IHG opens first SA Holiday Inn Express


InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) recently opened Holiday Inn Express Cape Town City Centre, the group’s first limited service hotel in South Africa. Built at a cost of $16.24 million, the hotel is the first of 25 properties IHG is developing across the country under an exclusive agreement with ISO Leisure, a leading hospitality industry developer in South Africa.
Located in St George’s Mall Street in the heart of Cape Town’s revived and vibrant central business district, Holiday Inn Express Cape Town City Centre is ideal for business and leisure travellers. The hotel is near to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, with majestic views across to Table Mountain. 
The property comprises 175 rooms which provide guests with cable TV, a power shower, in room safe, coffee and tea facilities, plus complimentary continental breakfast at the Great Room restaurant. Guests can also make use of a fully equipped business centre with high speed internet access.
Commenting on the new opening, John Bamsey, chief operating officer, IHG, Middle East and Africa said, “Holiday Inn Express is the fastest growing limited service brand in the world, opening on average two hotels every week around the globe. We are proud to be partnering with ISO Leisure to bring this extremely popular brand to South Africa with the opening of Holiday Inn Express Cape Town City Centre.”
“We are also working with ISO Leisure to bring three more properties under the Holiday Inn flag into South Africa within the next two years. These will be two Holiday Inn Express hotels and one Holiday Inn.  Adding these properties to our estate will address the increased demand for internationally-branded, high quality accommodation and support the growth of business and leisure travel to South Africa.”
ISO Leisure chief executive, Gavin Watson said, “Our  partnership with IHG to develop four hotels, totalling USD771.71 million in new investment, is indicative of our confidence going forward in the country’s economy, especially its leisure and tourism sector. Holiday Inn is the world’s leading hospitality industry brand and, just four years ago, was voted South Africa’s top performing hotel brand.  We have every reason to believe that the properties, ideally located in South Africa’s leading commercial and tourist centres, will be every bit as successful.”
Holiday Inn Express Cape Town City Centre is IHG’s second Holiday Inn Express property to open in the Middle East and Africa region, with the UAE’s Holiday Inn Express Dubai Internet City having opened in November 2007.
Developed by IHG in 1991, Holiday Inn Express is the world’s largest limited service brand and is growing rapidly. Globally, there are more than 1,800 Holiday Inn Express properties with over 155,000 rooms offering comfort, value and convenience to international business and leisure travellers.
In October 2007, IHG announced a worldwide re-launch of the Holiday Inn brand family, which comprises Holiday Inn, Express by Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. All Holiday Inn hotels are required to implement the re-launch programme to create a more contemporary brand image, increase quality and drive consistency. The re-launch will result in all Express by Holiday Inn hotels being known as Holiday Inn Express globally, as well a new service promise, a redesigned welcome experience and refreshed guestrooms.
ISO Leisure is a leisure industry developer and operator established in 2006.  Its principal shareholders include Amabubesi Investments, a Qatar based property owning family trust, and a consortium of South African investors.  Gavin Watson is the chief executive, and Gary Foster the group operations director.