KIGALI, RWANDA— Hilton Worldwide named new properties and extensions in three African countries at this year’s African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF). It continues its commitment to expansion across the continent as it seeks to double its footprint from its existing 39 hotels to more than 80 hotels in the next 3-5 years, according to the company.
Among the new hotels agreed is Africa’s first modular-build hotel, the 280 guestroom Hilton Garden Inn in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, a concept that Hilton first premiered in 2014 through a partnership with CIMC Modular Building Systems. Other deals see the creation of Africa’s tallest hotel in Nairobi and its recently signed Legend Curio at Lagos Airport. Hilton will manage all three properties.
Patrick Fitzgibbon, SVP development, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide said, “Having been present in Africa for more than 50 years, we’re proud to have remained at the forefront of pioneering hotel growth on the continent. This year at AHIF, we’re breaking new ground in the region with the announcement of our first modular build hotel, a fast-paced construction solution that we feel has huge potential in Africa, with quicker returns for investors and a world-class hospitality experience for guests.
“We remain hugely committed to Africa across our portfolio of world-class brands, continuing to introduce our hotels to new markets across the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa in the coming years,” he added.
The modular construction process involves assembling portions of the hotel— including guestrooms and hallways—in China, before transporting them to the final site for completion, thereby significantly reducing the time taken for construction. The model helps ensure consistent quality and accelerates the build schedule on site, a particular benefit for developers and investors in emerging markets, according to the company.
Hilton Garden Inn Accra Liberation Road is being developed under a management agreement with Independence Properties Ltd, whose majority shareholder is Trasacco Estates Development Company Ltd. With a planned opening in 2018, this will be the first Hilton Garden Inn in Ghana.
Ian Morris, director Independence Properties and CEO Trasacco Estates Development Company, said, “After building a number of three-star-plus properties in West Africa, the option to go modular and improve on room quality, project delivery and minimize construction risk was warmly embraced by our development, design and construction teams and we feel is the future of the industry.”
Paul Blackmore, managing director CIMC MBS, said, “We are very proud of the continued association between Hilton and CIMC, with Hilton Garden Inn being an excellent brand for utilizing our modular technology. In Independence Properties we have another great partner focused on a high-quality product. Africa is a key strategic focus for CIMC, where our solutions can minimize risk on site while protecting and improving owner returns.”
Located on Liberation Rd., the main connection between Ghana’s capital and its major international airport, the hotel will feature three restaurants and amenities offered at each Hilton Garden Inn location, including complimentary, high-speed WiFi throughout the hotel, 24-hour business and fitness centers, alongside four adjustable meeting rooms and a ballroom.
A management agreement with Jabavu Village Ltd and White Lotus Projects sees Hilton expand on its existing presence in Kenya to create Africa’s tallest building. Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill is due to open in 2020, as a 255 guestroom and suite hotel in Kenya’s capital. It will offer multiple food and beverage outlets, including a poolside bar, specialty smokehouse and grill restaurant, lobby dining area with landscaped deck and a boutique rooftop bar with views of the Nairobi skyline on the 43rd level.
Finally, having previously announced the signing of Curio, The Legend, Lagos Airport, Hilton has also confirmed that an additional 76 guestrooms will be added to the hotel, bringing the room count up to 130-keys. The hotel, due to open during 2017, will be the first within the airport environment.