The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa re-opened its doors for business yesterday afternoon, following the fires in the Table Mountain National Park over the past week.
Michael Nel, General Manager of The Twelve Apostles, said the hotel was grateful to the various Cape Town hotels that stepped in to assist with accommodating 102 guests, at very short notice.
“Under the circumstances, the safety of our guests and staff were our priority, which prompted us take the decision to evacuate the property at 7pm on Friday evening. With the transport assistance of Greet van Doorn at Hilton Ross, Wayne Lotter from MotorCoach, Ryno du Rand from Tinswalo Atlantic and Unicab, 102 guests and 130 of our staff was moved initially to the NSRI in Hout Bay and then to other Cape Town hotels and private homes.”
Nel thanked the firefighters, members from NCC Environmental Services and other role players for working tirelessly to ensure that everyone was safe.
According to Nel, NCC will remain on the property should there be other issues. The contracted cleaning company, has been working 24 hours a day over the last three days, with the initial cleaning of the hotel and a further 30 specialised cleaners have been commissioned. Approximately 100 staff are currently at work in the Hotel, deep-cleaning to remove the soot and the smell of smoke. The outside of the building is due to be washed and clean-up is expected to continue for number of weeks.
Michael Tollman, a director of the Red Carnation Hotel Group, said it was unfortunate, that the recent incident has highlighted once again, the inadequacy of the fire-fighting infrastructure available to the hotel and the fire-fighting authorities.
“This situation is the result of an ongoing discussion with the City of Cape Town that has come to a grinding halt, due to bureaucracy and red-tape. The Twelve Apostles applied, some three years ago, to the City to be able to subdivide a portion of the land around the hotel, for the sole purpose of improving the fire fighting capabilities of the hotel," he added.