Sun City hotel reclaims its name

The Sun City Hotel. Picture: Supplied

The Sun City Hotel. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 1, 2022


Sun International’s very first casino and hotel property is reverting back to its original name – the Sun City hotel.

Management renamed the hotel in 2016 when the popular Sun City resort underwent a R1-billion upgrade. It was called Soho to reflect the buzz and vibe of neighbourhoods of that name in London and in Manhattan, New York. Like those trendy districts, the hotel was zoned “always on, never off”, similar to “the city that never sleeps” concept.

However, changing the name of one of the most iconic hotels in South Africa requires acceptance from the public.

According to “All Change: Changing A Hotel's Brand Requires Careful Management” name or brand changing in the hotel industry is a common occurrence. It however says failure to adequately plan the multitude of changes that are implied could have major implications for the health of a business.

“When we did the upgrade it seemed an appropriate time to give the hotel an identity of its own apart from the resort, but the new Soho identity never resonated with customers and they continued to refer to the ‘Sun City hotel,” said Graham Wood, Sun International’s group chief operating officer for hospitality.

“While we expected some resistance to the change we were surprised by how resolutely people would cling to the original name. In response to our customers, now that we know how affectionately the Sun City brand is embraced by South Africans, we have taken the decision to restore the hotel’s original name.”

The Sun City resort opened on 19 December 1979 and has reverted to its original name, with the brand name “Soho” now a thing of the past.