracts in strategic locations.

In November, the group also added two other properties to its portfolio, namely the ANEW Hotel Parktonian – formerly Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Parktonian – in Braamfontein, Johannesburg; and ANEW Hotel Roodepoort – formerly Protea Hotel Roodepoort.

“The Covid-19 pandemic was completely unforeseen and our income fell to next to nothing overnight. However, we have decided not to put any of our hotels on hold. When you close a hotel, you kill this business and everything around it and we didn’t want to do that, ”CEO Clinton Armor said.

Ran on a low budget

“At the end of the day, our saving grace has been to have kept our hotels open and to have been successful in having clients – at one point even a group of nurses. Some of our properties have performed well and others no. We operated them on a limited budget. Sometimes there were just essential on-site workers, but as a group we were able to interact throughout the pandemic and were able to make arrangements to continue to pay salaries. ”

ANEW’s director of operations Kevin Burley said the group had managed to secure essential services – including a group of nurses – during the strict lockdown and offered a few rooms for those needing to self-isolate.

He was very impressed with the ‘roll up your sleeves-and-do-the-job’ attitude of the staff.

“We had accountants who cleaned hotel rooms, waiters who made the beds, and receptionists who helped with room service. With a small staff, everyone came together to get things done. There was a real spirit of collaboration. We’re a really big family, and I think that’s our success, ”Burley recalls.

According to Alan Campbell, ANEW’s director of sales and marketing, one of the biggest changes they’ve seen is in delivery times. Previously, customers booked around 28 days in advance. Now they tend to wait around four days in advance due to the uncertainties created by the pandemic. The domestic leisure market also appears to take place mostly on weekends.

Crucial flexibility

“Flexibility is crucial and being available in all the channels that consumers go to for information and reservations. This is why, during the pandemic, we worked on our technological side, for example self-registrations. We also wanted to make it as secure as possible. possible for our staff, ”says Campbell. “What has really helped us is that we were born and raised in South Africa. We understand the needs of the local market.”

The group is committed to continuing to operate in South Africa.

“This is where we want to be and develop our brand. We are looking to develop further, but in the right way and at the right pace. Our market mix typically consists of local leisure tourism and local government and business travel. not anticipate a large number of international tourists before the end of next year, ”says Armor.


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