29 July 2013
Canadian luxury hotel group Four Seasons has signed a long-term management agreement with The Westcliff hotel in Johannesburg, marking its entry into South Africa as part of its expansion plans for the rest of Africa.
“Having a property in Johannesburg – the gateway to the whole of southern Africa – is essential as we explore opportunities for growth in South Africa and across the continent,” executive vice president of worldwide development for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Scott Woroch, said in a statement last week.
“Africa’s economic growth, improved stability and ease of travel have made the continent increasingly attractive to luxury travellers and Four Seasons.”
The Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg is expected to open in the second quarter of 2014 following renovations and construction.
Renovations include an expanded outdoor terrace, a new spa, fitness centre and outdoor pool, as well as new restaurant and bar concepts by United Kingdom design firm Blacksheep.
The Westcliff’s original architects, RSL Architects, have been hired to ensure renovations are in line with its initial design.
“Recognising the property’s prominent location within the city and neighbourhood, Four Seasons and the property’s owners will work closely with local consultants to ensure the design aesthetic of the property is preserved,” the hotel group said.
The opening of the Four Seasons Westcliff will mark the group’s second property in Africa, following the opening of the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in Tanzania in 2012.
“With our recently established development office in Dubai, we plan to be much more active in Africa, pursuing both new build developments and conversion opportunities such as the Westcliff and Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, which opened last year,” Woroch said.
Sebastien Carre has been appointed general manager of the Johannesburg hotel and brings over 10 years of experience as a general manager at Four Seasons hotels around the world.
As demand for luxury travel experiences in Africa grows, so does the need for a new standard of service,” said Four Seasons president of hotel operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Christopher Norton.
“Under Sebastien’s leadership, Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh [on the Red Sea] was voted the number one resort in the world in 2011, and we are certain that Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg will soon take its place among the world’s best.”