The Pearl of Africa Hotel Kampala
|The Pearl of Africa Hotel Kampala|
The Hotel, Nakasero Hill, November 2010
|Opening||1 October 2017.|
|Owner||Aya Investments Limited|
|Management||Sovereign Hotels Group|
|Floor area||32,000 square metres (340,000 sq ft)|
|Number of rooms||296|
|Number of suites||37|
|Number of restaurants||5|
The Pearl of Africa Hotel Kampala is a hotel in Kampala, the capital and largest city of Uganda. The building, under development since 2006, was completed in June 2017, and was opened on 1 October 2017.
The hotel is located in Central Kampala on Nakasero Hill. The building stands on a 14 acres (5.7 ha) site that was previously occupied by the state's television stations. The elevation of the site is approximately 1,240 metres (4,070 ft) above sea level, making it one of the highest points in the city.
Aya Investments Limited, a subsidiary of the Aya Group, has been working on the 24-story building since 2006. Because of cash shortages and administrative difficulties, the hotel took much longer to complete, with many missed deadlines and multiple postponements of the opening date. Since completion, it is the tallest completed building in the city, at 23 storeys and about 90 metres (300 ft) in height. The building was originally developed under the Hilton Hotels brand. However, when the owners of the hotel failed to reach a licensing agreement with Hilton, the latter signed up with Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in January 2017.In June 2017 the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group withdrew from the management agreement. In September 2017 a South African hotel brand, Sovereign Hotels, entered into a short term management agreement with the owners and opened the hotel in October 2017.
As of April 2012[update], the total construction bill for the property was estimated at about US$150 million (UGX:350 billion), according to Aya Group Chairman Mohammed Hamid. In September 2017, the New Vision (newspaper) reported that the Aya Group had invested USh1.75 trillion (US$300 million), into this project.
In February 2011, Mise Design Group LLC., a restaurant kitchen design firm based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, was awarded the contract to design the food and beverage services of the hotel. Mise will design the hotel’s eight dining facilities, including a sports bar, lobby lounge and bar, banquet facility, bakery, staff canteen, pool bar, coffee shop, and a specialty restaurant. In June 2013, the Aya Group appointed FEBC International, a global hospitality, procurement, and project management company, to act as "Procurement Management Consultant for Operating Supplies and Equipment" (OS&E) services for the hotel. In December 2013, the Hilton Hotels & Resorts denied rumors that they had pulled out of the deal with the Aya Group due to construction delays. They instead reiterated that they are working closely with the owners to complete the construction and open the franchise to the public.
In September 2017, one month before the grand opening, the New Vision (newspaper) reported that the Aya Group, who own the hotel, had contracted with the Sovereign Hotels Group, a South Africa - based hotel management company, for the latter to manage the business.
In September 2018, Forbes.com reported that the owners of the hotel had hired Wyndham Hotels & Resorts of the United States to manage the US$300 million 5-star establishment, effective October 2018.
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- Ssejjoba, Eddie (30 September 2017). "Sovereign Hotels takes over management of Pearl of Africa Hotel (AYA)". New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
- Divecha, Devina (26 January 2017). "Quorvus Collection gets Uganda hotel in portfolio". Hoteliermiddleeast.com. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
- UTG. "Profile of Nakasero Hill". Uganda Travel Guide (UTG). Retrieved 7 July 2014.
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- Mubangizi, Michael (6 September 2012). "Hilton Hotel Set to Open In March 2013". The Observer (Uganda). Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Dreisinger, Baz (15 August 2013). "Overcoming the Past In Lively Kampala". New York Times. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Sanya, Samuel (30 January 2017). "Danish based Rezidor Hotel Group takes over Aya Hotel". New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- Newvision, Reporter (29 April 2012). "I Juggled Business, Books At Eight Years". New Vision. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Press Release (22 February 2011). "Philadelphia Restaurant Design Company Mise Design Group, LLC Acquires Design Contract for New Hilton Hotel In Uganda". PR.com. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Press, Release (13 November 2013). "FEBC International Appointed by Aya Group of Companies for Hilton Hotel, Kampala, Uganda". PressReleaseNetwork.com (PRN). Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- EABW (16 December 2013). "Hilton In Kampala Still On Schedule". East African Business Week. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Nsehe, Mfonobong (5 September 2018). "Ugandan Tycoon Mohammed Hamid Hires Wyndham To Manage $300 Million Hotel". Forbes.com. Retrieved 15 October 2018.