ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed Meikles Limited has completed the $9 million extensive refurbishment of its prime hospitality unit, Meikles Hotel, as the diversified concern repositions the brand.
Refurbishment works at the five-star hotel in central Harare began in April last year.
Speaking at the official re-opening of the North Wing on Tuesday, Meikles Hospitality managing director Karl Snater said the project was designed to allow the hotel to retain its reputation for building on a solid foundation of experience and tradition while utilising innovation, imagination and creativity to give guests an experience unmatched in this market.
“This project has cost about $9 million and has brought an exciting new look to the hotel. One which reinforces its sense of tradition and century-old experience, but which brings with it a feel of 21st century expressionism and a state-of-the-art offering to the world’s discerning travellers,” Snater said.
The refurbishment comes at a time tourism players are renewing the tourism product that had been neglected during the country’s economic crisis prior to 2009.
Snater said the scope of works for the project included the upgrading of 132 rooms and suites, expanded Club Lounge facilities on the 11th Floor and larger and more modern suites and bathrooms.
It also included new elevators, new air conditioning plants not only for the North Wing, but also for the South Wing, refashioning of banqueting rooms and public areas, a brand new La Fontaine kitchen and new laundry and bakery equipment.
“We have expanded and improved our club lounge offering and facilities ensuring that we have the finest facilities to offer for the discerning business and holiday travellers. Our new Presidential Suite which measures 194 square metres is arguably one of the top suites on the continent,” Snater said.
Speaking at the same event, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Walter Kanhanga said the hospitality industry should emulate what has been done by Meikles to work towards an overall national product that was ready and able to meet the expectations of the travellers of the 21st century.
“We, in Zimbabwe, have come to expect only the best of Meikles Hotel and with the new developments that have taken place, we will most certainly not be disappointed. We are all hopeful of a continued growth in the number of travellers arriving to stay in Zimbabwe, whether on holiday or on business,” Kanhanga said.
He said this sector was the most competitive industry in Zimbabwe and it must compete not only with other countries in this region, but with tourist destinations all over the world.