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Digital launch of Cresta Grande Cape Town

THE magic began in 1958 with the opening of the Jameson Hotel, a legendary four-star hotel built in an economic boom during the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland between 1953 and 1963. By the mid-1970s, the Cresta Hospitality Hotel Group commenced operations, and with only two hotels, The Jameson Hotel and The Oasis Hotel (built in 1975), began to grow the Pan-African behemoth that it is today.

Leading hoteliers over the years, such as Jan de Haast, Gordon Addams, Roy Meiring, Glenn Stutchbury and Jealous Tsatsa, have all contributed to The Jameson Hotel’s high profile in the hospitality industry , and to its reputation for attention to detail and personal service. Located in the bustling CBD, the hotel is a favourite meeting place for locals, and a popular choice for international business travellers.

Stylish bedroom at Cresta Jameson

Last week, Emily Mumba, general manager of The Cresta Jameson Hotel, hosted a group of guests from the media and from the tourism industry. We were invited to attend the digital launch of Cresta’s latest acquisition, the Cresta Grande Hotel in Cape Town, and also to tour the new-look Cresta Jameson, recently re-furbished at a cost of US$2.5 million.

While Zimbabwe’s travel industry was hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and most hotels remained closed for months on end, Ms Mumba described how Cresta Hotels had used the time profitably to make over all the bedrooms, restaurants, bars, conference and banqueting rooms, and kitchens, at The Cresta Jameson.

Ms Emily Mumba, GM of Cresta Jameson.

The launch party began at the doorway of the hotel with obligatory hand sanitising and temperature reading, followed by a choice of colourful fruit cocktails. With either a strawberry daiquiri or a mixed fruit juice in hand, we reclined on elegant sofas in the newly-designed lobby, before heading off in small groups on a guided tour of the hotel.

Eliot, our guide, was beaming with pride as he led us through the newly-renovated Tiffany’s fine dining restaurant, and allowed us a glimpse inside the state-of-the-art kitchen. An air of excitement and optimism emanated from the busy well-equipped conference rooms, as we continued upwards to inspect the stylish en-suite bedrooms.

The bedroom walls are painted in neutral shades of grey, the soft tones perfect for starting and ending your day. This colour scheme is a perfect background for the burgundy red overlays on the beds, and comfortable tub chairs. In addition to sheer net curtains, there are blackout curtains, ideal for late sleepers. Air-conditioned and with satellite TV and free WiFi, the bedrooms offer stylish comfort and relaxation after a busy day of sight seeing and shopping, or a day of back to back business meetings.

Time to link up with Cresta Grande and the team in Cape Town was approaching, so we took the elevator down to the Zambezi Room for more drinks, a colourful selection of finger snacks and a chance to catch up with movers and shakers in the travel industry and the media.

The Cresta Hotels Group is one of Southern Africa’s largest hotel and business groups, and the Cresta Grande Cape Town is possibly its hottest acquisition yet. A 19-storey building, the hotel has 242 newly-renovated rooms, and is located in the CBD on historic Strand Street, with views of Table Mountain, Signal Hill, and the bustling cosmopolitan city.

Colourful finger snacks at digital launch party.

Visibly excited, the Cresta Grande Cape Town team took it in turn to describe the attractions of their latest hotel, situated in the Mother City, one of the top tourist destinations in the world. No one was more impressive than digital brand manager, Nobuntu Taengwa, who describes herself on Twitter as a ‘cyber bestie’. Describing the warm hospitality guests experience at Cresta Hotels, Ms Taengwa recalled spending Saturdays with her grandmother, when she was growing up. She would cook all Nobuntu’s favourite foods, and did everything, ‘with all her heart’, to make her feel special. In the same way, said Ms Taengwa, Cresta Hotels provide a home from home, while the Cresta calabash brand has a spiritual significance, and symbolises hospitality, good food and home.

The launch party ended on a high note, with a lucky draw for generous prizes. If you didn’t win a bottle of single malt whiskey, a full body massage or a night at Cresta Lodge, you still went home with a useful goody bag, and a clear idea of where to spend your next holiday.  A matter of Taste with Charlotte Malakoff

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