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Palace of the Lost City Ranked Amongst Best Resorts in Africa

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Palace of the Lost City Ranked Amongst Best Resorts in Africa

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

After 25 years, The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City continues to be recognised for its exceptional standard of service and facilities. The luxury hotel, located at Sun International’s iconic Sun City resort in the North West province, has been ranked 39th in the Condè Naste Traveler’s Best Resorts in Africa: Readers Choice Awards 2017.

The awards are the culmination of a stringent survey process whereby candidates are rated based on respondents perceptions with a strong focus on evaluating and measuring customer service and customer satisfaction.

More than 300 000 travellers took part in Condè Naste Traveler’s 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey, submitting millions of ratings and more than 100 000 comments to help create a list of winning favourites. Most notably in this year’s survey, guests declared a passion for the authentic, the personalized and the unexpected, finding all three in both newcomers and stalwarts around the world.

The Palace, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, was one of only 12 South African resorts to feature in the top 40 Best Resorts in Africa in this year’s consumer survey.

“We are obviously delighted that The Palace has been acknowledged amongst the leading resorts in Africa. That we received such excellent ratings, based on the perceptions of Condè NasteTraveler’s readership, is a great source of pride. There is certainly no greater stamp of approval than the votes of confidence from our guests. They are the lifeblood of our business.

“The award also bears testimony to our employees’ commitment to service excellence, quality, professionalism, and innovation. As ambassadors, living-out the values of Sun International, they have helped build The Palace into one of the world’s most respected hotels. This is an incredible achievement that would not have been possible without their commitment,” says Raul de Lima, General Manager at Sun City.

The Palace is part of Sun International’s SunLux Collection of 5-star establishments. Since it was built – fit for kings – in 1992, the awe inspiring hotel has captured the imagination and the hearts of its visitors who are treated to royal hospitality in what is perhaps one of the most architecturally-fascinating hotels in South Africa.

Despite its age, it remains the preferred hotel of the discerning guests visiting South Africa from the USA, Britain and Europe. Each room is luxuriously appointed and fitted with individually crafted furniture.

The Palace is set amid lush vegetation in superb landscaping that has achieved its Botanical Garden status in South Africa. Bathe in the grand pool or stroll down to the royal baths, enjoy a cocktail at the poolside or relax in the gracious Tusk Bar. Dining is a veritable gastronomic delight in the splendour of the Crystal Court, The Grill Room or Plume restaurants where food is a treasured art. The restaurants have menus that feature a variety of meals to suit every taste, including young palates.

While the unique experience of staying at The Palace certainly draws guests time and again, its setting at the vibrant Sun City Resort makes it a unique destination. Sun City has a diverse offering that combines a choice of action-packed entertainment for all ages, as well as opportunities to relax and enjoy the quietness of nature. It’s ‘A world within a City’.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Travel/Tourism

Bill Gates Becomes Highest Shareholder of Four Seasons Hotel

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Four Seasons Hotel

By Adedapo Adesanya

The fourth richest man in the world, Mr Bill Gates, will take control of the Four Seasons Hotel chain after his investment firm agreed to acquire a stake from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Co, in a bet that luxury travel will rebound from a pandemic-induced slump.

Mr Gates’s Cascade Investment LLC will pay $2.2 billion in cash to boost its stake in Four Seasons Holdings to 71.25 per cent from 47.5 per cent, according to a statement last week.

Kingdom Holding, which will retain 23.75 per cent of the hotel chain, plans to use proceeds from the transaction for investments and to repay debt.

Four Seasons founder and chairman, Mr Isadore Sharp, through Triples Holdings Limited, will retain his 5 per cent stake.

Mr Sharp founded Four Seasons in 1960 and set the company on its path toward global expansion. Four Seasons now manages 121 hotels and resorts, and 46 residential properties in 47 countries complemented by a strong pipeline of more than 50 projects at various stages of development.

Four Seasons shareholders took the company private in 2007, when it managed 74 hotels, with Mr Gates and Mr Alwaleed leading the deal. The new owners expanded the company’s footprint to more markets in a bid to capitalise on what was then a booming market for luxury travel.

