HARARE – Zimbabwe’s iconic Meikles Hotel has been renamed Hyatt Regency, five years after its acquisition for US$20 million by Albwardy of the United Arab Emirates.

Albwardy, which runs multiple hotels under the Four Seasons and Hyatt brands, has decided on the change at the five-star hotel in central Harare which got its name from the Meikle brothers who built it in 1915 – John, Thomas and Stewart.

Zimbabweans have been reacting to the change of name on Twitter.

“It will always be Meikles, the same way Trade Center is still Jaggers,” wrote Felix Kamangira on X, formerly Twitter.

Changing the name was “sacrilege”, protested another X user Mutape weChimanimani.

The hotel has been undergoing major renovations, including being repainted.

“Maybe Hyatt can bring back the glory,” said another X user.

Hyatt is known for its high-end, elegant hotels in prime locations around the world targeting travellers seeking luxury experiences.

In August, the Hyatt Regency Harare is expected to welcome its first VIP guests when regional leaders attend a SADC summit in Harare.

It could also be the main base for cricket teams from around the world in 2027 as Zimbabwe jointly hosts the ODI World Cup with South Africa and Namibia.

Iconic … The Meikles Hotel in central Harare has been renamed Hyatt Regency