IHG to refurbish and rebrand iconic Fijian hotel

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed an agreement to take over management of one of the most famous hotels in the Pacific.

With the takeover becoming official this month, Fiji’s Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH) in Suva will undergo a refurbishment and be rebranded as InterContinental Grand Pacific Hotel Suva by 2022.

It will be IHG’s third hotel in Fiji, and the second for the brand, alongside InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa in Natadola Bay, which is also owned by the Fiji National Provident Fund.

Built in 1914 and reopening on its hundredth anniversary in 2014 with contemporary colonial architecture, the GPH has an incredibly rich history and has a special place in the hearts of Fijians, to the extent that an image of the hotel features on the Fijian ten-dollar note.

In June 1928, aviation history was made when Charles Kingsford Smith landed his ‘Southern Cross’ Fokker monoplane on Albert Park, opposite the GPH, en route to Australia on his epic Trans Pacific flight from America, before staying at the hotel.

It has also played host to countless celebrities, politicians and royalty over its 100 years, including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who has visited the hotel three times and even gave a speech at a ball in 1953 from the hotel’s balcony as part of her first tour of the Empire as Queen. More recently, it welcomed Harry and Meghan, who visited in 2018.

Located on the main seafront on Suva’s Victoria Parade, the hotel offers all-day and specialty restaurants and bars and a club lounge, as well as a 600-square-metre ballroom, meetings rooms, a business centre, gym, swimming pool, and spa.

Image source: IHG

Abhijay Sandilya, vice president of product development across Australasia, Japan and the Pacific at IHG, said: “It is a great honour to take on the management of the Grand Pacific Hotel.

“We are committed to retaining the heritage and grandeur of, while adding all the world-famous elements of InterContinental’s ‘True Hospitality’ experience.

“When the borders re-open, GPH will be ready to welcome back all those guests who know it so well, as well as those who are so familiar with IHG and the InterContinental brand.”

Viliame Vodonaivalu, chief investment officer at the FNPF, said: “The Grand Pacific Hotel is an iconic hotel and will be important to Fiji’s recovery as a tourist destination when the borders reopen.

“With a lower traveller footprint due to the global crisis, we are taking the opportunity to bring forward the refurbishment of this hotel, bringing it to life in a new way ready for the next era of tourism in Fiji.

“We have a fantastic partnership with IHG, and we recognise the need for a partner like IHG with its global footprint, powerful systems and loyal customer base that will help attract guests back to Fiji.”

Featured image source: IHG