Tsogo Sun’s new dual-band 19-storey hotel in the Mother City’s flourishing and vibrant City Bowl celebrated its opening on 28 September with the Director General of Tourism, Mr Victor Tharage, delivering the keynote address, along with speeches by Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille and Premier Helen Zille, and many other local dignitaries and celebrities in attendance.
The R700-million development incorporates two economy hotels, the select service SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl with 202 bedrooms and StayEasy Cape Town City Bowl with 302 bedrooms, and represents Tsogo Sun’s continued commitment to the city of Cape Town, bringing the total number of rooms operated by the group in the city centre to over 2 000, spread across six hotels.
In addition to the two new hotels, Tsogo Sun’s other hotels in the greater Cape Town area include Southern Sun The Cullinan, Southern Sun Waterfront, Southern Sun Cape Sun, Garden Court Nelson Mandela Boulevard, SunSquare Cape Town Gardens, Southern Sun Newlands, StayEasy Century City, and three SUN1 properties. In addition, the Tsogo Sun Group owns the Westin at the CTICC, Radisson Blu Waterfront and Protea Victoria Junction through its controlling investment in the Hospitality Property Fund.
Jacques Booysen, Group CEO of Tsogo Sun, says, “Cape Town has become a globally-competitive business and leisure destination – and tourism to the city is growing. Just last year, according to Cape Town Tourism, over half a million visitors arrived in Cape Town by air, representing an 8% year on year increase. Of these visitors, close on 84 500 were international visitors, which was a strong 29% increase on the previous year. The numbers say it all – and we were convinced that the City Bowl would be an excellent location for a major investment, particularly as this is the first large-scale new build in the Cape Town city centre for some years.”
The Cape Town City Bowl is an ideal location for easy access to innumerable attractions, as well as the now world-renowned Bree Street, which has overtaken other areas as Cape Town’s “coolest strip when it comes to eating opportunities.” The new dual-brand hotel is located on the corners of Bree, Strand and Buitengracht, offering convenient access to the beautiful surroundings, the vibrant restaurant district, Table Mountain Cable Way, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town Stadium, and Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Director General of Tourism, Victor Tharage, welcomed the new development within the heart of one of South Africa’s great cities. “It is very encouraging for tourism and our economy as a whole when the private sector, in this case, the Tsogo Sun group, recognises the value of major investment in this sector. Tourism contributes about 3% to the nation’s economy and through its growth, it adds value to the lives of many South Africans. Tsogo Sun is to be congratulated on its policy of continual investment in our cities and in its properties. This new hotel complex is providing affordable offerings for business and leisure travellers in a highly sought-after location, which will encourage visitor growth and contribute to job creation in the tourism sector.” He adds that one in every 22 people who are employed in South Africa works in the tourism sector, which is about 4,5% of the total workforce.
Booysen says that the development of two economy hotels opens access to a wider market sector as previously four- and five-star hotels were predominant in the area. “These two hotels have been developed in response to a growth trend in the mid-market hotel sector in South Africa and offer excellent style and functionality, representing the next generation of room design in this category for Tsogo and offering superb accommodation, great location and good pricing.” He emphasises the vital importance of innovation across the board in the group’s offering to ensure “that we can deliver what customers want in style and product”.
The SunSquare hotel has five banqueting and conference venues, the largest of which caterers for up to 140 delegates; a fitness centre; and a trendy Vigour & Verve casual dining offering; and the 14 Stories Rooftop Bar and pool, with a spectacular vista of almost 300o panoramic views that include the harbour, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, Table Mountain, and the stadium.
Apart from the traditional popular and varied offering in Tsogo Sun’s Vigour & Verve restaurants around the country, a special section has been developed especially for the new SunSquare City Bowl restaurant, featuring authentic specialities from the region “the way they were prepared by our ancestors” such as Uitpak Slaai, with layered salad, bacon, cheese, and soft egg; Pickled Fish, a local classic served with mosbolletjie bread; Traditional Cape Malay Lamb Bobotie, the local icon, with braised minced lamb, fragrant spices, yellow rice, and sambals; a vegetarian Cape Malay Bobotie option; Wood-fired Peri-peri Chicken featuring Portuguese and African flavours; classic Fish & Chips; Butter Chicken, with rice, roti, and sambals; Lamb Shank, slow roasted Ouma’s way, with rosemary mash and citrus gremolata; and Pan-fried Line Fish (from the Sustainable Seafood green list).
The StayEasy hotel has a dedicated breakfast restaurant and offers access to all the facilities on the complex. The project also includes undercover parking for 300 vehicles.
Patricia de Lille, Mayor of Cape Town, says, “Cape Town is proud of its growing reputation as a world-class tourist destination – and the better we get at attracting visitors, the harder we work to make sure they come back again, for another great experience. We’re impressed with the bold new development that is happening in the hospitality sector in the city by companies such as Tsogo Sun, and we have no doubt that it will contribute to the continued regeneration and progress in our lovely city.” According to PricewaterhouseCooper’s Hospitality Outlook for 2017-2021, Cape Town is the dominant tourist destination in South Africa, which flourished in 2016, with tourist attractions in the city achieving record visitor numbers during the 2016/2017 season.
Visitor numbers in the city’s main attractions, including Robben Island Museum, Kirstenbosch, Groot Constantia, Cape Point, Table Mountain, and the V&A Waterfront, all showed an increase. Based on this growth, Tsogo Sun is anticipating a strong end-of-year season for all its Cape Town hotels. According to Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, “The figures represent an enormous boost to the city’s economy, as well as an indication that the growth potential in the tourism sector remains positive. Well done to all tourism professionals and locals for welcoming our visitors with open arms.”
The new GM of the two hotels is Chandreshwar Singh, who started in the hospitality industry in 2000 and joined Tsogo Sun’s Southern Sun Waterfront hotel in 2009. He has gained valuable experience in many departments within various Tsogo Sun hotels in Cape Town and Johannesburg over the years.
Tsogo Sun’s portfolio includes over 100 hotels and 14 casino and entertainment destinations throughout South Africa, Africa, the Seychelles and Abu Dhabi. For further information, visit https://www.tsogosun.com, follow on Twitter and Instagram @TsogoSun, or like on Facebook/TsogoSun.