The National, Thursday 17th November 2011
By BOSORINA ROBBY
DOWNTOWN Port Moresby came alive with a dazzling array of fireworks on Tuesday night to mark the official opening of the Grand Papua Hotel, a 20-storey luxury hotel owned by Steamships Trading Co.
The hotel is located between Douglas and Mary streets, where the iconic Papua Hotel of yesteryears once stood. The formal opening was led by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
The Grand Papua was built at the cost of about K200 million and will employ close to 200 staff.
O’Neill congratulated the shareholders, management and staff of Steamships, which he said remained a household name that had contributed a lot to the development of PNG.
He thanked the company for its commitment to invest in all sectors of PNG, which had generated jobs for many people.
O’Neill said the government was committed to providing conducive business climate to the private sector.
He said reforms in tax, land registration and the Investment Promotion Authority’s online registration, should be much easier for all.
“This is vital for us and we will also be issuing a stable and practical tax regime because we have to plan for the long-term investments that will come or have already come in.
“I want to assure the private sector that we want to work closely with you.
“Congratulations, and I am very happy to be here in a hotel that is a world-class in its own right,” he said.
Guest were attired in a fashion similar to any Hollywood events, with the women decked out in elegant fashions and the men looking splendid in their black ties and suits.
The guests were prominent businessmen and women from the financial, construction, food and beverage sector of the business industry, as well as other service providers and stakeholders.
Special guests included Sir Adrian Swire and Sir Michael Bromley, the major shareholders of Steamship and company chairman William Rothery.
Senior management staff of various divisions of Steamships were also present.
The hotel will be under the stewardship of David Martens, who said he hoped to train his staff with the necessary skill to take over from him when his term expires.
Rothery said the Grand Papua reflected Steamships’ continued commitment to invest in PNG.
He said the economy had been better and the future brighter than ever.
“The Grand Papua Hotel represents prosperous times and Steamships is proud of contributing to PNG’s history,” Rothery said.
He said this was a new chapter for Steamships and looked forward to other new chapters ahead.
At 20 storeys high, the Grand Papua Hotel is the tallest skyscraper in downtown, of which four storeys are car-parks from the basement up.
It also has spa and massage parlour, hair salon, two 85-seater conference rooms, staff office and other amenities.
The rest of the floors house 161 deluxe and executive rooms, gym, business centre, bar and restaurant.
With marbled staircases and floors and customised wallpapers and mirrors, the hotel was rated as “6-star” by the guests.