THE management company of the Eastern Cape’s sole five-star hotel, the Radisson Blu, says the hotel is profitable and it wants to keep the hotel operational despite the liquidation of its owner, Auspex Hotels and Leisure.

Neil Hughes, manager of business development for Africa and Indian Ocean Islands at the Rezidor Hotel Group — which was contracted to manage the hotel — said on Friday that despite the inevitable liquidation of the owner, the hotel was trading "very profitably" and was the top-performing hotel in the city.

"It is still a Radisson Blu and will remain a Radisson Blu as long as we can keep it there," Mr Hughes said.

Rezidor, one of the fastest-growing hotel companies worldwide, is part of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, a strategic partnership with Carlson, one of the largest privately held hospitality companies internationally.

On instruction of the major creditors of Auspex, the immovable property and the hotel business of the hotel has been advertised by the joint provisional liquidators. The 173-room beach-front hotel in Summerstrand is the flagship asset of Auspex and opened in June 2009 ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. It is the only five-star hotel in the province until Sun International officially opens its hotel at the Boardwalk in February next year.

Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth front office manager Cheslin Sass said on Friday it was "business as usual" at the hotel.

"The operational side of the hotel is not affected at all, we’ve maintained our high occupancies," Mr Sass said.

Rezidor has two Radisson Blu hotels in Cape Town. In September, the group announced that it would open a Park Inn by Radisson in Newlands, Cape Town in the first quarter of 2014.