Located in a serene, shrubby roadside about 10 kilometres from Chinhoyi town centre, the Chinhoyi Caves Motel, run by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks), has transformed itself into a a favourite accommodation and conferencing centre in the town after years of renovations and improvements on its infrastructure and services.
BY TAPIWA ZIVIRA
Now boasting of fresh, modern facilities – from fine bed linen to newly tiled floors to shiny ceilings and new, pristine bath facilities - the motel has completely changed its image from being known as a dirty, abandoned and dilapidated facility that was known more as a brothel than as a hotel where visitors could come and enjoy peaceful nights.
During its dark years, before the Zimparks management took over from the previous leasee, the motel would charge per hour rather than per night, a trend synonymous with whorehouses, and to add to it, the facilities were old and unmaintained.
After the take over in 2013, Zimparks set out to completely transform the place by 2018, a feat that seemed impossible given at the time, almost all the relevant facilities like toilets, beds, floors and buildings were crumbling.
Three years later, under the management of Manging Director Johannes Munetsi, the vision appears achievable as the motel has revamped the majority of its rooms, improved its meal services and introduced competitive conference packages to restore sanity to the accommodation and conferencing facility that is strategically placed closest to the monumental Chinhoyi Caves where thousands of local and foreign visitors come every year.
“We received $18,000 seed money from Zimparks and so far we have revolved the fund to further invest in the revamping of the motel,” said Munetsi.
With the task appearing Herculean, after receiving the seed money from the Motel’s management took the ‘organic’ growth approach where instead of utilising profits for other things, they used the money to invest in the infrastructure of the facilities.
The result is, as is seen today at the motel, excellent service that surpasses most in the same region.
In addition to the finest rooms, that are priced modestly between $50 and $150 per night, the hotel offers a wide variety of meal packages to suit different diets.
There is a choice of an array of traditional dishes that include mazondo, road runner among others, and morden dishes that provide a wide selection of meats.
The lowest priced room is a single, goes for $50 and has an option of $60 for two occupants while the de luxe bedrooms go for $60 and $80 for single and double respectively.
Quite uniquely, the motel offers family rooms that contain two bedrooms and a semi-detached living room where family can enjoy togetherness for up to $150 a night depending on the size of the family.
With 2018 less only a year away, Munetsi said one of the major tasks is to renovate the front-end to make the place more appealing to arriving visitors.