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Five-star Zimbabwe hotel resorts to buckets of hot water amid prolonged power outage

Ignominy for famous Harare hotel resolved by Tuesday afternoon

15 June 2022 - 17:13 By SHARON MAZINGAIZO
The Meikles Hotel in Harare.
The Meikles Hotel in Harare.
Image: Meikleshotel.com

Prolonged power cuts this week forced Zimbabwe's premier five-star hotel to inform guests it could not provide hot water and air conditioning.

Meikles was voted the “Best Hotel in Africa” in 1998 by the International Executive Travel Awards and was recognised as a “Tripadvisor Travellers' Choice Award Winner 2021”. Earlier this week the hotel told guests it was operating on a generator and would not be able to provide air conditioning and hot water.

“Please be advised that the hotel has been operating on generator power since Saturday, June 11, due to a fault that developed within the CBD. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority is working around the clock to try to fix the problem.

“The air conditioning in rooms and public areas is not working and there is no hot water. If you require hot water for bathing, please contact our housekeeping department and a bucket will be delivered to you,” the hotel said.

The problem was resolved by Tuesday afternoon.

“The blanket power cut experienced in the Harare CBD from June 11 to 14 has now been rectified and all services in the Meikles Hotel are back to normal. We would like to thank our valued guests and staff for their co-operation and understanding during this challenging period,” the hotel said.

On its website, the hotel prides itself on being a “luxury five-star hotel with gracious charm and silver service”. The average price for a standard room ranges from R2,188 to R2,696.

Zimbabwe is experiencing rolling power cuts that last up to 12 hours a day, crippling the economy.

The hotel power cut caused a public outcry on social media. Among the comments shared were:

  • “Tourism alone will transform Zimbabwe’s economy as a sector. This is the memo from one of the best hotels in the country which used to be one of the best in Africa. Nothing works if the politics is not right.” — @ali_naka 
  • “This where we are at folks, bucket system at Meikles Hotel. This is what ZANU has reduced the whole country of Zimbabwe to. The country has effectively collapsed and nothing works anymore.” — @quarantinah

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