Gone are the days of scruffy, shabby and dishevelled. Say hello to the modern man…
We recently headed through to the 012 to visit the newly opened Fortis Hotel Capital, which is part of the Fortis Hotel Group, an authentic local hotel chain, who are incredibly proud of their signature brand.
After operating several Protea hotels around the country for many years and building up a loyal customer base, this proudly South African, and family owned business is ready to star making some waves!
With their tagline “It’s Personal” it is clear to see that their passion for their clientele is paramount and the group pride themselves on offering the highest possible service on each and every interaction between the brand and customers – this is almost one giant family, if you will.
They are initially launching six Fortis Branded Hotels around Gauteng, and we know that this group will continue to grow from strength to strength and expand their unique offering.
The hotel is located right in the middle of Pretoria CBD, and offers some amazing views over the town, as well as lovely pool deck, which is perfect for after work cocktails and enjoying the sunset.
The hotel boasts 104 rooms, as well as several suites and deluxe rooms, and the building exterior totally belies the beautiful decor and warm smiles that await one inside.
Beautiful hues of green and blues, with a dash of silver sparkle is carried through the hotel, and gives one the feeling of being under water in the sea – in a very chic way, of course.
We got to chat to well-known businessman and CEO Grant Mclachlan, who is leading the way for the group, and find out more about his plan, his vision and most importantly his passion for the industry he loves.
How did it all begin for you, Grant?
He initially started his career as a civil engineer and spent many years in the hardware and building industry. His dad had always been involved in hotels, and he had worked alongside him for a bit in one of his hotels, however when he gained his first hotel as part of a property deal, the rest, as they say is history.
The Boulevard Hotels (Pretoria, Witbank, Impala and Phalaborwa) have been a part of Grant’s life from the very beginning, and in 1993 the hotels converted to the Protea Hotel brand and enjoyed many years of a very beneficial and constructive association.
Spreading their wings…
As of March this year the hotels now trade under their own name, as part of a signed contract with Boulevard Hotel Group. Grant bought the trading companies from his family in 1998 and continues to be the major shareholder.
A significant announcement was made at the launch, that the staff of both the Boulevard Group and of Fortis Hotels will own 40% of the equity in their respective companies.
My team are amazing – and this is my way of sharing with them. What we all work towards and are invested in can only prosper. The claim, Its Personal, is even stronger because the group and their staff own their destination.
Why the CBD?
“This is where the money is” says Grant. These area’s are busy, many people come to the city center from other cities, or even overseas to work here for long or short term. Why would they want to stay far away, when they can stay close to where they are working, in beautiful surroundings, and save the hassle of commuting.
Grant admits to having his eye on the middle of Joburg. Be warned, Fortis is coming!
What is unique about Fortis?
We are not launching a hotel or expanding a business, nor are we filling a gap in the market. We are starting a new era and we really encourage you to be a part of our journey.
What is the future for Fortis?
Our ambition is to be a sought-after African hospitality company known for a portfolio of individually managed hotels that create warm, welcoming and happy guest experiences at the same time as developing, and sustaining our people, our communities and our environment. This is a truly South African cultural brand with international qualities.
We are prepared to rattle some cages, it comes with the territory, and look forward to expansion and growth in the next five years.
Where would we find you on your day off?
On the golf course of course! He also loves to run and cycles around Hermanus, where he stays two weeks of every month.
We heard you love good wine – what is your favourite estate?
Most certainly Hermanuspietersfontein – we discovered why – it’s a mere 500 meters from his house!
Books or movies?
Both. When he in Pretoria he heads over to the local cinema and watches all the new releases. At home in Hermanus, he loves to read, most specifically autobiographies. With a glass of wine, we are guessing.
Find out more about Fortis Hotel Capital here…
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!