The long-planned, multi-million-dollar refurbishment of Harare’s five-star Meikles Hotel could start in February, with only the approval of plans by the City of Harare still to be received to give the project the green light.
Meikles Hotel general manager Tinashe Munjoma said the phased programme to carry out a major redevelopment of selected key areas had been planned since the acquisition of the hotel two years ago by ASB Hospitality.
The hotel was previously part of the hospitality operation of Meikles Limited, but its sale to the new Dubai-based owners in 2020 heralded a major improvement programme that would enhance existing food and beverages offerings, as well as the ageing physical and service operations of the hotel.
“The refurbishment will be one of the boldest exercises undertaken in Zimbabwean travel and tourism in the past 25 years and will transform Meikles into one of the most modern and appealing hospitality venues in Africa,” he said.
The first phase of the programme will focus on public areas, infrastructure services and food and beverage areas, including expansion of existing amenities and facilities.
“We are working with the City of Harare to expedite approvals as soon as possible so that the project can go ahead, preparing the way for a Meikles Hotel that will be among the continent’s finest hospitality establishments,” said Mr Munjoma.
Meikles Hotel was first opened in 1915 as a double-storey complex along Sam Nujoma Street and Jason Moyo Avenue, with creation of a tower block in 1958 followed by a second tower block in 1976. Major programmes of modernisation, expansion and refurbishment took place in 1993 and 2013, helping the hotel keep abreast of international travelling standards and styles.
“As Zimbabwe’s premier hotel it is important to ensure the highest possible standards of physical infrastructure and services. The planned project will facilitate this and will make ready the hotel for what is hoped will be a renewed period of travel and tourism growth in the post-Covid era,” said Mr Munjoma.