By Marc Wachsberger, managing director of The Capital Hotels and Apartments,
The nationwide lockdown that commenced on 27 March 2020 was created to allow government to prepare for the expected onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while the lockdown forced many businesses to suspend operations, The Capital Apartments and Hotels was able to also use this time to prepare for the post-lockdown environment.
That’s why our ‘Sanitised Sanctuaries’ in Johannesburg, Pretoria Durban and Cape Town were ready to welcome guests long before business travel was again allowed by Level 3 regulations.
Having offered our hotels as places where incoming international travellers could self-isolate, or concerned people could quarantine, our staff are already well accustomed to the new reality of hospitality.
As trained professional hoteliers, hospitality is in our blood – it’s in our nature to hug regular guests in greeting, to serve delicious meals from our a la carte menus, and host guests in our vibey and exciting social bar areas.
However, hospitality means different things now. It means that, while our greetings to guests are as warm as ever, they’re offered from a respectful distance, behind the shared safety of both parties wearing a mask.
The restaurants in our hotels across the country are not yet offering their full range of delicious a la carte options – but our chefs are ready with a wide choice of room service meals, all delivered with full attention to social distancing at the suite door.
Our apartment-style suites all have their own private fully equipped kitchens, so we’re working with grocery delivery services to make sure that guests that choose to cook their own food have got their every taste catered for.
This is one of the reasons that every guest booking a standard room with us during Level 3 will be upgraded to an apartment suite (offer only available until end June 2020) – at a time when everyone is concerned about their safety and business travellers are only away from home because they absolutely have to be, we’re going the extra mile to do everything possible to reassure them.
And, for those business meetings that just cannot be held via an online service, the furnishings in our meeting rooms at all our hotels have long been moved around to allow for social distancing, with sanitisation protocols that meet hospital-level regulations firmly in place.
The Capital Hotels and Apartments properties in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban were ready to meet South Africans’ needs as we all adjusted to lockdown requirements – and we’re still here, experienced and professional in the service that we are able to offer our business travel clients, in what really is a new hospitality way of life.