The Sunday News
Nkosilathi Sibanda, Business Correspondent
STANDARD Hotel, one of the Bulawayo’s sought after hospitality havens has upgraded its services through its massively renovated bar and restaurant aimed to suit travellers who prefer to wine and dine in tranquil at the heart of the city.
The facilities, together with other hospitality amenities have earned the establishment a notch up as it gears for an elevation to become one of the top hotels in the city and country at large. The hotel has also spruced up its rooms, adding a homely environment that management best describes as exquisite.
What draws the eye, as one enters the Steak and Grill eatery which was opened in January 2017, is the composite design of the eating area that boasts of neatly fixed spacious tables, surrounded by leather cushioned chairs that warm up a hungry soul with comfort as they wait to be served. In an interview, hotel manageress, Miss Jacqueline Mkandla said, up on the management’s sleeve is to continue improving quality service in a bid to promote both local and foreign visitors.
“Following our ongoing vision of striving toward quality hospitality, the Standard Hotel is pleased to announce on its new, trendy and unavoidable eating house Steak and Grill. We have the pleasure to unveil the bar and drinks court. This is part of our efforts to make the place as attractive and accommodating to the needs of clients.
“Complementing our 38 rooms that have been renovated and now fitted with refrigerators, Wi-Fi, Satellite TV and all that one can find in a modern hotel, the upgrading process has put the hotel way above the rest in the industry. It is for the discerning class. Our call is for people to try out the new service and be assured to choose Standard Hotel as their prime chill spot,” said Miss Mkandla.
Unlike most hotel restaurants, the Steak and Grill is more like a home kitchen. It brings the patron closer to the chef, if at all one desires, they can see how their meal is prepared.
“Instead of waiting for ages before being served, meals at the restaurant come to table in no time – a fit that even well- established eateries are struggling to achieve.
“The hotel with a restaurant and bar that fits in the city neighbourhood hangout appeal, is how best the outlook of Standard Hotel can stretch,” she added.
Miss Mkandla said both the bar and restaurant are designed to match the urban lifestyle and that has proved to bring in patrons.
“The Steak and Grill is an open kitchen that has instituted a cosmopolitan menu. The people are interested. Our clients do not have to go elsewhere; they can have it all here. The support is there as we regularly have guests either who are booked or usual walk-ins that drink and eat here. At Standard Hotel, you find the best you can get.
“There is also a 40-seater conference centre that is ideal for business and intimate meetings or small private functions.”
Miss Mkandla, however, said the cash and foreign currency shortage in the economy has to be addressed.
“In as much as we are proud of improving the country’s tourism industry, we are having difficulties because we import most of the material we use for construction and renovation. People have to earn more to afford hotels. Forex shortages, local production and supply companies have to be revived so that the hospitality sector functions smoothly and profitably.”
According to the hotel’s management, it is within their drive to encourage domestic tourism to boost the city’s economy.
“We are part of the whole movement that calls for the support of local tourism and that is why we opened the pub and the restaurant. Our people must be encouraged to take an interest in enjoying the facilities and tourist attractions we have in Bulawayo and surrounding areas,” she said.
She said the country’s future in tourism and travel sector remains bright and that domestic tourism is one economic area hoteliers could tap into. Standard Hotel is jointly run with the executive class suites at the AfriLodge nestled in one of the city’s affluent suburbs.