The Rezidor Hotel Group expands the network to 64 countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa and announces the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel, Freetown in Sierra Leone. Formerly known as “Mammy Yoko Hotel”, the property featuring 171 rooms will be re-branded in Q4 2011. Sierra Leone continues to emerge from the aftermath of the civil war, democracy has been re-established in the country, and the IMF has completed a poverty reduction and growth facility program which has improved economic growth and reduced inflation levels. Stability has also led to a revival of key economic activities, such as mining.
The original Mammy Yoko Hotel was an operating hotel for around 30 years. Business was interrupted in 1997 as a result of the civil conflict and the building was heavily damaged. The property is undergoing a complete overhaul and it will re-emerge in late 2011 as the premier hotel for aid agencies, diplomats and business travellers. Besides 171 rooms, the hotel will comprise a restaurant with outdoor terrace, several bars, and meeting rooms. An outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, duty free shopping and a gym will also be available.
The hotel’s name derivates from Mammy Yoko, the “Queen of Senehun” who brought the whole Kpaa Mende region (now comprising 14 separate chiefdoms) under her control through coalitions, warfare and her alliance with the British. She established a famous Sande bush in Senehun where she trained girls from throughout the area. Queen Victoria of England presented Mammy Yoko with a medal for her loyalty.