Expert Opinions


Cornelius Nyahunda (MBA) (HND Htl Mgt)

HALA HOTELS Executive Chairman

  1. What drove you to founding Hotels And Leisure Africa (HALA)?
    1. Having operated hotels in Africa over the past 20 years, in 2010 I observed a clear gap in the need for professional managers of smaller hotels and the low cost hotels, commonly referred to as the 2-star hotels.
    1. I then responded by creating HALA Select hotels (a 2 star hotel offering) and on the high end, HALA boutique hotels (4/5 star offering) as strategic options to answer to that gap. Additionally there was a need to respond with HALA Resorts to service the tourist resorts and HALA premier for the 4/5 star big hotel opportunity. In so doing, ensuring that a hotel guest to HALA can expect the very same predictable standard of services in varying locations.
    1. This strategy deliberately avoids the 3-star ‘red sea’ where value is continuously added while prices are dropped to fight competition.
  • Why HALA?

HALA is an abbreviation for Hotels And Leisure in Africa. There is clarity within the name, that it’s Hotels and Leisure business in Africa and we wanted that communicated upfront especially in the growth phase of a brand. The abbreviation HALA is also something that the marketing team can easily play with in tagging promotions ,”maHALA”,meaning “free” and because other companies and brands apply this tag, it further assists our brand’s “top of mind performance”.

  • What separates HALA hotels from other Regional Hotel Chains?
  • DNA-HALA is about mastering the power of “and” balancing opposing, yet complementing forces. You find it in the name, Hotels & Leisure, in the logo, SHIELD and SPEAR, Strategic focus & Operational Excellence, Direction & Speed, Goals & Habits, Business & Leisure, Customer dedication & Good returns, Excellence & Cost Effective, Occupancy & Rate.
  • ALL types of hotels– HALA is clear about the demand pyramid in third world economies and as such HALA Select is the primary brand to service the urban mid-market traveler. A hotel with relevance and simplicity, familiar and friendly.#SLEEP/WORK/PLAY

We then cater for the discerning traveler with HALA Boutique hotels which are more personal and masterly in service, upmarket in design and finishing and  with site specific value-ads such as Spa, High Tea, Champagne bar etc. #PERSONAL/INDULGE/SAVOUR

Our Resort hotels and lodges capture meaningful moments for the Family and Conference getaways #RETREAT/CONNECT/EXPEREINCE And Finally, Our HALA Premier Hotels are upscale city hotels where architecture and service levels connect #MEET/EXPERIENCE/SUCCEED

  • Strategic locations – HALA clearly understands the economic, governance and tourism hubs in each market before setting out a 5 year network plan, so that there is a creation of brand presence that facilitates cross-selling between hotels as well as create operational efficiencies in terms of support functions and “line-of-site” distribution.
  • How are you growing your business?

HALA is on aggressive growth phase through Management Contracts and Franchising, while also taking on short term Consulting Assignments as requested by the hotel owners and developers and you can visit our website to contact us with your request on

Our model is a good blend of financial and hospitality acumen.

  • How do Hotel Owners benefit from being managed or franchised to HALA?
    • Economies of scale -The power of numbers can be underestimated at your own peril. HALA system immediately delivers efficiencies in development, procurement and marketing, while increasing market reach.
    • Branded System – A clearly defined operating system for all processes within both the Guest cycle and Profit cycle. We call it Management In Box.
    • Asset Management & Profitability – We have a system called HALAcare to manage the asset and we are passionate about driving business viability.
  • What is your own experience within the hospitality sector?

Multi- hotel, Multi-country, Multi-global brand Hotel operator of 33 years the majority of these years as GM, Franchise Director, Operations Director and Managing Director until I founded HALA as Executive Chairman.

