Meikles Hotel: Winner of many accolades

29 Jun, 2018 - 00:06 0 Views

eBusiness Weekly

Meikles has consistently been voted as one of the best hotels in Zimbabwe and has a rich pedigree of distinction.

Since 1992 Meikles Hotel has won the prestigious Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents (AZTA) award for Best City Hotel in Zimbabwe – that’s an astonishing 20 years! There has been no other challenger as there were no awards in 2004 and 2005.

This benchmark of excellence over nearly a century is enshrined in being a proud member of The Leading Hotels of the World, a prestigious organisation which represents the world’s blue-chip hotels. In 1995 Meikles was the first (and still only the second) to be honoured with an invitation that to this day acknowledges world-class stature.

Since opening in 1915 Meikles has also won numerous other international and local honours, including:

Ninth Best Hotel in Africa &The Middle East (early 2000s), by The Daily Telegraph, London.

Travel & Leisure has on several occasions, rated Meikles as one of the top three hotels in Africa.

La Fontaine restaurant has twice won “best deluxe restaurant” and “best restaurant overall” in the Zimbabwe “On-a-Plate” competition.

1993 – British Executive Travel Awards, Hotel of the Year (winner)

1995 – International Executive Travel Awards, Best Hotel in Africa (winner)

A rich heritage symbolizes Meikles Hotel

The hotel was built overlooking Cecil Square, the city’s epi-centre and where the first British settlers raised the Union Jack.  In 1980 as a new African nation was born the Zimbabwe flag replaced this and the beautiful park and gardens that the hotel overlooks became known as Africa Unity Square.

This special location, along with the unwavering style of the establishment over almost a century, has resulted in it being the neutral territory of choice for some of the most important political meetings in the country’s history. The first parliament of the Colony of Southern Rhodesia met here in 1924.

Since then leading African nationalists, Royalty, presidents and distinguished guests and celebrities from various nations around the world have met and stayed here.

Today the hotel is somewhat different from its original design.  Although the traditional high ceilings of the colonial era buildings are no longer a feature, the unwavering ethos of Meikles’ committed service excellence has endured. There is a famous saying (“Meet You at Meikles”) that was adopted by locals and borne out of their desire to be a part of a place that is synonymous with distinction in Zimbabwe.

Structurally it is interesting that during the planning phase of the North Wing’s complete remodelling and refurbishment in September 2013 special attention was given to the findings of international research that investigated evolving trends, habits and expectations of typical five-star hotel clientele.  Studies by both the Japanese and British, for example, showed that people were getting taller with succeeding generations.  Meikles paid critical attention to these details and created larger rooms, furniture, beds, baths and showers.

Recent work

2012 – Work commences on a major upgrade to restore Meikles to its world-class five-star stature in preparation for the hotel’s Centenary celebrations throughout 2015.

2013 – (September). The major US$9 million revitalisation of the entire North Wing and several public areas propels Meikles to modern new glory while retaining its traditional style, luxury and glamour.

2013 – Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents (AZTA) votes Meikles as “Best City Hotel” for 20th time. The first AZTA award for Meikles was in 1992 and there has never been another winner in this category (there were no awards in 2004 and 2005).

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