While many developers have responded to the construction sector downturn by taking a cautious approach and adopting a wait-and-see attitude, one company bucking this trend within the hospitality sector is Premier Hotels & Resorts that has just finished building its 23rd establishment in Thohoyandou, the former capital of the old Venda state.
It has chosen to fill a gap in the Limpopo area by growing its footprint into a new node in South Africa with its 4-star hotel due to open during 2024.
Undoubtedly to be the biggest 4-star hotel in the far Northern part of Limpopo Province in the Vhembe District that borders with Zimbabwe in an ever-green scenic view of Thohoyandou and a stone throw from the Kruger National Park’s Punda Maria gate, the hotel will be a major milestone in the tourism sector and will serve as a catalyst to many economic developments that existed and are still planned for the region.
It is designed to serve both institutional travel demands and local business interest in a state-of-the art conferencing venue.
“Our decision to forge ahead with this development demonstrates our confidence in the Venda community and that we believe in the long-term future and economic viability of the area”, says Samuel Nassimov, MD of Premier Hotels. “We strongly believe in the upliftment of skills which is why we have partnered with the main contractor, African Century Group, by providing opportunities to the local construction workers for growth, learning and upskilling who might not have had the experience in building a 4-star hotel.”
“Never before have the construction workers in the area had the chance to learn the skills needed to build a hotel of this stature which is why we’ve chosen to collaborate with Premier Hotels & Resorts,” says Lady Masia, head of the construction company African Century Group. “We approached them to be the management & marketing company due to the depths of experience they have had in the hospitality industry, much needed in order to make the hotel a success.
A project of this magnitude is critical in creating job opportunities. During the construction phase, in the region of 480 jobs varying from unskilled local construction labour through to highly skilled artisans, project managers and the like. When the hotel officially opens it will also employ 85 permanent workers, 30-40 contract/ part time staff improving the livelihood of the local families.
The Chief of Venda said that he wasn’t aware of any other privately funded developments of the scale of this hotel, that’s currently under construction and progressing at an aggressive pace with the IDC in funding the build.
The key factor in selecting the site was the hotel’s visibility as it is being built on a rise enabling it to be seen from the recently built mall, sports stadium built to celebrate the independence of Venda and University of Venda – a big catalyst in the area – as well as giving guests superb views of the town and surrounding mountains.
This injection of money will also undoubtedly influence further future development in the region as well as attract trade and investment into Thohoyandou, serving as the gateway to the Kruger National Park and Zimbabwe.
The Premier Hotels development on the north-eastern edge of the town will be a modern build, with a touch of African flair, very similar to its OR Tambo hotel. The facade will be stone as opposed to brick with numerous environmentally friendly aspects.
With close to 8697m2 of usable space, the hotel will accommodate 120 rooms, conference space to host up to 450 delegates for conferences for local business in the area or celebratory functions, business suite, bar & restaurant with wine bar, outdoor pool and gym facility.
This is not the last development we will see from the town and Limpopo province, but the 4-star hotel will definitely change the look of the town, known to have the largest baobab tree in Africa for those venturing into the Kruger and surrounding tourist hotspots.