New Cresta Oa­sis does not dis­ap­point

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Lifestyle -

MINISTER Prisca Mup­fu­mira had an­nounced their rolling onto the mar­ket at a glitzy and pomp filled me­dia launch in the city just a few hours be­fore she had been reap­pointed as the minister in charge of tourism in Gov­ern­ment yet again.

She had toured them and they were only just 50 per­cent done yet many saw that what were pre­vi­ously or­di­nary apart­ments had in­deed been trans­formed into world class lodg­ings.

The temp­ta­tion for any travel writer was to judge them at the aes­thetic face value and score them at a doubt­less ‘‘A’’ for their beauty. I re­sisted. In­stead, the proof of the pud­ding is in the eat­ing. And that of the ho­tel room is in the lived ex­pe­ri­ence.

And so last week­end, sur­rep­ti­tiously un­be­known to the staff, I played mys­tery guest to have a first-hand taste at the hospi­tal­ity there.

It is with­out ques­tion that the apart­ments have been re­mark­ably im­proved as a fa­cil­ity from the days of old. The am­biance it­self in Harare’s night-life speaks of a fa­cil­ity that has gen­tri­fied its end of the in­fa­mous av­enues and stands out like a fa­cil­ity in any me­trop­o­lis in the West­ern Hemi­sphere. Sheer class!

Staff and re­cep­tion

The re­cep­tion and hospi­tal­ity was ad­mirable. A gen­tle­man named Prince was at hand to make sure I got to the rooms and had a taste of the ameni­ties. While his name may have been that of quite the royal, his per­son­alised ser­vice would leave one feel­ing like the top re­gal; with ser­vice that leaves one feel­ing like a king. The room was so filled with glam­our and beauty, con­firm­ing their af­fir­ma­tion that they would pull all the stops to make it look glam­orous.

The only thing that seemed not to be in the room to com­plete the sil­ver screen per­fec­tion the rooms of­fer was Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe ly­ing sprawled on the bed wait­ing to give to a full body mas­sage.

But then again who wants their abs (which I barely have) toned and rubbed by a ghost? Ei­ther way, no other ho­tel of­fers Mar­i­lyn on a bed as part of their pack­age so that was hop­ing up a bit of a stretch!

With art nou­veau nu­ances and de­light­ful yel­low tones, the apart­ments, for medium and long-term stay, are nerve calm­ing as they are de­light­ful. So too are the grey tones that give the feel­ing of rest, some­thing much-needed for an es­tab­lish­ment one re­treats to af­ter a busy day in the heart of a busy and cut-throat world that is the Harare busi­ness planet.

Ser­vices and meals

The ar­gu­ment has al­ways been, why go to a Cresta Ho­tel if it isn’t for the food? And that ar­gu­ment still stands. The group is known as a haven for food­ies, some­thing that they still are head, shoul­ders and heel, yes heels still ahead of their com­pe­ti­tion.

The paddy tak­ing or­ders in the kitchen/ room ser­vice was at pains to make sure that the ‘‘black sadza’’; “rezviyo”, which I had ini­tially asked for and opted out of choos­ing in­stead spaghetti and cheese which was ready-made, would be made for me.

One does not want to be fussy and have the chef start cook­ing from scratch. Who could con­vince her? So even­tu­ally she had her way and it was black sadza in the end that made it to my room. It was as per­fect as a Cresta meal.

And Dar­ling­ton, who brought the meal home (as the room even­tu­ally ended up feel­ing like) was as cour­te­ous as and Eton fresh­man. The po­lite lady at re­cep­tion also made sure the stay was per­fect, at­tend­ing to all fussi­ness with slick smooth ease.

The big dis­ap­point­ment

But not ev­ery­thing was per­fect and per­haps I will re­mem­ber equally the least fond mem­ory I had of the Ho­tel that the tourism minister said would be the next best thing for the trav­el­ling busi­ness­man to Harare.

But what could spoil what seem­ingly comes across as a per­fect stay at the new apart­ment ho­tel. Surely ev­ery­thing sounds like it was fine and dandy?

Two nights af­ter my stay I had to check the date and the big­gest dis­ap­point­ment then dawned upon me. The worst thing about Cresta Oa­sis Apart­ments is; you have to check out! It had been so cosy I never wanted to leave!

The in­te­rior of Cresta Oa­sis’s re­fur­bished apart­ments

The room ser­vice meal with sadza rezviyo

Robert Mukondiwa

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