13 July 2018

Zimbabwe: RTG Completes U.S.$1 Million Hotel Renovation

Hoteling concern Rainbow Tourism Group has completed its US$1 million refurbishment of the 88-room Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel as it seeks to increase its market share.

This follows the refurbishment of Rainbow Towers and Ambassador Hotel in Harare as well as the sprucing up of Kadoma Ranch hotel. The hotel group's other property, the A'Zambezi Lodge underwent a complete overhaul in 2011.

The remaining 42 rooms have undergone extensive renovations after the earlier refurbishment of 46 rooms.

The renovations, which began in November 2016, include the purchase of new beds, chairs, as well as mini fridges in each of the rooms. They have also added plug sockets with USB ports.

"We completely overhauled the rooms by stripping the floors and walls including the ensuite bathrooms. We put in new floor and wall tiling, new ceilings and changed the design of the mosquito nets to a ceiling frame design which is both modern and user friendly for the guests whilst doing the work of keeping the mosquitos out" the hotel's general manager, Christopher Svovah, said. "The bathrooms were stripped, replacing the floor and wall tiling with new contemporary tiles. The entire toilet and hand basin system was changed to a contemporary visually appealing system. A modern glass door now replaces the old shower curtain, whilst the shower rose was replaced with a large rain - shower head to enhance the shower experience. Afrocentric- designed soft furnishings which include scatter cushions, wall paintings and curtaining complete the look."

He said there has been a positive response from the clientele to the refurbishment, which was completed on April 30 this year.

"The response to the renovations has been very good," Svovah said. "There are a number of barometers that we use as a hotel.

"First and foremost is our guest interaction while they stay with us which has been quite positive. We also use the Guest Satisfaction Index, which has gone up and the comments on the Trip Advisor website after our refurbishment have been amazing, it is no coincidence."

The hotel also added a massage parlour and spa after numerous requests from guests for the facility.

Svovah said they plan to renovate the hotel's restaurant by the end of this year.

He said the refurbishment of the restaurant, which will include new furniture and replacement of the floors, will complement the renovation of the hotel rooms. The hotel hosts predominantly international tourists constituting 85% of its sales mix.

"This hotel's occupancy now averages 70% from 60% previously. We attribute this positive performance to the product improvements," Svovah said.

Among the popular offerings at the hotel is the swim-and-sip where guests can enjoy drinks while sitting on seats which are under water.

The hotel also has a Kraal menu that serves traditional food that includes rice with peanut butter, dried vegetables, dried kapenta and sweet potatoes among an array of dishes.

The menu is popular with foreign guests who want to get a taste of Zimbabwean culture through food and drink offered by the menu.

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