Regional hospitality group Cresta Hotels has re-launched its Cresta Churchill hotel in Bulawayo after completing a $700 000 refurbishment that was focused principally on its accommodation offering, but also linked to upgrading of a range services and facilities.
Speaking at a gala re-launch function at the hotel, Cresta Country director Chipo Mandela described the refurbishment as a major sign of confidence in travel and tourism in Zimbabwe generally, and in Bulawayo in particular.
“It is Cresta Hotels’ commitment to the City of Kings and Queens that we shall always endeavour to maintain the highest standards of physical infrastructure, cuisine and service in Cresta Churchill and we hope this venue will be one of which the city
is proud and of which all Zimbabweans can be proud,” she said.
“I encourage general manager Kudzai Ratisai and his team to proudly take this hotel to new heights and to help make Bulawayo the tourism gem that it deserves to be. We in Cresta are excited by the prospects for growth and development in travel and tourism that have opened up in recent months. 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.
Ms Mandela said the Cresta group was proud of its operation at Cresta Churchill, “a household name in this city and . . . one of the best-known hotels in the region.” Originally the Churchill arms, the hotel was first opened in 1974 as a trendsetting suburban establishment, with a wide and varied market ranging from international and domestic leisure and business travellers to conference and event participants, and from people who enjoy dining out and socialising to people celebrating special occasions with banqueting and social events.
The re-launch ceremony was performed by Dr Thokozile Chitepo, permanent secretary of Tourism and Hospitality, who was representing the Minister, Ms Priscah Mupfumira. In her address to guests at the event, she commended Cresta for its confidence in Bualwayo and in the future of travel and tourism in Zimbabwe and the Southern African region.
“Bulawayo and surrounding areas are very important within the overall context of travel and tourism sector and it is incumbent on us all, my ministry included, to ensure that it is promoted as one of the country’s leading venues for leisure and business travellers and for MICE tourism,” she said.
The ceremony was attended by more than 100 guests, including leaders of commerce and industry in Bulawayo, all of whom were shown refurbished bedrooms and had a chance to look at other facilities such as conference and banqueting rooms, the popular Inglenook restaurant and bar, and the swimming pool terrace. The hotel has more than 50 bedrooms and suites, and can accommodate up to 120 people in conferences in its main functions room. It is situated on the main road from Bulawayo into the nearby Matobo Hills, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is close to commercial, industrial and residential areas
Refurbishment work included complete restyling of all bedrooms and suites, as well as the comprehensive gutting and replacement of all bathrooms, most of which now feature the shower facilities that are in greatest demand by international business and leisure travellers. Upgrade work was also carried out in the reception, conference rooms, restaurant and cocktail bar, while behind the scenes’ focus fell on the fire alarm system and water reticulation system.
Immediately following the launch, the hotel enjoy a bumper week as visitors and exhibitors at the 2018 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair kept the hotel full for more than seven days.