ANEW Hotels & Resorts, one of South Africa’s leading hotel groups, has managed to thrive amid a global pandemic. The company has expanded its hotel offerings, announcing the addition of the 11th property to the ANEW portfolio, ANEW Hotel Centurion.
In addition and in collaboration with Fieldspace Property Group, ANEW Hotel Centurion (previously Protea Hotel by Marriott Pretoria Centurion), is undergoing an extensive refurbishment and will re-open 1 May 2021. The refurbishment will be hotel-wide, from the rooms and apartments to public spaces like lifts, restaurants and conference venues. Set to be the group’s flagship hotel, ANEW Hotel Centurion is ideally located in Centurion, a growing node with many exciting developments for business and leisure. It is also situated just 100 metres from the Gautrain Station.
According to CEO Clinton Armour, the brand’s success is attributed to its people and good, old-fashioned values. “I feel like it’s really about the people. During the lockdown period, we worked together to ensure our hotels were kept alive and that our staff retained their jobs. We wanted to keep our people positive, even without knowing what the financial situation would be like in the months to follow.”
Alan Campbell, Group Brand and Marketing Manager at ANEW Hotels & Resorts, says “Our business is people-centric and committed to continual improvement. We thankfully had the commitment of the Armour family, who believed in what we're doing and in the growth of the business. They were prepared to invest in our people and properties and expand our offerings to the South African market. When your staff can look at leadership taking that direction, it makes it a lot easier to buy into the fact that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And that makes a huge difference.”
Partnership with Fieldspace Property Group
When speaking on the brand’s collaboration with Fieldspace Property Group, Armour states that their values simply aligned. “We’re a hands-on, family-owned business just like them, which makes for a dynamic and mutually beneficial relationship.”
He continues, “ANEW will be a lot more hands-on and focused on attention to details to make sure the hotel has its own identity. We’re also looking to work a lot closer with Fieldspace to build a relationship with them around our company values and to hopefully expand the relationship to new opportunities in the future. Local businesses need to support one another, but it needs to make business sense for everyone involved. This is something we believe will be achieved through this partnership.”
Scott Field, the CEO of Fieldspace Property Group, agrees with this sentiment. “Our business is based on the mutual success of our tenants. We thrive in partnering with businesses like ANEW and embrace the chance to work with small businesses, where accountability and entrepreneurial thinking are at the forefront.”
“We have confidence in the fundamentals of the ANEW business. Their longevity shows that they are here to stay and positioned for growth. The fact that ANEW has remained open during the COVID-19 lockdown is a testament to their commitment to their clients, staff and other stakeholders.”
Lots to be learnt from this experience
While the pandemic was a major blow to the hospitality industry, Armour believes there was a lot to be learnt from this experience. “We’re all still a bit shell-shocked, but we’ve certainly learnt from this experience and have already started applying these learnings to our business.”
He continues, “COVID got us to reset and realise that people still want to feel important and have that human interaction at hotels, so the old-school way of running hotels is more prevalent now. We also believe customers want an experience, so if our products can really create authentic and unique experiences, locals won’t need to look outside of South Africa.”
Positive about the future
While the outlook for the future remains positive, Campbell encourages local businesses to collaborate and look for ways to synergise and support each other during these tough times. “Businesses need to work together to create offerings that speak to the times we're in. Our priority is our relationships with businesses and clients, and I trust that in the spirit of where we're going, those relationships will get stronger and lead to great things on the other side of it. ”
Armour concludes, “We’re extremely hopeful that South Africa’s tourism sector will fully recover in the future and we’re excited to be a part of the journey.”