Magnolia Hotel & Conference Centre becomes the latest entrant to the hospitality industry with an estimated cost of half a billion Birr, situated on Cape Verde Avenue, opposite the premises of the European Union Delegation to Ethiopia, in Bole District.
The construction of the seven-storey Hotel took seven and a half years. Lying on a 1500sqm plot of land, the Hotel, whose soft opening launched yesterday, has 90 bedrooms, a fire-fighting system, four conference rooms, a health centre and a swimming pool.
Constructed by Saba Construction, a sister company, Magnolia is owned by Samson Nega, son of Nega Bonger, a prominent businessman in the hotel industry owning Semen Hotel, Embilta Hotel, Nega Bonger Hotel and co-owning Global Hotel.
Named after a flower species found worldwide, Magnolia has hired 150 employees after giving three months of training by foreign consultants and two expatriates, which include the manager and head chef.
“A standard operating procedures (SOP) training has been given to department heads by foreign consultants to bring efficiency,” said Samson.
SOP is a set of step-by-step instructions by an organisation to support workers to carry out routine operations to achieve efficiency, quality output and uniformity of performance.
The Hotel has eight departments including food and beverage, front office, house keeping, information technology, wellness centre, security, sales and marketing and finance.
Not to be a victim of the calibre of human resource in the hotel industry, the owner is planning to establish a training school.
“We have already started dealing with a foreign university to establish a training school,” said Samson, but he refrained from disclosing with whom they are dealing.
The Hotel has brought on board Metin Can Akaltun as its general manager. He has 40 years of experience in the hotel industry, having worked in 17 countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Angola and South Sudan. Samson has also been in the hotel business for a long time and has experience in managing hotels.
“The Hotel has made a significant contribution in the development of the hotel industry,” said Fisseha Asres, a hotel expert who has worked in management positions at different hotels. “It will narrow the supply and demand discrepancy in the hospitality industry of the city.”
Magnolia will be an addition to the 1,129 total number of hotels in Addis Abeba, which was 417 five years ago. The number of starred hotels has also increased from 58 to 79 in the past five years. The amount invested in hotels has grown from 80 billion to 101 billion Br during the same period.
During the past nine months of the just ended fiscal year, Addis Abeba alone received 650,000 tourists who spent 31.5 billion Br during their stay.
On the other hand, the number of international chained-brand hotels is also increasing, reaching six, and there are over 20 hotels that are under construction with management deals concluded.
Although Magnolia is not yet rated, according to Tewodros Derbew, director of the Tourism Services Accreditation Directorate at the Ministry of Culture & Tourism, the owner of the Hotel says it is constructed with a standard of a five-star hotel.