Gaborone Sun Hotel last week announced a re-branding exercise that will see it change its name to Avani Gaborone Hotel & Casino. This follows Minor Hotel Group’s (MHG) partnership with Sun International that was announced last year. The 4 star hotel which has 196 rooms has been operational in Botswana for close to 30 years now and is now managed by MHG.
MHG is a hotel owner, operator and investor with a portfolio of 133 hotels and resorts in 22 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa and the Indian Ocean. The group has indicated that Gaborone Sun was one of the five hotels in southern Africa that would be rebranded to its upscale AVANI brand effective July 1st this year.
“The five properties form part of the portfolio in which MHG invested a total of R679.5 million (close to P550 million) in their strategic partnership with Sun International. MHG’s investment resulted in the group owning a stake in two properties in both Zambia and Lesotho and one property in Botswana and Namibia,” the Group said.
In a press statement it released towards the end of last month, it explained that; “The 212-key Zambezi Sun in Zambia will be rebranded to AVANI Victoria Falls Resort; the 196-key Gaborone Sun in Botswana will become AVANI Gaborone Hotel & Casino; the 158-key Lesotho Sun and 105-key Maseru Sun, both in Lesotho, are to be rebranded to AVANI Lesotho Hotel & Casino and AVANI Maseru Hotel respectively, and the 173-key Kalahari Sands in Namibia will reflag to become AVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino. The sixth property in the portfolio, the well-known Royal Livingstone Resort, will not be rebranded and is being marketed through the Sun International’s SunLux Collection, supported by Anantara distribution channels.”
Since the partnership was formed last year, both companies’ core strengths have been leveraged, with MHG assuming the hotel management, marketing and distribution of the properties, while Sun International has continued to manage the on-property casino operations.
MHG said AVANI Hotels & Resorts is the vibrant upscale brand which it launched in 2011. “Offering relaxed comfort and contemporary style in city and resort destinations to guests who have an eye for detail, AVANI was launched in response to an increasingly influential group of discerning travellers who appreciate good design and excellent service, but also demand great value,” read the statement.
In addition to the five hotels to be rebranded in southern Africa, AVANI currently has a portfolio of eight hotels and resorts across six countries in Asia and Africa, including AVANI Pemba Beach Hotel in Mozambique and the most recent addition to the portfolio, the AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa. AVANI will continue to be developed across the Asia Pacific region and in the Middle East and Africa, with the first new-built AVANI opening later this year in Bangkok, Thailand.