Maputo, Mozambique, 15 December 2010 - Situated in the heart of Maputo on four hectares of lush grounds, the Polana has long been regarded one of Africa’s leading hotels. Built in 1922, it was the brainchild of Lourenço Marques - a 16th century trader and explorer after whom Maputo was previously named - who wished to transform the city into a second Monte Carlo. The hotel quickly became an historic and cultural haven, and a meeting place that offered an elegance and grandeur that was unique in the city.
In acquiring the hotel in 2002, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) and its subsidiary units - Tourism Promotion Services (TPS) and the Serena Hotel Group - recognised the iconic status of the hotel. The property underwent a muti-year programme of improvements, upgrades and enhancements that consciously sought to restore the hotel to its former splendour.
Today, the Grand Dame of Maputo has been restored to its former splendour.