Jan 5 , 2020

Elgel Hotel & Spa, a local four-star hotel built for 250 million Br, joins the burgeoning hospitality industry in the capital. The new hotel, which opened its doors two weeks ago, is located around Qore roundabout on the road to Jemo.

Having six-storeys and two basements, the building of the hotel spreads across a footprint of 750Sqm of land that was acquired by lease ten years ago. With 52 rooms, the Hotel opened for business on December 18, 2019.

It boasts a gym, a spa, two conference rooms and one meeting room. It has an outdoor swimming pool that is currently under construction.

Elgel will join the 275 hotels registered in the capital, of which 13 are international brands. Five local brand hotels are also under construction.

The hotel is owned by Elegel Trading Plc, which was founded by Elias Gezahagne and Genet Wondimagne with capital of 80 million Br. Re-established as a trading company eight years ago, the establishment was formerly known as Genet Wondimagne Garage.

The Garage, which is located near Gotera, has been in the business of car maintenance for two decades. It has been engaging in the business of maintaining everything from sedans to field cars and has a well-known portfolio working on contract with insurance companies like Nib, Nyala, the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation and the Ethiopian Investment Commission.

The construction of the Hotel, which took seven years, was managed and handled by the brother of Elias, Samuel Gezahagne, owner of Aragon Engineering, which is behind the renovation work of Kenya Embassy and Alemgena Factory.

Various design changes are the main reason why the construction took seven years, according to Elias, the co-founder and CEO of the Hotel.

"We had a lot of design changes particularly with the interior design," he told Fortune.

The final design and supervision work of the Hotel was awarded to four-year-old Render Consulting Architects & Engineering Plc. The company is also behind the interior designs of different banks and hotels like the under-construction Hawelti Hotel in Meqelle and apartments in the capital.

Unlike many of the hotels located in a close radius of Bole International Airport, Elgel is located nine kilometres away from the Airport.

"We chose the location due to the environment around the area," said Elias. "We wanted to build a hotel in the suburbs and wanted to brand ourselves as a hotel for a getaway from the city."

To be competitive in the industry, Yohannes Paulos, a consultant who has 45 years of experience in international hotels, says that the hotel should be located at a prime location.

"The management of the hotel have to be hoteliers themselves or they have to hire hotel consultants," Yohannes said.

Behind the premises, the Hotel has received a 2,200Sqm plot of land for greenery, which is subjected to renewal every three years. The owners plan to provide facilities for squash, a mini basketball court, an outdoor cinema, a children's playground and an outdoor cafe.

The facilities will also be open for the locals living in Jemo, and it has no fees for the locals to use all the facilities under the green area, according to Elias.

Though it opened last month, the grand opening of the Hotel is scheduled to take place this April.

Currently, the hotel has a staff of 80 employees, and it will ramp up the staff with the Hotel's official opening day, according to Elias.

Yohannes believes that the city needs more hotels.

"Addis Abeba is still not saturated with hotels,” said Yohannes, adding that Meetings, Incentives, Conference & Exhibitions (MICE) is a type of tourism industry that has not penetrated the country.

"The capital needs to be ready for this kind of market with its growing urbanisation and opening up to the world," Yohannes said.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 05,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1028]

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