By Takemore and Sympathy Mazuruse
When we travel it’s to escape the monotony of home, but also a quest for a receptive and warm environment that reminds us of home.
If you are like us — loving ambience and warmth — the newly-refurbished Cresta Group of Hotels facilities are the place to be as we recently experienced at their Cresta Oasis Hotel in Harare.
The hotel has tones of yellow and white dotting the whole building and exuding a welcoming aura coupled with artistic decorations that are equally matched by
the warm reception from the staff.
From the security at the gate, reception area, the waiters at the restaurant and the quality gourmet that whets your appetite, you are constantly reminded of
the true definition of customer care in action, service fit for royalty.
Being a couple that loves taking pictures, we were spoilt for chioce on many spots that sparkle given the amazing landscaping and breathtaking views in the
An enquiry with the country director for Zimbabwe Group of Cresta Hotels, Chipo Mandela, however, explained the quality of service even amidst the current
“It is our observation that many tourism businesses in Zimbabwe are working hard to not only maintain standards, but also to improve and innovate, and we of
Cresta Hotels have been involved in a major programme to upgrade our physical infrastructure, enhance standards of service and step up the level of marketing,
locally, regionally and internationally,” Mandela said.
“The Cresta refurbishment programme has already seen significant improvements to products at Cresta Lodge in Harare, Cresta Churchill in Bulawayo and Cresta
Oasis in Harare, and work is now being undertaken at Cresta Jameson in Harare to upgrade the entire operations there.
“At Cresta Sprayview in Victoria Falls, we started operating in 2013 and this has proved to be one of Victoria Falls’ most popular and competitive hotels as a
According to Mandela, expenditure in the programme to date is well over US$10 million, which they see as an investment in the future of the Zimbabwean travel
and tourism sector, in which they have an exceptionally high level of confidence.
This, according to Mandela, demonstrates clarity of intent and she believes the investment is worth the value the Cresta Group places on their clients.
“Cresta Oasis underwent a US$3,5 million upgrade programme that ended earlier this year and has positioned this hotel as one of the market leaders in
Zimbabwe,” she said.
“It is a busy and successful operation that deserves to be of the highest standard in terms of physical infrastructure, service and cuisine, as well a
showplace for traditional Zimbabwean cuisine in the hotel restaurant, Café Afrique. The level of input alone demonstrates the value we place on our clients.”
While the hotelier appears to have already covered ground with regard to quality of service improvement, Mandela, said they were geared to do more towards
“Our objective, as the only Zimbabwean hospitality group with operations in Botswana and Zambia, is to offer visitors from within the region and from beyond a
genuine warm African welcome, as well as high standards of service and product, with an emphasis on accessing Zimbabwe’s best travel and tourism attractions
and on accessing relevant services, such as conferencing and banqueting,” she said.
“It is our hope that work done to date relays the right message to the market so that we build a lasting and valuable relationship with them.”
Mandela revealed that there was a secret to their pedigree and they would continue reinventing in tune with the times.
“Our uniqueness lies in our use of traditional African cultural and culinary inputs, as well as in our top-end status within our chosen area of endeavour,
which is the three- and four-star markets,” she said.
“Our ongoing drive to reinvest in and refurbish our properties is second to none, adding to our ability of to offer our guests high quality service. What you
experienced is just a peek view, there is lot more to experience.”
Mandela promised a variety of giveaways and promotions to excite the market and unlock value.
“We operate a Cresta Pride Card loyalty programme that offers discounted rates to holders when they stay in any of our hotels,” she said.
“In most of our hotels we also run promotional activities, such as the ‘happy hour’ event in which guests receive a free drink for one bought.
“Our weekend rates are heavily discounted and on weekdays we offer discounts in a number of circumstances.”
While other players may seek to cut on operational costs by lowering quality standards, Mandela said the customer was king at Cresta Hotels and they would
continue giving their best.
“Cresta Hotels is a business that has set its sight on world-class offerings in a market that has the brightest and most exciting prospects for growth in
coming years in Southern Africa,” she said.
“It is our plan to consolidate, expand, innovate and never let up on our quest for excellence. We believe our product offering is wholly driven by and focused
on the customer.”