MCLEAN, Va.—Hilton Worldwide announced the signing of a licensing agreement with long-standing franchisee, the Opulent Group, for the conversion of a hotel in the capital city of Bujumbura in Burundi, East Africa. The 130-room DoubleTree by Hilton Bujumbura will open early in 2014.
Formerly the Novotel, the property will undergo an extensive 18-month improvement and rebranding program before officially opening under the DoubleTree by Hilton banner. Property renovation plans are already underway and will cover all key areas of the hotel, including full refurbishment of the hotel lobby and renovation of all guest and meeting rooms. As part of the program, a new business center and fitness center will also be introduced into the hotel for the first time.
In an announcement, Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president of development, Hilton Worldwide Europe & Africa said: “Hilton Worldwide’s famous pioneering spirit is very much alive and well as we continue to explore exciting new markets in Africa and expand our presence into new countries. Burundi is a great example of how the East Africa region is attracting increasing numbers of local and international travellers which is fuelling demand for quality hotel accommodation, particularly in gateway cities like Bujumbura. Today’s signing of such a well located property will help us to meet that growing demand with dedicated first-class facilities and service.”
Once open, the hotel will feature four conference rooms, a business center, fitness center, and outdoor pool. Dining options include two restaurants—one speciality and one all-day dining—and a bar.
Rob Palleschi, global head, DoubleTree by Hilton said: “As the first upscale international hotel brand to establish roots in Burundi, the signing of DoubleTree by Hilton Bujumbura is a defining moment for our company and a terrific opportunity for us to set the global hospitality standard and become a market leader. Our ongoing growth in Africa is generating a great deal of interest from those discerning local owners looking for an experienced, trustworthy hospitality brand with a solid reputation for delivering success.”
Hilton Worldwide currently operates 56 hotels in Middle East and Africa, totalling more than 17,000 rooms across 19 countries.