Operational Experience

  • Rainbow Tourism Group (Public Listed) 3 years – Azambezi River Lodge, New Ambassador Hotel, Christmas Pass Hotel,
  • Simbisa Brands Public Listed) 7 years – GM at Pizza Inn, MD at Chicken Inn, Franchise Director at NANDOS, opening it in 10 countries in Africa, MD for Innscor Fast Foods Harare
  • African Sun Hotels – Operations Director Then Managing Director for 8 years
    • Holiday In Harare -212 keys
    • Holiday Inn Bulawayo – 168 keys
    • Holiday In  Mutare -112 keys
    • Crowne Plaza Monomotapa Harare – 244 keys
    • Elephant Hills Resort & Conference Centre – 293 keys
    • The Kingdom in Vic Falls & Casino  – 296 keys
    • The Vic Falls Hotel – 181 keys
    • Troutbeck Resort – 81 keys
    • Carribbea Bay Resort & Casino, Kariba – 90 keys
    • Great Zimbabwe Hotel – 49 keys
    • Lake View Inn – 69 keys
    • Hwange Safari Lodge – 100 keys
    • Harare Casino


  • Holiday Inn Accra Airport – 168 keys


  • Obudu Mountain Resort – 140 keys
    • Nike Lake Resort, Nigeria – 244 keys
    • Best Western Ikeja Lagos – 141 keys
    • Clear Essence Boutique & Spa, VI, Lagos – 15keys
    • Best Western Benin, Nigeria- 128 keys
    • Holiday Inn Kano, Nigeria  – 220 keys
    • Amber Tinapa – 220 keys
    • Amber Ikeja – 70 keys
    • Amber Accra Airport (Ibis)-212 keys


  • Holiday Inn Gaborone – 180 keys


  • The Grace in Rosebank – 70 keys
    • The Lakes Conference Centre in Benoni – 240 keys


  1. Archipelago Timeshare Lodges , Vilanculos , Mozambique – 24 keys


  • Royal Chundu Lodge, Zambia – 14 lodges
  • HALA Hotels past Leases/Owned hotels and Management Contracts (12 years)
    • HALA Montclair Resort & Casino – 85 keys 
    • HALA Select Kimberly Hotel – 35 keys
    • HALA Select Karoi Hotel – 33 keys
    • HALA Chimanimani Resort – 41 keys
    • HALA Ochi Safari Lodge – 31 keys
    • HALA Select Cecil Hotel – 55 keys
    • HALA Select Omadu Hotel -35 keys
    • HALA Eco-Boutique Hotel – 12 keys
    • Idle Winds Lodge & Conference Centre – 57 keys
    • Africa Hall of Fame (New Development) -233 keys
  • HALA Hotel Edinburgh -85 keys
  • HALA Barn Conference Hotel Lusaka – 56 keys
  • HALA Afrikiko Riverfront Resort – 49 keys
  • HALA Select Nogahill Hotel -36 keys
  • Awalah Hotel -54keys
  • Gateway Hotel -120keys
  • What other relevant experience do you possess to be in the driving seat?

Skill and Experience. I am equipped with the full circle to operate hotels, studied business science through the MBA that focused on strategic and analytical thinking, I have 33 years of experience in the sector since 1989 both in operations, business development and in leadership roles and yes, I do love the financial numbers.

Thinker and Doer- I do possess the HALA DNA of being able to think a process or idea right through, to explore the fullness of opportunity as well as mitigate risks involved and then take action very quickly as calculated.

Goals and Habits –I believe in hairy audacious goals and they must align with the branded habits which is why I have been pursuing the same business for these any years.

  • So what is your vision for HALA?

HALA is working with like-minded business partners to dominate the hospitality management space in Africa. Our Vision is to belong to the top 10 largest Hotel operators in Africa and to build a brand that will last as we convert hotels from Bad to Good, Good to Great & Built to Last. We want to establish a heritage of trailblazing success in the sector.

  • What can you promise HALA guests?

To our guests, we promise relevance and excellence.

We promise value and attention from all our well trained HALA staff and each brand will make its own brand promise and live by it.

For Select Hotels , its SLEEP, WORK PLAY thus committing to ensuring that all sleep issues are well handled, work related issues are met and that the guests get to enjoy themselves while staying with us.

Our journey is a long one of gaining trust from both our guests and the owners.

  1. What is The Chairman’s commitment to HALA staff?

To our staff, we commit to deliver to you as your leaders with passion and direction. Leaders that are committed to employee engagement.

We promise to drive a culture that will separate us and that will encourage growth of members of the team, empowering the driven ones to become future franchisees.

We promise to teach you hospitality and business the HALA WAY, with Speed and Intent.

We expect that you start of as HASTAS and finish of as a HATORRI of hospitality.

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