Travel is an powerful vote of your principles – Did you know?
When you decide to put your time and resources into a trip, you are affirming that that is the type of business you want out there. It is with careful consideration then, that I start my Stylish Safe Stay travel series now.
Each visit and write-up becomes a much firmer declaration of my principles as a Travel Writer and consumer in this tempestuous 2020 landscape.
I am blessed enough to have the opportunity from here on out, to visit some of the best hospitality offerings that South Africa has, to relearn my travel happiness, and ascertain whether our tourism industry has really adapted to the paradigm-shift, which demands elevated hygiene and safety protocols across industries.
It is a gulp of fresh air, to now have the privilege of hotels returning as a home-away-from-home for business travel and leisure trips. For my first foray back into leisure travel though, I sought out a steadfast favourite for a Stylish Safe Stay: Century City Hotel.
Century City Hotel is a place I return to quite often – endeared to me, for their dependable and quality delivery of good service, relaxing spaces, and interesting decor that keeps guests exploring everything from hallways to wine cellars.
Here is what Century City Hotel gets right, from the very start of a 2020 visit: placing touchless hand sanitizers at check-in desks and elevators, installing socially-distanced foodservice, as well as safe lounging spaces at realistic capacities.
With a list of must-heed safety considerations in light of the global pandemic still sweeping across the world, some of the things I will be vigilantly checking in on during my travel escapades include establishments:
- Developing a COVID-19 response team
- Attention to the guest
- Contactless transactions, where applicable
- Employee health
- Personal protection equipment
- Guest health
- Meetings and events
Now, here is a glimpse into what I’ve already witnessed is a far more secure Century City Hotel:
From the minute I walked in, Century City Hotel was near immaculate in their securing of a relatively safe space – for guests, and their welcoming team. The hotel has always maintained general cleanliness that has kept me coming back often. Now, they have an enhanced cleanliness experience as far as a guests eyes can see.
The hotel has screens which encourage visits and stays by healthy visitors only.
The face masked team (from bellhop to receptionist, waitress to housekeeping) are not just reported to be trained on comprehensive procedures to maintain physical distancing and handle potential Covid-19 infection cases, but they enact the teachings diligently, as they flow back into the pattern of leisure hospitality.
Not everything is touch-free yet (better elbow those elevator buttons), but Century City Hotel is finding its rhythm quickly.
You’ll find your luggage handled with care, and durable disposable gloves, for example.
Temperature guns to the head or wrist, make the hotel aware if you’re one to keep an eye on, and the hands-free automated hand sanitizer machines found everywhere from the foyer to the elevator area, mean you have no excuse to prevent the spread of germs.
Beyond the feeling of normality that now comes with the hand cleaning, temperature checks, and social distancing, there is a creativity in how this hotel reassures its visitors.
Probably my favourite elements of this hotels securing of a Stylish Safe Stay, is the decals clarifying how far apart to queue at reception, in order to maintain recommended social distancing. And, they also have a black and gold stanchion that just elevates your wait in line, with a touch more glamour.
Following your streamlined check-in process at the screen-guarded front desk, laden with warm welcomes and relative hygiene efficiency, your room will be the main event of gauging your level of hospitality comfort.
The hotel places a “clean for you” sticker sealing guest room doors for incoming reservations – clearly atleast maintaining basic parameters of securing its inhabitants from being superspreaders via limited access.
For me, seeing the seal unravelled the knot of tension I didn’t even know I was carrying – especially revisiting an old haunt of mine.
Suddenly I felt safe to enter, and safe to revel in the space I knew the Century City Hotel team had taken time, and a very conscious effort, towards cleaning and securing for me individually, as a guest.
I’m one always keen for communal dining, as I love people-watching.
If you see me in a dining establishment, I’m probably judging your eating habits while gorging myself on cocktails and carbs.
Anyway, Covid-19 has put a damper on the whole people-watching experience in restaurants and cafes since March 2020 when the national lockdown commenced here in South Africa, but Century City Hotel‘s Square Cafe gives mandated room for me to dine and enjoy the views of the area and the hotels’ visitors, safely.
At Square Cafe, the hotel has removed the more open buffet-style format, for a cafe pick-and-dash deli design. Visitors are also reassured that there is even more frequency in cleaning food preparation stations here, should you just consult with the manager on duty.
One can have breakfast with quality ingredients, delivered by singular attendants at your table, or over the glass-covered counter. Additionally, there are individually sealed cutlery items at one’s table, and single-use sealed food containers for some of the breakfast stuff. I do see table-tops sanitized excellently, but one should always heed restaurant hygiene enough to request a wipe down of chair touchpoints too.
If the more secure breakfast set-up, which has diners sit with at least one blockade labelled table between them, is not to your tastes, and you crave room service breakfast
…well, what says good hospitality quite like accomodating your guests most essential needs?
I am really a sucker for breakfast in bed – and that’s whether it is day time or night. Century City Hotel will see your breakfast delivered with care (covered and fresh as ever).
By the way, Century City Hotel still has its beautiful open social spaces, for guests to lounge about in – just maintain a respectful and healthy distance.
I have a deep and abiding love for the furnishings in this hotel, which could have come off as gaudy and try-hard, but because of how large and airy the ground-floor design is, as well as the contained earth tone color scheme, it’s just enjoyable to sit back and read in…and when lunch or the dinner hour hits – it’s great to sip local brews in.
Dinner here, is now more functional fare, with a reeled back food & beverage menu that does atleast satiate as its solid reputation precedes. I, myself, recommend the zesty Cosmo (requested extra sweet) and the Pasta Prawn Salad with its creamy and Mediterranean flavours.
If you’re prone to worry about the hygiene in high-traffic areas of the hotel while drinking or dining, be reassured that Century City Hotel has signage and distance indicators abound, which encourage proper social distancing.
With the hotel’s facilities not offering spa, gym, or pool facilities, they’re saved from worrying about the health and safety regulations which would require the most stringent of cleaning and disinfecting there, to ensure guest and staff safety.
At this point, my only quarry is with high-touch equipment in my suite, like remote controls, which I may have felt a tad better about handling had they been in sealed “fresh remote” bags.
Century City Hotel‘s enhanced safety and cleaning standards, is consistent with outside experts, when it comes to:
- Hotel Operations
- Hygiene and infection prevention
- Food and Water safety
There is still room to reach towards outstanding excellence on-par with five-star hospitality standards, with e.g:
- Advanced technologies for access
- Reassurances of high temp linen sterilizations
- As well as a more inventive destination, experiential, or hotel-driven experience
- in-room DIY mini cocktail kit?
- sealed painting or colouring sets ? (adults do it too!)
- Afternoon Tea featuring local tea brews?
However, this hotel’s existence as a haven of relative hygienic hospitality is not diminished by the fact that they don’t reach for luxury additions to evolve their already decent operating solutions.
They’re still stylish. They are safe.
Century City Hotel is ready to offer you one comfortable stay.
With hope that they continue to actively monitor and grow their efforts on health and safety, for their team and guests alike, Century City Hotel gets my stamp of being a Stylish Safe Stay!
CHEERS till the next stay!