What it's like living in a hotel during lockdown
The national lockdown has seen many businesses close their doors until further notice. Many deemed as not essential services include hotels and guest houses.
But for some it's business as usual as some guests, for whatever reason, found themselves stuck in South Africa once borders were closed. One such place is the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront in Cape Town.
“We’re three weeks into lockdown with another two to go, and the overall mood is positive ,” said Nicol Carelse, guest relations manager at the hotel.
“Everyone who is here did not envision this unfolding as it has but we are all in the same boat, so we’re navigating through it together.”
The hotel is not taking new bookings for the period, but it has become home to a number of guests from surrounding hotels and other establishments around the city.
Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront is also accommodating other guests sent by their respective embassies when South Africa went into lockdown and they found themselves unable to return home.
Clinton Thom, general manager of Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, noted every precaution has been taken to ensure the guests are protected from the risk brought by Covid-19.
“We have strictly implemented health and safety measures as recommended by the World Health Organization,” said Thom. “And while guests are free to walk around the hotel and treat it like their home, social distancing is practised at all times.”
And as far as the remaining staff complement goes, Carelse has nothing but praise.
“Everyone who is here has volunteered to stay here for the entire lockdown period, and they have gone above and beyond to ensure that guests are looked after during their stay," she added.
"We’re all wearing many different hats and no roles are the same. For example, all HODs have a chance to make staff breakfast, while our husbands and partners who have been able to lock down with us here at the hotel are helping to take care of the grounds and the garden between their own work schedules.
"Over the last three weeks, hotel employees have been constantly conceptualising new initiatives and ways to entertain the in-house guests. They created a cosy library nook with a selection of books for guests to choose from, implemented a bingo evening for entertainment, created special menus, celebrated special occasions with guests – and more."
When asked about their lockdown experience, employees responded very positively.