It has also expanded efforts to attach its brand to luxury homes, as real estate developers realised that affluent buyers would pay more to live in a condominium or residential community associated with the hotel brand.

The sale is expected to close in January 2022, pending regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Speaking, Four Seasons CEO, Mr John Davison, stated that, “As we mark our 60th anniversary and look back on the profound impact that Four Seasons has had on luxury hospitality we also look forward with tremendous excitement and confidence in the future of the industry.

“The unwavering support and partnership of our shareholders has and continues to be critical as we capitalise on growing opportunities to serve luxury consumers worldwide.

“Our company is at yet another key moment in its storied history and the confidence of our shareholders in Four Seasons and our strategic vision help position the iconic Four Seasons brand for continued success.”

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Travel/Tourism

Real Reason We Rebranded Plentywaka to Treepz—CEO

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Treepz Plentywaka

By Ashemriogwa Emmanuel

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Treepz Incorporated, formerly known as Plentywaka, Mr Onyeka Akumah, has said that the rebranding of the Toronto-headquartered shared mobility startup presented an opportunity to align with its Pan-African expansion plan.

He revealed that the company had been looking for a globally acceptable name for the last six months to use in creating the right kind of positive emotions around bus trips on the African continent.

According to him, the decision to change the name of the 2-year-old ride-hailing company was after a thorough deliberation from its stakeholders, partners, and staff members.

“This name change is a result of in-depth discussions with our stakeholders, partners, and staff. After we discovered that the term WAKA can mean different things across Africa, which may be completely different from travel or movement, we decided to change the name from Plentywaka to Treepz which is pronounced as Trips.

“The new name boldly states our mission to provide safe, convenient, and comfortable trips across Africa with plans for our expansion to 6 countries in 2 years on the continent,” Mr Akumah explained.

Adding that the new change better represents the vision of the company which is to establish the largest shared mobility platform across the continent, he said the name Treepz resonates with the experience on road, travelling across cities, within cities, and it gives a cool vibe.

In addition to its new company name, Treepz also released a new company logo which has the inscription of “Treepz” but retained its existing mission statement and “black & yellow” brand colours.

Also, the new brand identity reformation will retain the core service offerings but will be identified with new names which are; Daily Treepz, Travel Treepz, and Corporate Treepz.

According to Mr Akumah, already existing users won’t have to take any action as the new app will be automatically updated to the new Treepz experience in Africa.

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Travel/Tourism

Chevron, Gevo Eye Sustainable Aviation Fuel Investment

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Sustainable Aviation Fuel Investment

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

Chevron USA Incorporated, an energy company under the umbrella of the second-largest oil company in America, Chevron Corporation, together with Biofuel company, Gevo, have today announced intent to pursue sustainable aviation fuel investment.

In a press release obtained by Business Post from the official website of Chevron, it was gathered that both companies want to jointly invest in building and operating one or more new facilities that would process inedible corn to produce sustainable aviation fuel.

Hence, this can lower the lifecycle carbon intensity of fuels used in the aviation industry as the new facilities would also produce proteins and corn oil.

The proposed collaboration will see that Gevo operates its proprietary technology to produce sustainable aviation fuel and renewable blending components for motor gasoline to lower its lifecycle carbon intensity.

Chevron, while co-investing with Gevo in one or more projects, would have the right to offtake about 150 million gallons per year to market to customers.

In his comment on the proposed investment, the Executive Vice President of Downstream & Chemicals for Chevron, Mr Mark Nelson, stated that, “Chevron is providing our customers with next-generation renewable fuels that can help them lower their overall carbon footprint.

 “This potential investment leverages Gevo’s innovative approach to producing sustainable aviation fuel, complementing other renewable fuels investments we are making as part of our higher returns, lower carbon strategy.”

Highlighting Gevo’s excitement on Chevron’s willingness to co-invest in the project, its Chief Executive Officer, Mr  Patrick Gruber, was quoted as saying that, “Chevron’s advantaged market position would allow it to offtake production from this venture, helping to place sustainable aviation fuel with airline customers.”

The proposed investment is subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements with customary closing conditions.

This also includes regulatory approval, as updates regarding the letter of intent can be found in the Current Report on Form 8-K which was filed by Gevo with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on September 9, 2021.

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