Cresta Hotels has confidence in Harare as a visitor destination, as shown by the group’s investment in the Cresta Oasis refurbishment programme. And now the group has called on other stakeholders in the city to show equal confidence by bringing about a renaissance of the central business district (CBD).
Speaking at the Cresta Oasis Renaissance event, Cresta country director for Zimbabwe Chipo Mandela said such investment of effort and resources would create a CBD, which would be the pride of Zimbabwe.
“I think it important to say that what is needed around us is a similar investment by other stakeholders, and this should come principally from central government and local government, as well as from the entire private sector,” said Mandela.
“What I am talking about is an urban renaissance, based on a planned and sustained campaign to restore the city of Harare to its Sunshine City status, with consequent benefit not only to people like us who have invested in the city, but also with benefits to all the people of the city and to the country as a
“What we would really like to see — and give support to — is a renewal of confidence in the Harare CBD, based on making it orderly, well-managed, welcoming and clean, and making sure it becomes an area to which corporates will return and which will expand and grow in years to come. This is not a small task, but for our part as Cresta Hotels, we have shown confidence by what we are doing here at Cresta Oasis, and by a similar project of renovation at Cresta Jameson, and what we want to see in return is a major programme to uplift the CBD and make it the pride of Zimbabwe.
“To those in decision-making roles, I would say this: You have our support and you have the evidence before you that we are not just paying lip service to the concept of urban renewal. We have taken the action and we would ask you to do the same. The renaissance of Harare’s CBD is not just desirable; it is
essential and entirely possible.”
Mandela told the 400 guests present that Cresta Oasis was built and opened in 1975, and has become one of the best-known Harare hotels within the conference and business travel segments of the market. It has a special thrust in welcoming guests from across Africa, as well as from other parts of Zimbabwe, and within Cresta’s brand portfolio is a hotel designed to rejoice in its African roots.
“This hotel is situated in Harare’s central business district, which means its guests have quick and easy access to the whole CBD and to the commercial, industrial and residential areas of the whole city. It is a venue that thrives in the bustling urban environment and its success is assured when the surrounding CBD is managed efficiently and effectively,” she said.
“Our decision to undertake a US$3,5 million refurbishment programme was made in order to bring about a renaissance of everything that is best about this hotel, and I am delighted with the final product. It is attractive, pleasant, efficient and welcoming. We have confidence in our sector and in this city, and indeed in our whole country, and this is reflected by the significant investment we have undertaken to bring about this renewal of Cresta Oasis.”
Mandela also unveiled a special new technological feature of the refurbished hotel, saying that during the upgrade, Cresta had created at least five high-end digital smart rooms with access to an app available to guests, called Alexa, which facilitates use of technology for a range of in-room actions. It will be developed further in coming months and years to increase the range of actions and the number of bedrooms covered.
She said Cresta was proud to be part of the monthly national clean-up campaign, now adopted as a permanent feature of its hotels’ calendar.
“Cresta Hotels’ commitment to Harare, to Zimbabwe and to all the guests who come here is that we shall always endeavour to maintain the highest standards of physical infrastructure, cuisine and service in Cresta Oasis. I know the general manager, Crispen Chimumvuri, and his team will proudly take this hotel to new heights and help make Harare the tourism gem that it deserves to be,” she said.
“We at Cresta are excited by the prospects for growth and development in travel and tourism that have opened up over the past couple of years. We are ready and able to play our part in supporting the national drive to make travel and tourism one of the leading economic contributors, if not the leading economic powerhouse of the country.”