Rosebank’s Hyatt to receive facelift

The five-star Hyatt Regency in Oxford road in Rosebank is due for a refurbishment to the tune of between R80 and R100m.

Hotel manager Michael McBain described the establishment as a “really mature lady in need of a nice touch up.” The hotel was established in 1995 and has had “soft” refurbishments over the years, but McBain says an extensive overhaul is now needed.

“Our neighbourhood has progressed a little bit ahead of us now. We want to focus on maximising our guest contact areas and comfort,” McBain said.

He adds the hotel has been under pressure from regular local and international guests to update its technology and to bring the establishment more in line with global standards. “Our customers are looking forward to it. We have a loyal and strong international base.”

One of the items on the refurbishment agenda will be the rebuilding of the walkway between the hotel and the Gautrain station about 100 metres away. “The traffic between the train and the hotel is phenomenal. We have to redo the whole walkway to make it more pedestrian and user friendly.”

The hotel’s banqueting business has soared since the gautrain opened in October 2011. “Rosebank is now the most central eating spot for Pretoria, Centurion, Midrand, the airport, downtown Johannesburg and Sandton,” McBain said.

He added the refurbishment will also include the landscaping and paving of the drop off area at the entrance to the hotel.

McBain says the focus will be on guest contact areas like public spaces and lounges where guests fraternise with staff and the public in general. Also included in the project will be the hotel’s 244 bedrooms, executive level and private rooms on the eighth and ninth floors. “The focus will be on the day to day running of the rooms, the showers, the TV systems, the beds, carpets and window frames. All the stuff that makes your customer experience more comfortable.”

McBain says the refurbishment has already begun with the sprucing up of the spa, swimming pool, and the pamper and “wet areas” on the sixth floor of the adjacent The Firs shopping mall.
He says some parts of the interior have to be brought in line in terms of local legislation pertaining to emergency situations. Many of the hotel’s corporate clients’ risk teams evaluate these from time to time to ensure the safety of VIPs. “Our banqueting business is exceptionally popular and this will complement that to make sure it’s a safe and secure environment,” McBain said.

He added the biggest challenge was going to be the “tired” reception area which needed a specialised skills set in building the front desk and doing the woodwork and tiling. “When we do what will depend on the availability of contractors and what the market and business will allow me to do,” McBain said.

He says the renovation of the restaurant and kitchens will probably only be tackled in 2013 as it requires more planning, interior design and layout. The project is expected to take between two and three years. The hotel is owned by Investec and is managed by the Hyatt.


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