Message from the Team
What’s the editor ranting about now?
You've got to hand it to the guys at Century City Conference Centre & Hotel in Cape Town – our cover story this month. In the space of just a few years, they've managed to create something quite unique in the highly competitive South African conferencing space, and they've done so without the backing of an established international – or even local – hotel or conferencing brand.
Instead, that backing has come from the developer, Rabie Property Group, who decided to invest in two relatively young and untested joint-CEOs, Glyn Taylor and Gary Koetser. The pair have taken their experience with other South African hotel groups, embraced Rabie's vision for the Century City precinct, and then put their own, personal stamp on a project that has given them the freedom to create an offering they believe speaks directly to the needs of PCOs, corporates and business travellers.
Sure, the ‘bricks and mortar' are impressive – a still sparkling conference centre with a total capacity of 1,900 across 20 venues, and a 125-room hotel built around a ‘new' public square in Century City – but it's in the little detail that Taylor and Koetser have made the biggest impact, with personal touches applied across the property.
It's in the background music played in the hotel restaurant (inspired by Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn's approach to music); the deli-style lunch buffet offering that pulls in the surrounding corporates; the self-service unlimited coffee offering and partnership with Vida e Caffè; the individualised branding of the hotel's Square Café & Wine Bar, along with its intuitive design that caters to different corporate segments, including the ‘lone warrior' dining on his own; and the well thought out hotel rooms that maximise their space and focus on the key elements a business traveller is looking for, such as simple hanging space, a comfortable bed, plenty of plug and USB points, decent shower water pressure (despite the Western Cape water crisis!), and a comfortable work space.
A lot of these touches have been influenced by Taylor and Koetser's travels, where they've taken in what has worked in other markets and applied them to their Century City ‘project'.
It's an interesting approach to a fledgling hospitality property that has relied more on the relationships that Taylor and Koetser have, as opposed to the fancy distribution systems and marketing muscle that an international brand would bring.
So far, it seems to be working, and the proof is in the pudding, as I'm told a second Century City hotel is in the works…