TORONTO, July 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Four Seasons continues to expand its presence in Africa, signing a long term management agreement with the owners of The Westcliff hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa. The iconic property, set on a cliffside garden estate in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, was closed on June 30, 2013 to undergo significant enhancements including renovations and new construction and will reopen as Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg in the second quarter of 2014.
"Africa's economic growth, improved stability and ease of travel have made the continent increasingly attractive to luxury travellers and Four Seasons," says Scott Woroch, executive vice president worldwide development for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
"Having a property in Johannesburg – the gateway to the whole of southern Africa - is essential as we explore opportunities for growth in South Africa, and across the continent," continues Woroch. "With our recently established development office in Dubai, we plan to be much more active in Africa, pursuing both new build developments and conversion opportunities such as The Westcliff in Johannesburg and Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, which opened last year."
Upon reopening, Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg will be home to exciting new restaurant and bar concepts designed by renowned UK-based hospitality design firm Blacksheep. An expanded outdoor terrace will be a focal point of the Hotel's dining experience, offering stunning vistas of the city's dense tree canopy and the distant Magaliesberg hills, with sunset views that are unparalleled in Johannesburg. The Hotel will also include a brand new spa, fitness centre and outdoor pool featuring world-class amenities. Between the new food and beverage offerings, and outstanding new spa and fitness facilities, Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg expects to become the first choice for travellers visiting Johannesburg, as well as a social hub for local clientele.
The new Hotel owners have retained the original architect of The Westcliff - Johannesburg based RSL Architects - to ensure that architectural enhancements to the property are as consistent as possible with the original design. Recognizing the property's prominent location within the city and neighbourhood, Four Seasons and the property's owners will work closely with local consultants to ensure the design aesthetic of the property is preserved. Johannesburg-based interior design firm JACKET has also been engaged by the Hotel owners.
Four Seasons veteran Sebastien Carre has been appointed General Manager and will assume the position August 1, 2013 to begin preparations to re-open the property as Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg. A native of Lyon, France, Carre's ten-year career with Four Seasons began in Washington, where he was Hotel Manager, and in 2006 he was appointed opening General Manager for Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. His most recent position, as General Manager at the company's Red Sea resort at Sharm El Sheikh, was his second tour of duty in Africa, having previously worked at a resort in Mauritius.
"Sebastien's proven success managing new openings, renovations and expansions as well as his extensive international experience position him well for this important new role," says Christopher Norton, president hotel operations Europe, Middle East and Africa. "As demand for luxury travel experiences in Africa grows, so does the need for a new standard of service. Under Sebastien's leadership, Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh was voted the #1 resort in the world in 2011, and we are certain that Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg will soon take its place among the world's best."
Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg marks the latest expansion for Four Seasons into sub-Saharan Africa. In 2012 the company opened Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania, a resort in the Serengeti National Park featuring 77 guest rooms, including 12 suites with plunge pools and five free-standing villas with private swimming pools. Four Seasons Safari Lodge offers guests a unique opportunity to be immersed in the Serengeti from a safe and ecologically responsible environment, while still being pampered amid the unspoiled wilderness. The company has two additional projects under consideration in Tanzania as it explores further expansion across the region.
About Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. From elegant surroundings of the finest quality, to caring, highly personalized 24-hour service, Four Seasons embodies a true home away from home for those who know and appreciate the best. The deeply instilled Four Seasons culture is personified in its employees - people who share a single focus and are inspired to offer great service. Founded in 1960, Four Seasons has followed a targeted course of expansion, opening hotels and residences in major city centres and desirable resort destinations around the world. With 91 properties in 38 countries, and more than 60 projects under development, Four Seasons continues to lead the hospitality industry with innovative enhancements, making business travel easier and leisure travel more rewarding. For more information on Four Seasons, visit http://press.fourseasons.com and follow on Twitter at @FourSeasonsPR.
SOURCE Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts