April 14, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel has bagged a business excellence award from a Cape Town, South Africa-based organisation called Excellent Organisation, according to General Manager Nuno Neves, who added that the five star hotel was showcasing the good image of Sierra Leone in the world.
Mr. Neves was speaking to journalists yesterday at the hotel’s conference hall at Aberdeen, west Freetown, as he briefed them their activities since they opened their doors after a complete refurbishment of the hotel.
He said the upscale hotel offers a range of top class facilities directed at international business travelers, including a dedicated business class floor for business travelers, adding that the hotel is a valuable addition to Sierra Leone’s rapidly expanding business sector.
The hotel was first called Mammy Yoko Hotel before the war and was used as headquarters of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone before Radisson Blu, a well known brand for hotel management in the world, took over and upgraded it to a five star hotel.
Despite the hotel’s rapid rise to fame, the general manager told journalists they grappled with a lot of challenges during the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in the country, which affected their operations.
A delighted Mr. Neves revealed he would by traveling to Cape Town next week to collect the prestigious award on behalf of the hotel, which according to him is a manifestation of the hard work he and his team had been putting in despite the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the country which posed serious threat in all sectors.
He noted that the award is a first in the history of a hotel in the country, especially from a well known and credible awarding institution based in South Africa.
“Let me use this opportunity to inform the public that we are running a business not a charity organisation, few months ago we had a guest here who refuses to pay his bills and we have to involve the local authority and the matter is in court now,” he said.
He said Radisson Blu fully complies with the Local Content Policy of the country, evidence by the fact that several departments are headed by Sierra Leoneans, adding that they respond to their cooperate social responsibility by donating to orphanage homes, cleaning the Aberdeen Lumley beach, etc.
The original Mammy Yoko Hotel operated for close to 30 years, but its operations was interrupted in 1997 as a result of the civil conflict, which left the building heavily damaged until in 2014 when it was refinished and re-opened again for business.