By Michelle Matswai and Naomie Happi
With all the buzz going around on Cresta’s newly renovated hotel, the Ndeipi team could not wait to see what all the excitement had been about. Taking a mid-week break, we decided to spend the night at Harare’s Cosmopolitan heart.
Cresta Jameson places you right in the centre of high-rise buildings and enterprise stores. It is conveniently located a few minutes away from the central business district and is a brisk stroll away from your local central markets. Entering the building for the first time, it felt as though we had stepped through a portal and into the lobby of a stylish top-class hotel, where the general manager Emily was expecting our arrival. The entryway much like the rest of the hotel had a warm welcoming ambience.
Being situated on the busy side of town, the hotel has taken a number of security measures to curb anyone who is not a welcomed guest. After completing a check-in form, you are given a key card, which grants you access to your allocated room and elevator which takes you to any floor. Without this key card, you are unable to enter the main hotel which we found to be a great improvement to ensure the safety and security of in-house guests. The cheerful Monalisa escorted us to our rooms where we freshened up before our private tour of the hotel by a charming gentleman named Peace.
The deluxe bedroom we stayed in screamed eloquence, style, and comfort. The room is cleverly designed with two lampstands on each side of the king-size bed, a flat-screen television, two sofas, and a wooden table with a fruit basket for the guests. Impressive blinds acted as a block out or opening sheer for use during the day. The bathroom is tiled with marble and the sink with granite stone. The closet has a safe, an ironing board, and enough space to fit all of your clothing items.
Apart from the deluxe bedroom, there is also a family bedroom which consists of two rooms, the first room has a double bed for the parents and the second has two single beds for the kids. There is a dining room, a living room space, and a bathroom. Cresta Jameson’s family room guarantees privacy from your kids. There are a variety of other rooms to choose from such as the suite, standard room, twin rooms, and their exclusive penthouse!
On the 1st floor is Tiffanys; a voguish and lavish dining area. It holds historic memories; a number of couples had their marriage reception in this dining area from as early as the 1960s. From the eloquent art hanging on the walls to the mirror décor and the carefully selected furniture, these renovations have given the room a modern yet striking intricate aura. A favourite to look out for is the cooking trolley for flambé, it is a must-see. Cresta Jameson has 5 states of the art conference rooms all named after well-known rivers in Zimbabwe. The largest conference room is the Zambezi, followed by Odzi and Sanyati. Sabi and Limpopo are two conference rooms that can be combined to become one massive hall room for large conference gatherings.
Dinner at Sandawana Restaurant was served a la carte. Serving us was Wilma, who was very friendly and constantly checked in on us to see if everything was in order. I ordered a garden salad, while my colleague had a chicken salad. The salad was fresh and crunchy with the sauce making it mouthwatering and delicate. At this point, we could not wait for the main meal as our taste buds were already in motion, ready to fill up our tummies. For the main course, I ordered a fish fillet accompanied with tartar sauce and fries. My coworker had the juicy t-bone steak with mushroom sauce and fries. Then came the orange cake for dessert which was inexplicably rich in taste. The chefs certainly outdid themselves. To top it all off the barman decided to serve us his “barman special” cocktail and special it was!
The service was seamless and amiably friendly from reception to the overall staff members who constantly greeted and served every guest as if they were royalty. The hotel observed strict COVID-19 protocols throughout our stay. We checked out the following morning after having a similarly high-end breakfast which included a selection of items from the well-served buffet. Sandawana not only caters to guests in the hotel but is open to the public. The restaurant is cosy, accessible, and is the ideal place for fine dining with your loved one, a birthday dinner, or evening meetings.
It is Cresta Jameson’s signature generosity and attention to the needs of their guests that quite frankly made our hotel experience exceptional.
Images by Cresta
Originally published in the 3rd Ndeipi Newsletter