Marriott’s Protea to welcome African quintet

Pictured: Blue Nile Resort in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia will be converted into a Protea hotel.
Marriott International is continuing the expansion of its Protea Hotels by Marriott brand with five new deal signings in Africa.

The anticipated projects are aimed at strengthening the company’s presence in Nigeria, Tanzania, Botswana and Ethiopia.

African leader

Protea Hotels by Marriott is a leading hospitality brand in Africa, with properties in primary and secondary business centres and desirable leisure destinations. In line with brand standards, the five projects will feature modern facilities and consistent amenities such as full-service restaurants, meeting spaces and well-appointed rooms.

Karim Cheltout, regional vice president – development, Africa and all-inclusive, EMEA at Marriott, said: “Protea Hotels by Marriott has a long-established legacy in Africa, and we are excited to further strengthen the brand’s footprint in the continent with these five signings. While we continue to see demand for newbuild opportunities, the brand is seeing an uptick in conversion projects where developers are looking to rebrand their existing property into a Protea Hotel.”

Nigerian double

Two of the five sites will be in Nigeria. One of them, Protea Hotel by Marriott Abuja Jahi, is projected to open in 2027 and will consist of 144 guestrooms, two food and beverage outlets, a swimming pool and meeting facilities. The hotel will be situated in the developing district of Jahi which is located northwest of Abuja’s city centre and will be close to Gwarinpa and Jabi, two prominent commercial areas. Protea Hotel by Abuja Jahi is a franchised property owned by Gold Reef Hotel Limited and will be managed by BON Hospitality West Africa Limited.

The same hotel management firm will also run Protea Hotel by Marriott Delta, following an agreement Marriott signed with Dutch Gate Hotel & Suites Limited to convert its existing property. The site is expected to open as a Protea hotel in 2024 with 108 rooms, four food and beverage outlets, meeting facilities, a fitness centre and swimming pool. It is situated in Warri, a major oil and gas hub in the southern region of Nigeria.

Ethiopian debut

The brand is expected to make its debut in Ethiopia with the opening of Protea by Marriott Bahir Dar. A conversion deal was signed with Blue Nile Resort Hotels PLC to rebrand its Blue Nile Resort to a Protea Hotel following a full renovation. The property is expected to be rebranded to Protea by Marriott Bahir Dar by 2025 and will offer 127 guestrooms and suites, multiple dining outlets, a fitness centre and nearly 1,000 sq m of meetings and event space. The hotel is situated next to Lake Tana and a short distance from the Blue Nile River.

Elsewhere, Marriott expects to grow its presence in Botswana with the signing of Protea Hotel by Marriott Serowe in collaboration with Letsatsi Partners. Slated to open in 2026, the hotel is anticipated to feature 155 guestrooms and suites, an all-day dining restaurant, fitness centre, swimming pool and multiple meeting rooms. Protea by Marriott Serowe will be situated near the Khama Rhino Sanctuary in Serowe, between Gaborone and Orapa, one of the world’s largest diamond-producing mines.

Completing the quintet, the company also signed an agreement with Parklane Holdings Zanzibar Limited to convert its existing property to Protea Hotel by Marriott Zanzibar Stone Town in Tanzania. The project, which is anticipated to open as a Protea hotel by the end of 2023, is located in Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist areas in the Zanzibar province. Hotel plans include 26 guestrooms, an all-day dining restaurant and a rooftop bar.

Current status

Marriott International’s current portfolio in Africa features nearly 140 properties and more than 24,000 rooms across 20 countries and 19 brands.

Protea Hotels by Marriott represent more than 40% of Marriott International’s portfolio in Africa with over 60 properties and more than 6,500 rooms in operation across nine countries.