OMG. Mont Aux Sources Hotel In Drakensberg Is Becoming A Best Western

OMG. Mont Aux Sources Hotel In Drakensberg Is Becoming A Best Western

Bye-bye local South African hotels, hello Best Western.

Phoenix, Arizona-based Best Western Hotels & Resorts plans to grow its South African portfolio from one property to 14 over the next year through an agreement with Braamfontein, Johannesburg-based Orion Hotels.

Each of Orion’s 13 hotels including the Drakensberg’s Mont Aux Sources, will adapt to the Best Western brand but will operate under the management of Orion Hotels. The two companies plan to expand further throughout Africa as Orion Hotels continues to lease, manage and buy new properties, which will also be branded with one of the Best Western Hotels & Resorts brands, according to HotelBusiness.

Best Western operates more than 4,100 hotels worldwide, according to HotelNewsResource. About half are in North America.

It has three brands — Best Western, Best Western Plus, and Best Western Premier. The mega hotel chain modified its slogan in 2011 from “the world’s largest hotel chain” to “the world’s largest hotel family.”

Best Western has hotels throughout Africa including in Nairobi, Kenya; Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; and Lagos, Nigeria. More are planned including the Best Western Premier Garden Hotel Entebbe in Uganda and two Best Western-branded hotels in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, set to launch later this year.

Three Orion hotels are expected to be rebranded as Best Western by July 20 including Velmoré Hotel Estate in Erasmia, Hotel Promenade in Nelspruit and Magoebaskloof Hotel, HotelBusiness reported. The remaining 10 hotels will be rebranded by early 2017.

The Orion hotels set to be rebranded as Best Western include Coach House Hotel & Spa, Tzaneen, Limpopo; Dithõlõ Game Lodge, Bela Bela/Warmbaths, Waterberg; Katse LodgeKatse Dam, Lesotho; Mohale Lodge, Mohale Dam, Lesotho; Mont Aux Sources Hotel, Drakensberg, Kwazulu Natal; Safari Lodge, Hotel & Convention Centre, Rustenburg; Santé Hotel & Spa, Franschhoek, Cape Winelands, Western Cape; The Devonshire, Braamfontein, Johannesburg; The Venue Country Hotel, North-West; and Wartburger Hof Hotel, Natal Midlands, Kwazulu Natal.

The Best Western brand has been reimagined, said David Kong, president and CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, in a prepared statement.

“As we continue our journey in taking the reimagined Best Western brand into the future, we are dedicated to offering guests memorable travel experiences and the best in hospitality around the world,” Kong said, according to HotelNewsResource. “This relationship positions Best Western for growth across the continent of Africa.”

Franz Gmeiner, CEO of Orion Hotels, said he’s ecstatic that Orion Hotels will become part of one of the largest hotel companies in the world.

“The rebranding to Best Western repositions Orion Hotels as the largest international hotel brand in South Africa,” he said. “The association with Best Western creates significant career opportunities for our management and staff. In addition to rebranding and upgrading our existing properties, securing management agreements and leases will be part of our core focus.”

Orion Hotels becoming Best Western, loyalty program transfers

Best Western claims that its international loyalty program is one of the richest in the industry, offering the lowest redemption thresholds for awards and points that never expire, HotelNewsResource reported.

A user review from the travel website Wanderbat shows a more down-to-earth response: “The Best Western Rewards awards members 10 points for every dollar they spend at participating hotels. A member typically needs to spend $2,267 to receive a free one-night stay, which is about average for all hotel rewards programs.”